Grab the nearest book. Open it and go to the tenth
word. Do a Google Image Search of the word. Write about what the image brings
The book I opened is called Rez Life and is a non fiction book by David Treuer. It is about present day life on an Indian Reservation of the Ojibwe Tribe. And yes they call themselves INDIAN reservations – not Native American reservations. But that is a subject for another day. The book is in my TO READ stack so I will not be doing a book review here. Louise Erdrich’s intricately crafted novels are what led me to this book. And looking at it again today has inspired me again to read it so it may move to the top of the stack!
The tenth word of the main body of prose in the book had to go with the 11th as they were both capitalized. Those words were Red Lake. Upon “Googling” I found no images but a map.
The map shows an area in the far northwest corner of Minnesota. Brrrrr. That is what this image brings to mind. Brrrr and desolation. Of course I am from the south so the brrrr alone means desolation to me!
I am aware of and have done some reading about life on these reservations. I know that for the most part it is a hardscrabble life with all the dramas of life in any location and the added problems of poverty and hopelessness for many of the people. I do not mean in any way to profile the residents of this or any other reservation but I know that those characteristics exist for at least some of the inhabitants as it does for many people who live here in the big city as I do.
I have driven through a number of reservations in the Pacific Northwest so I wonder if this Red Lake site has the derelict houses and broken down cars that you see in those.
There is another reference to the term Red Lake on Google and not a happy one. It is of the Red Lake Massacre. My first thought was that the title referred to some early American Indian rousting. But alas, and sadly, it referred to a spree killing that occurred in 2005. I have no ready recollection of this event in the way I do Columbine or Oklahoma City. Why is that I wonder? Since it happened on a reservation was it not publicized or did the public just not care because it was “Native Americans”
Anyway the killer was a sixteen year old Ojibwe who killed his grandfather, who was a tribal police officer, and his grandfather’s girlfriend in their home and then drove his grandfather’s police vehicle to nearby Red Lake Senior High School where he also shot and killed 7 others with a Ruger .22 caliber pistol.
Much more to this story and many more stories about this Red Lake geographical area, the Red Lake reservation and Ojibwa life in general. I need to get busy reading.
I really liked this assignment. I may do more of this type exercise in the very near future – but let me see – now on page 1 of Rez Life…..