First Person First Peoples

SKU: 0801484146

Andrew Garrod, Colleen Larimore
Grade Levels:
College, University
Multiple Nations
Book Type:
Cornell University Press
Copyright Date:

Sale price$29.95


First Person, First Peoples: Native American College Graduates Tell Their Life Stories is a collection of personal narratives from thirteen Native graduates from Dartmouth College. This Ivy League institution has a long history of involvement in Native American education but only recently has Dartmouth actively recruited and graduated students of Native ancestry. These personal essays were selected from a cross-section of graduates. They represent a variety of Nations and graduation years. Some have established careers and others are recent graduates. They recount their life experiences as it relates to elementary and secondary education, kinship systems, communities, emotional struggles as well as goals. The graduates include men and women from Navajo, Tlingit, Houma, Yupik, Kiowa/Comanche, Lakota, Creek, and Native Hawaiian Nations (Bill Bray, Davina Ruth Begaye Two Bears, Ricardo Worl, Gemma Lockhart, Nicole Adams, Elizabeth Carey, Robert Bennett, Marianne Chamberlain, Arvo Quoetone Mikkanen, Siobhan Wescott, Vivian Johnson, Lori Arviso Alvord, and N. Bruce Duthu). While their background vary from reservation to urban, their experiences as Dartmouth students include similar themes. Most mention their distaste for the stereotyping and racism embedded in Dartmouth traditions such as the "Indian" sport mascot. They also credit various school professors (Michael Dorris) and fellow students with providing much needed academic advice and emotional support. Several essays recount family problems with drugs and alcohol, and all essays describe extended family or community support. The editors organize the essays into three sections. The first section deals with the transition all students make from their homes to the new world of education. The second section looks at the way Native identities are maintained, tested, and ultimately strengthened during the student's university years. The final section describes the numerous ways the Dartmouth students have given back to their communities after graduation. This book is unique because it describes through oral testimony how a select group of Native American students have found a sense of achievement through higher education. Their stories add significantly to the literature about postsecondary education for Native Peoples. The text is accessible and contains stories that are compelling and honest. The editors provide context for the personal essays in their introductions and Dartmouth graduate Louise Erdrich provides a foreword. Each selection contains a black and white portrait of each contributor and these alone offer interesting images of each student.

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