By Aryana Goodarzi
Want to confront colonialism with your bookcase? These are some must reads we have for Native American Heritage Month.
Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot
“My story was maltreated. The words were too strong and ugly to speak. I tried to tell someone my story but he thought it was a hustle.”– Terese Marie Mailhot
Written in short essays, Terese Mailhot tells her story how she wants to and needs to. As a woman, as a Native American woman, she scrapes at the depths of men, Native Americans, and white people.
Owls Don’t Have to Mean Death by Chip Livingston
A book about being Creek and gay, Livingston carves out what a Two-Spirited Creek way of being and seeing looks like.
The Road Back to Sweetgrass by Linda LeGarde Grover
This book is about three women from 1970 to now, and their struggles as Native Americans and women. Even if Native Americans are talked about, they are talked about by a White individual which is inherently diminishing of their stories. You may know of stories like theirs, but you don’t know them like this — Grover captures the depths of systemic suffering.
2 thoughts on “Must Reads for Native American Heritage Month”
I grew up in Colorado on the front range. My children are growing up in Maryland and I have been continuously disappointed in the colonial-centric education they have received. My formative years included Day On The Prairie and appreciation for indigenous tribes. As an adult I have come to understand that even my education was insufficient, inaccurate and whitewashed. I am disappointed and frustrated that my children don’t even receive my substandard education.
Two years ago I flew them to Colorado and we visited MesaVerde. I asked the tour guide, why don’t you speak of the massacre of the Ancestral Puebloan people? My question was dismissed and the tour continued. Unacceptable.
Fast forward to this year, our visit to Moab and I was disturbed by the tour guide who admitted to using a bigoted name for the same tribe. He also discussed historical petroglyphs and compared them to Harry Potter. Unreal.
Thank you for your post. I am excited to read each of these books and learn to do better. Happy Indigenous Peoples Day.
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