Kristen Dosela, on the Gila River Reservation
Wow. That really spoke to me. It's hard enough being a teenager in the best of circumstances.
This particular news article focused on some of the challenges that tribes face in shaping their young people to become leaders, trying to retain traditions while struggling with the future and the social problems of the present. The issues run deep and I don't pretend to understand everything but I'm certainly disgusted by how Native Americans have been treated over the centuries. Living in Phoenix, I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by several, including Pima, Gila, Apache, Hohokam. Given what's happened to Native Americans historically, it's amazing that they've been able to retain any of their history and traditions--and a testament to their perseverance.
But I think that's why I love to write stories with Native American characters. Their culture is so rich and varied; their storytelling, so compelling. I don't believe it's appreciated (or understood) nearly as much as it should be. I wish there were more stories with strong and authentic Native American characters. Although I am a huge Sherman Alexie fan, I wish there were more Native American writers too. Personally, I'd like to see more strong Native American girls and women in fiction and young adult fiction, perhaps even ones that could further inspire girls like Kristen Dosela.
I didn't mean to start the year off with such a heavy topic but I did want to share this news article. It hit me like a gut-punch.
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