Reservations

Harold Burton Meyers, Author University Press of Colorado $24.95 (248p) ISBN 978-0-87081-524-9
Meyers (Geronimo's Ponies) tackles one of the most complex and important eras in modern Native American history in this forceful tale of a family's tenacious commitment to justice and social change. Will and Mary Parker are teachers for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the early 1930s, serving a school in Arizona, to which they have been banished for their opposition to the government's pro-assimilation policies for Natives. They witness first-hand the depredations visited upon Indians by such policies, but they feel powerless to give much more than sympathy. Their situation, and that of the Natives, changes dramatically when new president Franklin Roosevelt and his reform-minded Commissioner of Indian Affairs, John Collier, institute the ""Indian New Deal."" Will and Mary feel vindicated and empowered to make moves (such as Will's attempt to bring education to remote reservation areas) to foster Native self-reliance and cultural survival. Told from the points of view of Will and the Parkers' son, Davey, the novel recounts in very human terms this epic story of changing times. Meyers, himself the son of U.S. Indian Service teachers and raised on a reservation, knows his turf. Though focused on the white teachers, the novel never allows the Native characters to move from center stage, presenting realistic and rounded portrayals of Indian life before WWII. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/03/1999
Release date: 05/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 285 pages - 978-0-585-09899-9
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