Minnesota Writers Week: Anton Treuer

'Everything You Wanted To Know About Indians'
'Everything You Wanted To Know About Indians But Were Afraid To Ask' by Anton Treuer
Book cover courtesy of publisher

Anton Treuer knows you have questions. He also knows talking about Native American stereotypes can be hard for some people.

With his book "Everything You Wanted To Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask," Treuer digs into a range of topics in an effort to spark an open discussion. Why do many Native American men wear their hair long? What's wrong with Native American-inspired mascots? Is saying "Indian" politically incorrect?

Treuer is the author of 13 books, many of which discuss the history and the modern experience of Native Americans. He grew up on the Leech Lake Ojibwe Reservation in northern Minnesota.

Treuer talked about his reasons for writing "Everything You Wanted To Know," in an interview with NPR's Michel Martin:

I grew up in Bemidji, Minnesota, which is located right in between the three largest reservations in the state. And I guess like many, you know, children in a small rural area, you know, simply wanted to go any place that had a zip code with a higher population density than the one I came from.

But I also wanted to escape the sometimes tangled borderland of racial misunderstandings and thought I'd escape from it all. And when I ended up at Princeton University, I thought, you know, these kids are some of the best educated in the country. They'll know a lot more about all kinds of diversity issues.

And when I got there, you know, the first question was, where's your tomahawk? And I quickly realized that that, you know, borderland was following me everywhere I went.

Treuer joins The Daily Circuit for Minnesota Writers Week, a week of interviews with local writers working today.

MPR News is Member Supported

What does that mean? The news, analysis and community conversation found here is funded by donations from individuals. Make a gift of any amount today to support this resource for everyone.