Native Writers: Voices of Power
By Kim Sigaus and Lyle Ernst
7th Generation | 128 pp | $9.95
Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Entertainment. Discussion »
The old adage that "good things come in small packages" applies to "Native Writers: Voices of Power," the latest book in the Native Trailblazers series.
Previous to this latest addition to the series, Native Trailblazers included the following books, "Native Defenders of the Environment," "Native Musicians in the Groove," "Native Athletes in Action," "Native Women of Courage."
The Native Trailblazers books are written for middle and high school students. However, the books are well done and those interested in Native people will appreciate the positive role models featured within each book. These books are important because Native youth everywhere need positive role models that inspire them to achieve and attain healthy lives physically, mentally and spiritually.
"Native Writers" was written by Kim Sigafus, White Earth Ojibwe, and Lyle Ernst, who interviewed ten Native writers by telephone and put together this small book. Ten chapters tell the stories of the ten Native writers, exploring their early lives and their reasons for writing.
Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich and N. Scott Momaday are three recognizable big name Native writers featured in "Native Writers." Not discounting the other featured Native writers, but these three award-winning Native authors give "Native Writers" instantaneous credibility. With national book awards and in the case of Momaday, a Pulitzer Prize, among them, young readers can take away from the book that each author had to overcome difficulties in the lives to become the writers they are today.
"Native Writers" allows for a glimpse of how the authors had to overcome obstacles to become the writers they are today. As the title suggests, the book also presents an overview of how Native writers become powerful voices. This is important because in contemporary times, there is serious thought and discussion on the importance of American Indians, First Nation citizens of Canada and Alaska Natives having their own voices, instead of relying on others to tell our stories.
Throughout this book, the reader becomes acquainted with how each author deals with being Native and having the ability to express their indigenous culture point of view in print. Various authors feel the responsibility to pass stories on to this and future generations so that Natives voices do their job to preserve Indian history and culture. It is apparent that the authors feel the responsibility to accuracy given so much of what has been written about American Indians has been written by non-Natives.
The authors featured in "Native Writers" are:
"Native Writers" should be read by Native youth throughout Indian country and those who want to know how the Native voices of this generation have a power through their words.
updated November 10, 2012 6:50 am est; posted August 25, 2012