How Academia Disrupts Native Progress by Reinventing “The Pristine Myth”

Someone tells you, “There’s nobody on that piece of land,” and you’re invited to stake a claim to it, build a home, move your family, and grow crops.  Start a new life for yourself.  That was the narrative fed to early European settlers and is commonly referred to as “The Pristine Myth,” meaning the wilderness is untouched and open for the taking.  Then you arrive and find that not only are there people, but they’ve been there for thousands of years.  I’m going to ask you one question:  Has modern day academia created the same siphon?

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Novel DNA: How Writing Chapters can Change the World

What to do with a great idea?  Let’s sit down and map out a novel.  Writing in the dark is a popular way of writing short stories.  We get an idea.  We pull out the laptop.  We write until everything is on the page.  As we write, we don’t know where the story will lead and this suspense and feeling of surprise keeps us writing, it builds adrenaline, and keeps us guessing as we finish a story.  But there may need to be a different approach when it comes to a 25 chapter novel.

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Story Like Bonsai are Reborn through Deadlines & Transformations

Like clipping and pruning back branches on a bonsai tree.  Then we wire and train those branches to spread in the appearance of organic design reflective of the natural environment, taking careful consideration and steady hands.  We have to make the right decisions.  I’ve been revising Unsettled Between over the last two months and it’s been a transformative process not only for the novel but for me as well.

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Solidarity Outside Sovereignty: New Tribal Politics Multiply & Strengthen Beyond Colonial Boundaries

What I’m about to say is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way, especially an older generation who built their identity on the backs of a sovereignty based in contention between governments.  But ultimately a shift occurred while many were sleeping, and this wasn’t something the younger generation brought about.  We were simply swept away in the waters and learned to swim for fear of drowning.

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Fourth Wall Subtleties as Tool for Liberation in Native American Context

Suppose you’re at a coffee shop and you’re telling your best friend about your workday.  You’re saying so-and-so is building a case to take to human resources and will file a lawsuit soon.  So-and-so has evidence of coercion and retaliation.  Maybe it’s based on gender.  Maybe it’s based on race.  So-and-so will also file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a federal employee complaint due to implicit biases at work.  Then you notice someone at the next table staring and listening with interest at all the juicy details.

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#NathanPhillips Vs. #MAGA: Are Liberals Too Weak to Defeat MAGA?

Natives watched as a liberal stronghold quickly collapsed with a simple bait and switch.  How did the conservatives do it?  They just repeated everything Nathan Phillips said by placing his words into their context.  So why did liberals collapse so quickly?  There has been an ongoing issue within the liberal community, and conservatives make the criticism often:  liberals are snowflakes.

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Real Life Turns Into Fiction

I’ve said this before: If you don’t want to be villain in fiction then don’t be one in real life.  The beautiful thing about graduating from two different writing programs are the connections made between creative writers and journalists.  We tend to be tasked with a similar challenge.  How to captivate an audience.

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Twitter Serves Minority Writers: Intro to New Agent & #DVpit Success

Metaphorically #DVpit becomes water.  Likewise, I could say Twitter is some type of container–a canteen maybe–something tethered to your belt.  Whether you’ve been slinging a sledge hammer to break rocks or ripping callouses off your hands for grip on a climb, you’re exhausted and you could use a drink.  What you need is opportunity and energy to keep climbing, to keep breaking those rocks.

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Reductive Discernment Between the Crabs in the Barrel and Fake In’dins

You’ve done the work.  Wrote the story, painted the painting, soldered the jewelry, sculpted the clay, or weaved the basket.  You’ve put in the hours at the workstation, lost yourself in the art, creating work unique and powerful and meant to contribute to a collective of voices echoing from generations past.  Then you take the work into the world.  Now it’s time to dance with the “crabs in the barrel” and the “fake In’dins.”

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Native American Cuisine in Kiowa Literary Thematics

Exploring culture through foods is nothing new to the literary world.  Likewise, it’s not new to Native American literature.  While we in the literary field know this to be true there is still very little exploration of the topic in thematic terms.  How can traditional food and customs associated with consumption of those foods enhance the greater theme of a piece?

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