cover image Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future

Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future

Patty Krawec. Broadleaf, $26.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-5064-7825-8

The fierce debut by Medicine for the Resistance podcaster Krawec critiques the harmful impact of European Christian settler colonialism on Indigenous Americans. The author, who is of Anishinaabe and Ukrainian heritage, details Indigenous American history from the first humans to populate the Americas through the present and outlines ways in which descendants of European colonizers and Indigenous people can become “good relatives.” Krawec recounts Indigenous creation stories (“The Inuit emerged from holes in the ice,” for example) and oral histories of life before European colonization. She decries the role that religious institutions played in theft of Indigenous land, citing the papal Doctrine of Discovery that stipulated land “discovered” by European powers belonged to them because it wasn’t owned by Christians. Encouraging readers to reconsider their relationship to their environment and what it would mean for churches and businesses to return stolen land, the author notes that an area in Hamilton, New Zealand, was returned to the Maori tribe who lived there pre-colonization and that the municipal buildings on the property provide the tribe with a tax base. Krawec’s prose is electric, shot through with passion and knowledge, though some will find her suggestions too abstract to effect the change she advocates for (“It is important as settlers and as Indigenous people that we return to ourselves”). This may not have all the answers, but it offers some thought-provoking ideas. (Sept.)