Leah Myers may be the last member of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in her family line, due to her tribe’s strict blood quantum laws. In this unflinching and intimate memoir, Myers, determined to leave a record of her family history, excavates the stories of four generations of women. Beginning with her great-grandmother, the last full-blooded Native member in their lineage, she connects each woman with her totem to construct her family’s totem pole: protective Bear, defiant Salmon, compassionate Hummingbird, and perched on top, Raven. As she pieces together their stories, Myers weaves in tribal folktales, the history of the Native genocide, and the larger story of how, as she puts it, her “culture is being bleached out,” offering sharp vignettes of her own life between White and Native worlds.
Crisp and powerful, Thinning Blood is a bold reclamation of one woman’s identity that raises urgent questions about heritage, family, and what it means to belong. This book contains 4 Illustrations.