Since Tahlequah, Oklahoma is only 30 miles from the Arkansas border, we relate mostly to U.S. Southern culture. Why do I mention my hometown? It’s not only the place where I live, work, and raise my family. It’s also home to two Cherokee tribal governments: Cherokee Nation and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees. I personally work for Cherokee Nation in the Indian Child Welfare Department. Additionally, the third Cherokee government is the Eastern Band of Cherokees in North Carolina. All this to say, Cherokees are the largest federally recognized tribe in the United States and our governments are historically situated in the South. So why don’t we exist in the canon of Southern literature?Read More »
Category: Loaded and Decoded
Overcoming the Criticisms of FX/Hulu Series “Reservation Dogs”
First off, none of us live in the village of the happy people. Secondly, if there was such a story, no one would read nor watch it. Because it’d be a bunch of BS. One of the many pleasures of engaging with art, whether it be film, literature, or the various branches of studio arts, is the freedom we have to think critically about what we consume. When I heard about the series, Reservation Dogs, coming from FX and Hulu, I was excited to watch. I’m always pleased to see Native faces and Native communities in popular culture–especially when it showcases our resilience. We’re a beautiful people with unique experiences to share.Read More »
Indian Child Welfare Novel: Lessons in Cooking Coded Cake
If you’re getting silenced, or an attempted silence, as an artist/writer this is a sign you’re doing something right. The ACLU has extensive documentation about the rights of artists to speak our minds and advocate for communities. Intimidation tactics from white supremacists didn’t stop me from writing my first novel, UNSETTLED BETWEEN, and they won’t stop me from writing my “ICW” novel. Power hungry racists will always fear artists. We have a power they’ll never have: the ability to move audiences to connect with a deeper sense of their own humanity.