Reading List: Neither Wolf Nor Dog, by Kent Nerburn

Perhaps one of Americas most embarrassing black eyes is , the treatment from  beginning to present, of the American Indian. There is a line in a movie that I thought was really good. “What happened to the Indians was inevitable, how it happened was unconscionable”. Right or wrong, peoples, clans, tribes, and countries have expanded their power and holdings through warfare. To conquer. The ones with the larger forces wins. Its ugly but thats the way its always been. The Europeans did it a little differently. They came in when their numbers were few and lived among and at the hospitality of the host peoples. As the greed grew it got worse. History tells us that essentially the government of the United States didn’t live up to a single treaty. Not one.

Many of us have Indian blood in our veins. If you do, you owe it to yourself and your children to educate yourself in the ways of your people. But even those of us that honor that blood cannot begin to have any idea what it is like to grow up Indian. To be raised on reservations, to be the minority everywhere you go.

To be locked in time. Most non Indian people see Indians as some sort of organic, vision seeking peoples that can talk to every animal in its language! They’ve always been viewed as something other than just human. Sometimes America has hated them, sometimes we have had romanticized versions in our heads. They have families, love, divorce, they work, they don’t work. They doubt, they believe, and so on.

Check out Kent Nerburns book, “Neither Wold Nor Dog”. There are great truths there of a people, of any people. That’s the beauty of truth. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re at. It hits you somewhere deep. I have read and re read this book over several years and find something new as I move through my journey.


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