Mark Trahant
4/16/14
The big news in television is that Stephen Colbert will succeed David Letterman as host of The Late Show . It's a huge step for Colbert, CBS, and for popular culture...
Julianne Jennings

“Oh Uncle Adrian, I am in the reservation of my mind,” is a passage from Adrian C. Louis’s literary work, Elegy for the Forgotten Oldsmobile. It is the same one line written by a different author and in a different context which affirms a biography of oppression in living on an Indian reservation; and the intellectual and emotional understanding that fuses together the immense communicative power of language. For Sherman Alexie, a Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, who grew up destitute where literary dreams were more than beyond reach, Louis’ passage opened his eyes to the potential of writing. Alexie soon went on to write several novels, for example: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, War Dance, First Indian on the Moon, Indian Killer; and and Smoke Signals (1998), a critically acclaimed movie based on one of Alexie’s short stories and for which he co-wrote the screenplay Smoke Signals (1998), a critically acclaimed movie based on one of Alexie’s short stories. Sherman Alexie’s writing has cleared a mental, emotional and spiritual path for others wanting to ‘fancy dance’ a new Indian reality though writing.

For some however, moving beyond reservation borders is more difficult — a place where poverty, despair and alcoholism have often shaped the lives of many Native Americans living on reservations. But what about Indians who grew up off reservations with desires of wanting to write a different experience?

In a series of e-mails Alexei Auld, Pamunkey-Tauxenant, Graduate, Columbia School of Law, and a Sundance Native Writing alum whose work has been featured in E! True Hollywood Story, Fondo Del Sol, and numerous curated festivals and publications has recently penned a must-read book titled Tonto Canto Pocahontas to answer my inquiry.

Auld asserts, “It is difficult, but as human beings, we cope in different ways. It was easier for me to move beyond the 'reservation mind' because I never grew up on one. And I'm not making a judgment, it's just my reality.” He continues, “I have always participated in the culture. My grandmother was in an arranged marriage with my grandfather to 'keep the blood strong'. My cousin, who was the Chief's brother, married my wife and I. I was a member of a Lumbee Indian church in Baltimore (they were originally from North Carolina, so they were experiencing the whole off-Rez urban experience as well). I worked the powwow circuit with my parents until I left for law school in NYC. Served as president of Columbia Law's Native American Law Students Association. Organized the first unity pow wow between Columbia's undergraduate and graduate Native American student organizations.”...

3/19/14
Adrian Jawort

In my hometown of Billings, Mont., the hoopla surrounding the group of parents who want to see Sherman Alexie’s book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, end its run as part of the Skyview High School’s curriculum came to full fruition at a community meeting to discuss its s...

11/15/13
Adrian Jawort
11/13/13
About 150 people—half of whom were Natives—crowded into a Billings, Montana School District 2 boardroom in overwhelming support of Sherman Alexie’s critically acclaimed 2007 novel,...
ICTMN Staff
11/7/13
A group of parents in a Montana community have been trying since May 2, 2013 to get Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian removed from the 10 th -grade r...
ICTMN Staff
8/1/13
It’s not the first time Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has been scrutinized for its mature themes...
ICTMN Staff
7/6/13
You may remember him as one of the stars of Sherman Alexie’s movie Smoke Signals , but Evan Adams is more than an actor...
Cristina Olds
6/25/13
In this country’s not so distant past, many Native American youths were involuntarily enrolled in government-run boarding schools, distancing them from their families and cultures...
ICTMN Staff
12/22/12
Take a look back at May 2012's biggest stories from the pages of our weekly magazine, This Week From Indian Country Today ...
ICTMN Staff
11/11/12
Two of Indian country’s most famous writers continue to make indelible marks on the literary scene—Sherman Alexie with his new-old short story collection Blasphemy (Grove Atlantic,...

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