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- DescriptionDeep within the badlands in the state of South Dakota lies the Pine Ridge Reservation belonging to the Oglala Lakota Nation. Pine Ridge carries a dark history. It is here that the infamous massacre at Wounded Knee took place in December 1890. It is the place where the last of the Ghost Dances was enacted, and later the final engagement of U.S. forces against native Americans. Wounded Knee represented the end of a final frontier. They say that blood is thicker than water, but water can wear away stone. Two adolescent boys, one Metis, and the other white become bound together in a dark friendship beginning in adolescence and enduring into adulthood, until death takes one of them. In 1973, decades of unrest within the Pine Ridge Reservation is escalating into a modern day battle at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Members of the Oglala Lakota Nation, along with members of the American Indian Movement and their supporters, are involved in an armed stand-off that will last 71 days. In the midst of the fray is Rene, a journalist chronicling the events as they are unfolding. Back in Winnipeg, Manitoba is Eric, Rene's best friend. Eric is completing a law degree and learning details of the stand-off through Rene's presence at Wounded Knee. Several years later they would join forces together during Quebec's Oka crisis, and it is here that Eric witnesses first hand, the marginalized and disenfranchised. With Rene's death, Eric is forced to examine and confront life's truths, and in particular, the darkness within himself. It is here that a quest for self-forgiveness and absolution begins.
- Author BiographyThe author, Sonia Dubinsky spent eighteen years living in the Northwest Territories, including Nunavut, and also the Yukon. As such, she found herself living in diverse aboriginal cultures, ie, Dene, G wichin, and Inuk communities. Two of her children were born in the North, one in Inuvik, and the other, in Iqaluit. Sonia holds a Master's degree in Social Work, and also an undergraduate degree (BSW) in Indigenous Social Work. While living within aboriginal communities and studying Indigenous Social Work, the author became aware of the glaring disparities exisiting between dominant white society, and that of aboriginal culture. Colonialism, the church, and the federal government all played a role in creating a legacy of destruction for aboriginal people. The arrival of Europeans caused an outright disintegration of indigenous culture, a prohibition of spiritual beliefs and practices, genocide, physical displacement, and loss of a subsistence life style. The result of these was a soul wounding directly related to aboriginal historical trauma. Historical trauma manifests in a constellation of symptomology that affects multiple generations, and creates psychic wounding. The author became interested in exploring the effects of historical trauma on First Nations people through the creation of a fictional historical novel, Reasons Why We Ghost Dance. The author was intrigued by the idea of exploring an interplay, polarity, and tension that would exist in a friendship between Rene, a Metis, and Eric, a Caucasian, in her novel. Rene suffered from a psychic wounding and this theme played out throughout his life, eventually contributing to his death. Eric became vicariously traumatized due to the unusual symbiosis of their friendship, and his inability to halt Rene's self destruction. The novel highlights the oppression and ethnocentricty fueling the engines of the Pine Ridge stand-off in the 1970's, and the Oka Crisis of the 1980's.
- Author(s)Sonia Dubinsky
- Date of Publication28/01/2014
- FormatPaperback / softback
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight744 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine29 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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