Angeline Boulley was born into story-telling people. As a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, she was first introduced to the art through generational oral tradition. Yet, during her childhood, Angeline struggled with her biracial indigenous identity. In searching for representation through the stories in books she was reading, she realized that the examples she found lacked depth and true experience.
It wasn’t until her mid forties that she realized she could write her own experience into existence. For nearly three decades, Angeline had mulled over a story idea, until she decided it was time to write this story. After another decade of working full-time (like really full time as a mom of three with a big-time DC job) and eeking out time to write, she debuted with her award-winning novel, “Firekeeper’s Daughter.” At 55, Angeline and her book won everything from the Printz Award to the Walter Award, and the book was even picked for an adaptation by the Obamas’ production company.
In this episode, Angeline explores her long journey to becoming an author and the themes in her latest work, “Warrior Girl Unearthed.” As she says, it is time for a reckoning with the inhumane treatment of indigenous people’s remains still not repatriated throughout the United States. She shares how writing about her relationship to her culture helped her uncover her true identity and her goal to provide younger generations with authentic ideas of indigenous culture.
For her reading challenge, Still Here, Angeline encourages readers to explore contemporary indigenous writers. While reading these modern stories, she challenges us to compare and contrast what has been taught previously about native cultures. I invite you to check it out, and for Beanstack clients, use the challenge on your site!
In this episode, we’re changing things up for our Beanstack featured librarian. In this ep, we give the mic to Lessa Kananiʻopua Pelayo-Lozada, the current American Library Association president, to share more about the upcoming ALA conference and exhibition.
Listen to the full episode, “Recovering Identity: Angeline Boulley Calls for a Reckoning” on Apple, Google, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you like what you hear, please leave a review, subscribe, and share with someone who will enjoy it.
Follow the podcast on Instagram @thereadingculturepod to see reels of our authors and librarians and to learn about our exciting upcoming giveaways! #readingculturefam (for life!)