Milkweed Editions Becoming Little Shell: A Landless Indian's Journey Home Milkweed Editions Becoming Little Shell: A Landless Indian's Journey Home
Milkweed Editions Becoming Little Shell: A Landless Indian's Journey Home Milkweed Editions Becoming Little Shell: A Landless Indian's Journey Home

Becoming Little Shell: A Landless Indian's Journey Home

By Chris La Tray

$28.00

Publication Date: August 20, 2024

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“Nothing less than the history of a people in the form of an absorbing and emotionally searing memoir.”—David Treuer, author of The Heartbeat of Wounded KneeGrowing up in Montana, Chris La Tray always identified as Indian. While the representation of Indigenous people was mostly limited to racist depictions in toys and television shows, and despite the fact that his father fiercely denied any connection, he found Indians alluring, often recalling his grandmother’s consistent mention of their Chippewa heritage.When La Tray attended his grandfather’s funeral as a young man, he finally found himself surrounded by relatives who obviously were Indigenous. “Who were they?” he wondered, and “Why was I never allowed to know them?” Embarking on a deeply personal and revealing journey into his family’s past, he discovers a larger story of the complicated history of Indigenous communities—and the devastating effects of colonialism that continue to ripple through surviving generations. Combining diligent research and compelling conversations with Indigenous authors, activists, elders, and historians, La Tray follows a trail deep into the heart of his community—and himself. And as he comes to embrace his full identity, he eventually seeks enrollment with the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians, joining their 158-year-long struggle for federal recognition.Both personal and historical, Becoming Little Shell is a testament to the power of storytelling, to family and legacy, and to finding home. Infused with candor, heart, wisdom, and an abiding love for a place and a people, Chris La Tray’s remarkable journey—and the journey of his tribe—is both revelatory and redemptive.

About the Author

Chris La Tray is a Métis storyteller, a descendent of the Pembina Band of the mighty Red River of the North, and an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians, he is also the author of One-Sentence Journal: Short Poems and Essays from the World at Large, which won the 2018 Montana Book Award and a 2019 High Plains Book Award, as well as Descended from a Travel-Worn Satchel, a collection of haiku and haibun poetry. La Tray is the Montana Poet Laureate for 2023–2025 and a former bookseller at Fact & Fiction. He writes the weekly newsletter “An Irritable Métis” and lives near Frenchtown, Montana.

Format: Hardcover

Length: 320 pages

Publisher: Milkweed Editions

Publication Date: August 20, 2024

ISBN: 9781571313980

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