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Description - Children of the Dragonfly by Robert Bensen

Sometimes the losses of childhood can be recovered only in the flight of the dragonfly.Native American children have long been subject to removal from their homes for placement in residential schools and, more recently, in foster or adoptive homes. The governments of both the United States and Canada, having reduced Native nations to the legal status of dependent children, historically have asserted a surrogate parentalism over Native children themselves. Children of the Dragonfly is the first anthology to document this struggle for cultural survival on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border. Through autobiography and interviews, fiction and traditional tales, official transcripts and poetry, these voices Seneca, Cherokee, Mohawk, Navajo, and many others weave powerful accounts of struggle and loss into a moving testimony to perseverance and survival. Invoking the dragonfly spirit of Zuni legend who helps children restore a way of life that has been taken from them, the anthology explores the breadth of the conflict about Native childhood. Included are works of contemporary authors Sherman Alexie, Joy Harjo, Luci Tapahonso, and others; classic writers Zitkala-Sa and E. Pauline Johnson; and contributions from twenty important new writers as well. They take readers from the boarding school movement of the 1870s to the Sixties Scoop in Canada and the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 in the United States. They also spotlight the tragic consequences of racist practices such as the suppression of Indian identity in government schools and the campaign against Indian childbearing through involuntary sterilization. CONTENTS-Part 1. Traditional Stories and Lives-Severt Young Bear (Lakota) and R. D. Theisz, To Say "Child"-Zitkala-Sa (Yankton Sioux), The Toad and the Boy-Delia Oshogay (Chippewa), Oshkikwe's Baby-Michele Dean Stock (Seneca), The Seven Dancers-Mary Ulmer Chiltoskey (Cherokee), Goldilocks Thereafter-Marietta Brady (Navajo), Two Stories-Part 2. Boarding and Residential Schools-Embe (Marianna Burgess), from Stiya: or, a Carlisle Indian Girl at Home-Black Bear (Blackfeet), Who Am I?-E. Pauline Johnson (Mohawk), As It Was in the Beginning-Lee Maracle (Stoh:lo), Black Robes-Gordon D. Henry, Jr. (White Earth Chippewa), The Prisoner of Haiku-Luci Tapahonso (Navajo), The Snakeman-Joy Harjo (Muskogee), The Woman Who Fell from the Sky-Part 3. Child Welfare and Health Services-Problems That American Indian Families Face in Raising Their Children, United States Senate, April 8 and 9, 1974-Mary TallMountain (Athabaskan), Five Poems-Virginia Woolfclan, Missing Sister-Lela Northcross Wakely (Potawatomi/Kickapoo), Indian Health-Sherman Alexie (Spokane/Coeur d'Alene), from Indian Killer-Milton Lee (Cheyenne River Sioux) and Jamie Lee, The Search for Indian-Part 4. Children of the Dragonfly-Peter Cuch (Ute), I Wonder What the Car Looked Like-S. L. Wilde (Anishnaabe), A Letter to My Grandmother-Eric Gansworth (Onondaga), It Goes Something Like This-Kimberly Roppolo (Cherokee/Choctaw/Creek), Breeds and Outlaws-Phil Young (Cherokee) and Robert Bensen, Wetumka-Lawrence Sampson (Delaware/Eastern Band Cherokee), The Long Road Home-Beverley McKiver (Ojibway), When the Heron Speaks-Joyce carlEtta Mandrake (White Earth Chippewa), Memory Lane Is the Next Street Over-Alan Michelson (Mohawk), Lost Tribe-Patricia Aqiimuk Paul (Inupiaq), The ConnectionTerry Trevor (Cherokee/Delaware/Seneca), Pushing up the Sky-Annalee Lucia Bensen (Mohegan/Cherokee), Two Dragonfly Dream Songs

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780816520138
ISBN-10: 0816520135
Format: Paperback
Pages: 280
Imprint: University of Arizona Press
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2001
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Robert Bensen

Robert Bensen is coeditor of Iroquois Voices, Iroquois Visions: A Celebration of Contemporary Six Nations Arts and has authored numerous essays on Native literature and child custody. He is Professor of English and Director of Writing at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, where he also teaches American Indian law and literature.