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please note:

this is a mixture of my lazy academic reviews and personal moments as a mama going through academia, and it is all my own opinion, and has absolutely no affiliation with anybody else

writings & ramblings

The Inconvenient Indian – Thomas King

from the publisher: “Thomas King offers a deeply knowing, darkly funny, unabashedly opinionated, and utterly unconventional account of Indian–White relations in North America since initial contact. Both timeless and timely, The Inconvenient Indian ultimately rejects the pessimism and cynicism with which Natives and Whites regard one another to chart a new and just way forward for Indians and non-Indians alike.”


I’ve read this book before, and I really enjoyed the storytelling style, similar to his work on The Truth About Stories. He is telling history in a way that he both remembers it, and from an indigenous perspective. By washing away the border, he acknowledges that while Indigenous rights and people have been treated differently by the governments, that’s not what matters, so much as is our experience and the sharing of it.

It’s not how they see us on our lands; it’s how we tell our stories and histories so we can remember how it really was.

I like how he points out key inconsistencies with the Pocahontas story – too many people still believe that shit Disney version – and how Indigenous and white people see land differently. This is a huge communication and perspective barrier (ummm hello #noDAPL) and it’s kind of chilling to read the part about how they took over Alcatraz, and then he slightly dismisses the young people of today – it’s haunting because of Standing Rock, and how people have been camped there for almost a year in protest. Young people, we just do it in a different way.


  • “Still, for me at least, writing a novel is buttering warm toast, while writing a history id herding porcupines with your elbows” (xii)
  • “Lately, Indians have become First Nations in Canada and Native Americans in the United States, but the fact of the matter is that there has never been a good collective noun because there never was a collective to begin with” (xiii)
  • “For most Aboriginal people, that line doesn’t exist. It’s a figure of someone else’s imagination” (xvi) – regarding country borders 
  • “Most of us think history is the past. It’s not. History is the stories we tell about the past. That’s all it is. Stories.” (3)
  • “Still, the story, false though I believe it to be, has been too appealing for North America to ignore. And we have dragged the damn thing – with it’s eroticism and exoticism, its White hero and dusky maiden – across the continent and the centuries” (9) – regarding Pocahontas and John Smith 
  • “Land, to the European mind, gave an individual station within society and was a certain source of wealth. Land could be bought, sold, and traded with more assurance than currency” (129)
  • “Retired Indians. That’s the key to a new occupation. Assault Alcatraz with senior citizens. Native Elders” (144) – regarding how to properly take over Alcatraz for the long term 
  • “Where are the warriors?” (151)
  • “The fact is, the primary was that Ottawa and Washington deal with Native people is to ignore us” (158)
  • “If the last five hundred years are any indication, what the Native people of North America do with the future should be very curious indeed” (266)

buy the book: The Inconvenient Indian 

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