Sherman Alexie on NPR’s Morning Edition


My life changed dramatically, and started to change dramatically, when I read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. I was 4 or 5 on the reservation, and it was the first book I ever read with a brown-skinned character — this, you know, inner-city black kid wandering the snow-blanketed city all by himself. And the book spoke to me in a way few books have ever spoken to me throughout my life. But in that instance, I had this recognition of another human being in the world, fictional as he was, but that there was another person in the world who was like me. … This person was a total stranger to me — a black kid living in the city. You know, I didn’t know any black kids living in the city, but I reached across the fictional and the real barriers and boundaries to connect my heart to him.


Morning Edition’s Story on the Long Walk


About 50 years ago, Clearwater retraced his great-great-great-grandfather’s footsteps along what Navajo and Mescalero Apache people call The Long Walk. In a series of marches starting in 1864, 9,500 Navajo and 500 Mescalero Apache were forced by the U.S. Army to walk 400 miles from their reservation in northeastern Arizona to the edge of the Pecos River in eastern New Mexico; like the forced march known as the Trail of Tears, thousands died.


Repost: Morning Edition Profile of Charlie Hill


Listen here.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Hill has mixed feelings about the concept of the American dream. He believes he’s attained his — but that it’s been out of reach for most Native Americans.

Take the fact that Native Americans have been the source of endless mockery, he says. “They make fun of the way we dance, we sing, our drum, our names, our religion, our rituals — you name it.”

So one of Hill’s dreams was to turn that humor around. “My whole thing is to get people to laugh with us, not at us,” he says.

Hollywood stereotypes have offered Hill a deep well from which to draw jokes. He re-creates the dialogue from old Westerns, but always gives the Indians the last laugh.

Morning Edition Story: Maine and Tribes Truth and Reconciliation Commission


In Maine, an unusual and historic process is under way to document child welfare practices that once resulted in Indian children being forcibly removed from their homes. Many of the native children were placed with white foster parents. Chiefs from all five of Maine’s tribes, along with Gov. Paul LePage, have created a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to help heal the wounds.