Rez Life

Rez Life

An Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life

Book - 2012
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Celebrated novelist David Treuer has gained a reputation for writing fiction that expands the horizons of Native American literature. In Rez Life , his first full-length work of nonfiction, Treuer brings a novelist's storytelling skill and an eye for detail to a complex and subtle examination of Native American reservation life, past and present.

With authoritative research and reportage, Treuer illuminates misunderstood contemporary issues of sovereignty, treaty rights, and natural-resource conservation. He traces the waves of public policy that have disenfranchised and exploited Native Americans, exposing the tension that has marked the historical relationship between the United States government and the Native American population. Through the eyes of students, teachers, government administrators, lawyers, and tribal court judges,he shows how casinos, tribal government, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs have transformed the landscape of Native American life.

A member of the Ojibwe of northern Minnesota, Treuer grew up on Leech Lake Reservation, but was educated in mainstream America. Exploring crime and poverty, casinos and wealth, and the preservation of native language and culture, Rez Life is a strikingly original work of history and reportage, a must read for anyone interested in the Native American story.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, c2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780802119711
Branch Call Number: 970. 43 TRE
Characteristics: 330 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.


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Feb 10, 2017

Through historical accounts and depictions of reservations across the U.S. in the present-day, David Treuer reveals the ways in which reservation life has been for Native Americans simultaneously tragically bleak and yet surprisingly hopeful. The number and variety of laws and regulations regarding taxes, the use of natural resources, education, courts and self-government, are remarkably complex, and it was personally eye-opening to learn how reservations function on some level almost as sovereign nations, with many citizens opting to travel abroad on reservation passports rather than a U.S. passport. Though there is some repetition and errors that should have been caught by Treuer's editors, this is an important book, especially for fellow Minnesotans.

Nov 29, 2016

Recommended for those interested in Minnesota and Wisconsin history of native people.

Jun 01, 2016

A deep, personal look into the modern cultural, political, etc. lives and circumstances of Native Americans in America (but esp. Chippewa/Ojibwe Indians, as those are the people Treuer was raised by). I was fascinated to read about the origins of casinos in Native American communities. I had no idea how it came about, and I am somewhat amused that it all started because of some legal loophole!

Jul 08, 2015

I learned a lot about reservation culture especially in Minnesota. As a Minnesotan I think it is important to understand how all of us fit into the larger picture of our state and what an important part Indians play in Minnesota's current culture not just our history.

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