The Rez Road Follies: Canoes Casinos Computers and Birch Bark Baskets

Jim Northrup, Author Kodansha America $20 (208p) ISBN 978-1-56836-205-2
Life on an Indian reservation (the ""Rez"") has rarely been discussed with such wit as by this member of the Anishinaabe tribe of Fond de Lac, Minn. Northrup, a columnist for several Indian newspapers and author of Walking the Rez Road, was born during WWII, and shortly thereafter was taken from his parents and sent to a Federal boarding school where Native Americans were taught to read and write English and to learn the ways of ""the immigrant community,"" as he calls the white world. Northrup's description of boarding school is at once painful and funny, encapsulated by his imaginary interrogation: Q: ""Who invented the Bureau of Indian Affairs?"" A: ""Someone who was really mad at us."" But the book is not a litany of injustice or grief; Northrup pokes hilarious fun at Anglo and tourist stereotypes of Native Americans--although the aftertaste is bitter--and he succeeds in entertaining while instructing us about modern and ancient Indian cultures. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1997
Release date: 12/01/1997
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-8166-3495-8
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