Following a series familial tragedies, Leech Lake Ojibwe band member David Treuer begins to seriously contemplate reservation life and what it means to be "Indian." In his full-length, non-fiction book, Rez Life: An Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life, Treuer explores the ins and outs of Indian country using a combination of journalistic approaches, historical accounts, and personal memoirs.
Focusing primarily on bands of Minnesota and Wisconsin Ojibwe, Treuer utilizes insightful, vivid stories to highlight both the positive and negative characteristics and complexities of Indian reservations and how they got to be what they are today. Each chapter begins with an interview and anecdote as Treuer combines the present and past to build up larger themes surrounding tribal sovereignty; treaty rights and natural resource conservation; the "Indian problem" and assimilation efforts initiated by the U.S. government; the disparity between casino wealth and crushing poverty; and the importance of cultural heritage and indigenous language revitalization.
Rez Life is a must read for those not only seeking to delve deeper into Native American history, but to also expand upon the somber, less discussed history of the United States. So cross the boundary line, enter the "rez," and explore the honesty and beauty that lies within; check it out today!
Hayley @ Central