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The impetus for the seven-part Washington Post series on crimes—including domestic violence and sexual assault—against Native Americans in Alaska, Arizona, and the Dakotas came from conversations with criminal justice experts. Native Americans and Native American issues are invisible in this country. Horwitz persuaded her editors to let her do these stories, in part, by making the argument that they were about a compelling subject outside the usual Beltway bubble. More than a quarter of Native American woman have been the victims of rape or attempted rape and almost half have experienced some other sexual violence—slightly more than the average for women in the U.

Tribal courts can now try non-Natives for crimes of sexual violence thanks to the Violence Against Women Act. Covering the Native American community in depth requires resources that are in shorter and shorter supply—time, money, and patience. Newspapers rarely will give journalists months off for special projects. For many reporters, getting their news organizations to back ambitious stories about Native Americans is only half the battle. The other half, they say, is gaining the trust of their subjects—especially for white journalists who come to reservations as strangers. She started telling me all these different stories about the legacy of boarding schools and how that had led to so much sexual abuse on reservations.

Each story led to the next one. So why would you open up your home to a journalist or talk to them? Reporters from the outside have to find a trusted person who will advocate for them.

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In these circumstances, Burcum says, reporters from the outside have to find a trusted person on the reservation who will advocate for them. For Burcum, it was the school superintendent. People felt that they could talk to us. They spent hours at one school over five or six visits, each requiring a four-and-a-half-hour drive each way.

They stayed in a hotel on the reservation, part of a tribal casino, where they got to know the hotel staff. They made sure to eat at tribal restaurants and shop in tribal stores. They tipped well. Burcum even sometimes brought along the harp she plays. By being there and me having my crazy little personality quirks, we set ourselves apart. The series of editorials was published at the end of and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.

In response, the Minnesota legislature increased state funding for Native American education. Burcum testified before a congressional committee about the problems at reservation schools.

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John Kline, R-Minnesota and chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, visited one of the schools spotlighted by the series , and so did Burcum. The kids were glad to see me. The teachers stay in touch. Bram Stoker's Dracula: The most blood-thirsty novel in English literature?

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Cancel anytime. Learn more about Premium. Over time, more Indian people moved into the Meadows area, forming what is today the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe.

American Indian Stories by Zitkála-Šá

Such stories help children to know who they are and where they came from. The story shows the long history of the people and makes the bonds within the community stronger. Stories can also teach strength of character, as in the many fables morality tales using animals from the Cherokee of western North Carolina.


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One of these fables, told by Kathi Smith Littlejohn, describes how the opossum lost its tail. Back many years ago, the opossum had a very beautiful tail, but he loved his tail too much, not noticing that other animals had tails just as beautiful.

Native American Legends

The other animals didn't like how the opossum acted, so they decided to get rid of his tail. The opossum was chosen to be the lead dancer at the next dance, so he went to the cricket to get his tail made more beautiful. The cricket started to comb the opossum's tail, and the opossum fell asleep. As the opossum slept, the cricket shaved his tail and put a big bow on the end of it, telling the opossum to remove the bow at the dance, and the tail would be beautifully done. When the opossum started dancing, he removed the bow, and all the other animals laughed at what was now a very ugly, bony tail.

The opossum was so embarrassed that he rolled over and played dead. The story above offers a lesson. It indicates that conceitedness is not a good characteristic to have and that it will ham us if it continues.

Follow the Stories | Bismarck, North Dakota (2006)

Such stories are told purposely but are often dropped into the middle of a conversation so that a person will not be embarrassed by his or her behavior. Cherokee stories often discuss spirit beings called the Little People. Kathi Smith Littlejohn describes the Nunnehi as being like us but smaller. The Nunnehi help us, but they also play tricks on us, "so you'll laugh and keep young in your heart.

In the Lumbee community in Robeson County , many stories concern the legendary folk hero and outlaw Henry Berry Lowry. Lowry disappeared in , but many stories say that for years after his disappearance, Lowry would often be seen visiting friends or going to funerals. Because no one knows what became of Lowry although some say he was killed, and some say he just left the area , the stories of his appearances in the community make his legend even more impressive.

Throughout North Carolina's American Indian communities, stories are being told. Passed down from generation to generation, these stories serve to strengthen the bonds within the community. We hope that, through the stories of their elders and their own eyes on the world around them, North Carolina's American Indian people will continue to keep alive the old tales and to create new ones. At the time of this article's publication, Jefferson Currie worked as an assistant curator at the North Carolina Museum of History.

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