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Urban Tribes: Native Americans in the City

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Young, urban Natives powerfully show how their culture and values can surviveand enrichcity life.

Much of the popular discourse on Native Americans and Aboriginals focuses on reservation life. But the majority of Natives in North America live off the rez. How do they stay rooted to their culture? How do they connect with their community?

Urban Tribes offers unique insight
Paperback, 136 pages
Published September 22nd 2015 by Annick Press Ltd.
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Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, nonfiction
"The only way to counter the invisibility we often feel is to truly see others, and let them see us." -- Dr. Adrienne Keene
Indigenous peoples in contemporary culture tend to be exoticized, marginalized, or both. There's a pervasive sense that to "really" be Native American, you have to forswear all modern culture. As Lisa Charleyboy, one of the editors of Urban Tribes puts it:
"[We've] grown up being told that we can't really be Native if we are living a "modern" life in the city. There's this
I found Urban Tribes displayed on the shelf at my local library, the beautiful cover art standing out to me. I picked it up knowing that it would be the book I needed to read when I was much younger, and I was definitely right in that.

Urban Tribes is a beautifully put together work. It features interviews, essays, poetry, art, tweets from people in the aboriginal communities in the United States and Canada who reside in cities. It powerfully displays indigenous cultures in a modern light, and
Too many still think of Native American/First Nations/Indigenous persons as a something from the past. And I purposefully wrote something instead of someone because objectification is common too. Just look at the racist mascots that still exist!

So this book is important to me as a Native person. It's personal. I grew up in a city and went to urban public schools and even to a state university. But at all levels the ignorance was the same. It's easily forgiven from my childhood
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Last year, Charleyboy and Leatherdale gifted us with DREAMING IN INDIAN. This year they offer another terrific look at Native life. URBAN TRIBES.

Inside you'll find art, and stories, and poems written by Native people. There's joy, for example, in the photographs of actor Tatanka Means. You may have seen him in Tiger Eyes, the film adaptation of Judy Blume's story. Photographs of him in Urban Tribes include one of his dad, Russell Means, braiding his hair, and several of him holding a mic.

Mel Raschke
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very odd book. Hope to find something about our tribe Choctaw. Not a mention. Unusual considering they are one of the five civilized tribes.
Rich in Color
Most of our posts are focused on novels, so for this month we decided to take a little time with a different format for a change. A few of us were able to get review copies via Netgalley and will share some of our thoughts about Urban Tribes here.

Crystal: Lisa Charleyboy (Tsilhqotin from Tsi Del Del), one of the editors, explains, Were diverse in our opinions, lived experiences and points of cultural connection but similar in our desire for defining our identity and creating culturally safe
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Love you some Indians spoken word by Roanna Shebala was the best part of this book for me, otherwise it reads like bogger posts. A book written for young urban natives have a variety of voices a actress, I saw that movie (kind of dark), and some professionals, a motivational speaker, artists, and rappers, and students, I also like the section about Indian Alley in Los Angeles Shout out to the Julian Phoenix I saw you in this book. Overall kind of a coffee table sort of book not what I normally ...more
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have only been able to find this book in paperback, but would love to see it in hardcover. . . an incredible book that focuses on the preconceived judgements systemic to our society. The voice for our Indigenous youth has not been amped up high enough for the struggles to be heard. This book helps youth to understand the struggle of unfairness First Nation people go through.

In comparison to poorly represented black and Latino youth, our Indigenous youth are suffering the same lack of access to
This is a mixed bunch, birth literally and figuratively. I'm so glad that this book exists to give voice to to urban natives/aboriginals/preferred term. I particularly enjoyed the artwork and representation of a diverse set of Native Americans living in cities (age, tribal affiliation, careers), but I felt like it was heavily weighted toward a certain type of personality. In some sense, this makes sense, since the youth willing to participate and contribute to a book like this have ...more
Review copy: Digital ARC provided by publisher

This is another great collection from Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale. They have gathered together voices and artwork from many young people to share the diversity of urban Natives across Canada and the U.S.

I will write a more complete review later and we will have a book discussion over at Rich in Color in a few weeks too.
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really good book but wish had more of an Oklahoma representation. Very cool design and will appeal to the YA audience.
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-the-margins
Cover does not do it justice - some beautiful photography here.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful compilation of personal stories from Native American Teens, Young Adults, and College students living in the city. I love seeing books being written and available for our Native American Youth. Books with a Native American voice were not available when I was a teen. Sadly, as an adult, things have not changed, even among adults my age. I still face ignorance, prejudices, and racism. My children also face it as well.

This book is a great addition for Native American teens, especially
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This is so needed, so necessary. When kids come into the library looking for books about Indians, it is sometimes hard to convince them that Native people still exist, that they are not just a story from a history book. If they know that there are still Native and First Nation people, they think that they all live on reservations or in teepees. This is artistic and gorgeous and enlightening, particularly for the YA age group it is aimed at. Im glad it exists. ...more
Debbie Armbruster
Well put together and informative! A necessary addition to middle and high school library collections.
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I appreciate the stories from both Canada and the United States. Great anthology to bring into the middle-school and high-school classrooms.
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was an awesome read with so much power. It shakes your preconceived notions of what FNMI/Aboriginal people's experience in day to day life is like. Just amazing. So down to earth.
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous book in its art, photography and general layout - great nonfiction pick for teens.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
4.5 stars
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
As another reviewer said, I'm very glad this book exists and I think it was well done. It was awesome to see and learn about lots of different Indigenous Canadians, and I thought some of the art and poetry shared was especially beautiful and thought-provoking. Many of the essays, though, left me feeling like there could have been so much more beneath the surface for these people to share with the reader - more specific stories as opposed to a common-thread message of 'we're connected to our ...more
Saleena Davidson
Mar 31, 2016 rated it liked it
I wanted to read this to gain a better view of Native Americans who choose to live off the reservations and in an urban environment. It was an interesting book, though with so many stories in Canada, hard for an American to relate to as much (though the examples and life stories still resonate). I wish they had found a way to include more of a variety of cities & towns, but it was a very enlightening and interesting read nonetheless.
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
This compilation is a very quick read, but no less worthwhile for all that. The stories, struggles, and successes contained were enlightening, both in the traditional sense and literally, because they cast light upon subjects that are not as often acknowledged, let alone contemplated, as they should be.
Wonderful book that challenges preconceived notions about indigenous people. With content that includes interviews, tweets, art, personal essays, photography, poetry, and more, this is a powerful compilation that addresses cultures, identity, racism, and colonialism in First Nations people who do not live on reservations. Highly recommended.
Kira Brighton
Oct 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very humanizing.
This is another book that should be in every classroom library.
Ms. Yingling
For Cybils YANF.
Lilah Hillman
rated it liked it
Oct 14, 2016
R. G. Nairam
rated it really liked it
Jul 10, 2017
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Nov 25, 2016
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Dec 04, 2016
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