Book Excerpt: Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask


In his introduction to Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask, author and professor Anton Treuer says that he spent most of his childhood living in a borderland outside the Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota. He describes life there as filled with racial tension and confusion. When he was accepted to Princeton University he hoped his classmates would not be as ignorant about Natives, that they would show more racial sensitivity than the people living outside his home. However, even in New Jersey, Treuer says he faced these same challenges. It was during his studies at Princeton that he realized no matter how far he travelled he could not escape these stereotypical suppositions because, he says, Native Americans, “are so often imagined, but so infrequently understood.” At that time there were few resources and opportunities to change these perceptions. Treuer says he decided then that he needed to help redefine the image of Native Americans for non-Natives and he has dedicated his life to this cause.



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