“A story matrix connects all of us. There are rules, processes, and circles of responsibility in this world. And the story begins exactly where it is supposed to begin. We cannot skip any part.”
I really wanted to finish reading this before I posted about it, but I can't wait any longer.
After reading "Heart Berries" by Terese Marie Malihot (will be posting about this soon) and "There There" by Tommy Orange last year, I've been particularly interested in learning more about Native culture and history. I've been listening to a fascinating yet heart breaking podcast by investigative journalist, Connie Walker, called "Missing and Murdered: Find Cleo." She investigates the unsolved murders of indigenous women and girls in Canada.
Through this I have learned about the extremely infuriating and completely unjust treatment of native people in both America and Canada though government mandates like Residential schools , which took children from their homes in order to "kill the Indian" in them. Some many indigenous people have had their identity stolen from them, their family members taken, their lives destroyed by white people of power who sought to get rid of them entirely. It's called cultural genocide.
Thus I'm on a search to learn more, to hear more experiences from native men and women, people who have been silenced for so long.
Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is a member of the Muscogee/Creek Nation. She is the author of thirteen books—including poetry collections, children’s literature, and memoir—for which she has received numerous awards including the 2002 Pen/Open Book for A Map to the Next World, the 1991 William Carlos Williams Award for In Mad Love and War, and her second American Book Award for her memoir, Crazy Brave.
In this transcendent memoir, grounded in tribal myth and ancestry, music and poetry, Joy Harjo details her journey to becoming a poet. Born in Oklahoma, the end place of the Trail of Tears, Harjo grew up learning to dodge an abusive stepfather by finding shelter in her imagination, a deep spiritual life, and connection with the natural world. Narrating the complexities of betrayal and love, Crazy Brave is a haunting, visionary memoir about family and the breaking apart necessary in finding a voice
Have you read Joy Harjo? Who are your other favorite Native American authors?