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On the Rez

In our book for this month, Ian Frazier recounts his experiences among modern-day American Indians, particularly the Ogalala Sioux living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Through his visits with his longtime friend, Le War Lance, an Ogalala Sioux, and others that he meets “on the rez," he paints an un-airbrushed picture of the landscapes, sounds, quirks and open warmth he encounters.

He also weaves in interesting pieces of Indian history and how Indians influenced and were influenced by those events. As he says, to some readers this picture of the rez may seem bleak amidst the alcoholism, unnecessary deaths and random beer cans or car bodies, but underneath through toughness and humor, he portrays the survival of a great people whose culture has shaped American history. This is an easy, yet thought-provoking, read.