In this Book

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summary
In the spring, the bear returns to the forest, the glacier returns to its source, and the salmon returns to the fresh water where it was spawned. Drawing on the special relationship that the Native people of southeastern Alaska have always had with nature, Blonde Indian is a story about returning. Told in eloquent layers that blend Native stories and metaphor with social and spiritual journeys, this enchanting memoir traces the author’s life from her difficult childhood growing up in the Tlingit community, through her adulthood, during which she lived for some time in Seattle and San Francisco, and eventually to her return home. Neither fully Native American nor Euro-American, Hayes encounters a unique sense of alienation from both her Native community and the dominant culture. We witness her struggles alongside other Tlingit men and women—many of whom never left their Native community but wrestle with their own challenges, including unemployment, prejudice, alcoholism, and poverty. The author’s personal journey, the symbolic stories of contemporary Natives, and the tales and legends that have circulated among the Tlingit people for centuries are all woven together, making Blonde Indian much more than the story of one woman’s life. Filled with anecdotes, descriptions, and histories that are unique to the Tlingit community, this book is a document of cultural heritage, a tribute to the Alaskan landscape, and a moving testament to how going back—in nature and in life—allows movement forward.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
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  1. Haa Shagoon: Our Ancestors
  2. pp. ix-2
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  1. The Retreating Glacier
  2. pp. 3-42
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  1. The Emerging Forest
  2. pp. 43-70
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  1. The Climax Forest
  2. pp. 71-122
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  1. The Bog
  2. pp. 123-174
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 175-177
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  1. Gallery
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780816532360
Related ISBN
9780816525386
MARC Record
OCLC
607758514
Pages
195
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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