Indian No More
When Regina's Umpqua tribe is legally terminated and her family must relocate from Oregon to Los Angeles, she goes on a quest to understand her identity as an Indian despite being so far from home.
Regina Petit's family has always been Umpqua, and living on the Grand Ronde Tribe's reservation is all ten-year-old Regina has ever known. Her biggest worry is that Sasquatch may actually exist out in the forest. But when the federal government enacts a law that says Regina's tribe no longer exists, Regina becomes Indian no more overnight--even though she lives with her tribe and practices tribal customs, and even though her ancestors were Indian for countless generations.
Now that they've been forced from their homeland, Regina's father signs the family up for the federal Indian Relocation Program and moves them to Los Angeles. Regina finds a whole new world in her neighborhood on 58th Place. She's never met kids of other races, and they've never met a real Indian. For the first time in her life, Regina comes face to face with the viciousness of racism, personally and toward her new friends.
Meanwhile, her father believes that if he works hard, their family will be treated just like white Americans. But it's not that easy. It's 1957 during the Civil Rights era, and the family struggles without their tribal community and land. At least Regina has her grandmother, Chich, and her stories. At least they are all together.
In this moving middle-grade novel drawing upon Umpqua author Charlene Willing McManis's own tribal history, Regina must find out: Who is Regina Petit? Is she Indian, American, or both? And will she and her family ever be okay?
The late CHARLENE WILLING MCMANIS (1953-2018) was born in Portland, Oregon and grew up in Los Angeles. She was of Umpqua tribal heritage and enrolled in the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Charlene served in the U.S. Navy and later received her Bachelor's degree in Native American Education. She lived with her family in Vermont and served on that state's Commission on Native American Affairs. In 2016, Charlene received a mentorship with award-winning poet and author Margarita Engle through We Need Diverse Books. That manuscript became this novel, which is based on her family's experiences after their tribe was terminated in 1954. She passed away in 2018, knowing that her friend Traci Sorell would complete the revisions Charlene was unable to finish.
TRACI SORELL writes fiction and nonfiction books as well as poems for children. Her lyrical story in verse, At the Mountain's Base, illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre (Kokila, 2019) celebrates the bonds of family and the history of history-making women pilots, including Millie Rexroat (Oglala Lakota). Her middle grade novel, Indian No More, with Charlene Willing McManis (Tu Books, 2019), explores the impact of federal termination and relocation policies on an Umpqua family in the 1950s. Traci's debut nonfiction picture book We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge, 2018), won a Sibert Honor, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Picture Book Honor and an Orbis Pictus Honor. It also received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, The Horn Book and Shelf Awareness. A former federal Indian law attorney and policy advocate, she is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and lives in northeastern Oklahoma where her tribe is located.
Winner of the 2020 American Indian Youth Literature Award for Best Middle Grade Book
- Global Read-Aloud Choices: Upper Elementary/Middle Grade
- Editors' Choices for Books for Youth, Booklist
- Best of the Best Books of 2019, Chicago Public Library
- Best Books of 2019, American Indians in Children's Literature
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