New book from NMU explores Native experience

A new book has been published by Northern Michigan University, which explores the modern American Indian experience in the Great Lakes region. It's a joint project of the university's Center for Native American Studies, and the NMU Press, and was funded by a $15,000 grant from the Michigan Humanities Council.

Professor Grace Chaillier coordinated the book, an anthology of work from contributors across the state and nation, titled Voice on the Water: Great Lakes Native America Now. Chaillier's goal for the book is to reach student audiences as well as readers with an interest in modern Native cultures.

"We wanted this book to appeal to a broad audience and our hope is that it will also be used as a textbook from the junior high level through college," says Chaillier. "Indians in general are not very well known as contemporary people in American society. If you ask students to draw depictions of them, it's usually with tee-pees, bows and arrows and other images from the past. We want to introduce ourselves as Indian people, but also as contemporary Michigan residents so our Michigan neighbors will know us better."

More than 200 works were submitted for consideration in the book, which includes poetry, short stories, essays, photographs and artwork, as well as a glossary of terms and contributor biographies. Eighty-eight pieces are published in the 304-page paperback book, selected by a committee including scholars, authors and elders.

The contributors include many NMU students from all over the region, professors and teachers, writers and artists, and community members from several tribes.

Voice on the Water is available for purchase at the NMU Bookstore or through Partners Book Distributing.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Grace Chaillier, Northern Michigan University

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