The Girl in the Photograph: The True Story of a Native American Child, Lost and Found in America

Byron L. Dorgan. Thomas Dunne, $27.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-250-17364-5
In this poignant account, former senator Dorgan connects the tale of an abused girl on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota to the larger story of the U.S. government’s mistreatment of Native Americans. Dorgan first encountered five-year-old Tamara (no last name is given) in 1990, when her photograph appeared in a Bismarck Tribune story about the beating she endured in a reservation foster home. The next weekend, Dorgan writes, he traveled from Washington, D.C., to Standing Rock to meet Tamara. But he soon lost track of her. Twenty-seven years later, she reached out to him on social media. Dorgan uses the harrowing details of Tamara’s life story—which includes sexual abuse, homelessness, untreated PTSD, and attempted suicide—to put a human face on the plight of indigenous Americans in general. Among many shocking statistics, he notes that the federal government allocates less healthcare funding per Native person than per incarcerated person. On a more positive note, Dorgan profiles young Native American leaders, such as Mariah Gladstone, whose Indigikitchen project promotes traditional foodways as a means to improving Native Americans’ health. Dorgan’s plea for change serves as an informative and moving introduction to a great injustice. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 08/26/2019
Release date: 11/26/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-9749-8894-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-9749-8890-7
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