The economic piece is still missing, since it's so hard to attract industry to reservations, but spiritually and educationally, they're doing just fine. Each tribe has a community college now, and they teach the language, they teach the traditions.
Before, Indian people had been so defeated, they were always looking for outsiders, for the government, to somehow come in and fix things. But now, they seem to realize that they're the only ones who can save themselves.
I used to object to being called an Indian writer, and would always say I was a writer who happened to be an Indian, and who happened to write about Indians.
The townspeople outside the reservations had a very superior attitude toward Indians, which was kind of funny, because they weren't very wealthy; they were on the fringes of society themselves.
To receive this award from an organization I admire so much makes me totally happy and grateful.
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