In myriad ways, each narrator’s life has been shaped by loss, injustice, and resilience—and by the struggle of how to share space with settler nations whose essential aim is to take all that is Indigenous.
Hear from Jasilyn Charger, one of the first five people to set up camp at Standing Rock, which kickstarted a movement of Water Protectors that roused the world; Gladys Radek, a survivor of sexual violence whose niece disappeared along Canada’s Highway of Tears, who became a family advocate for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls; and Marian Naranjo, herself the subject of a secret radiation test while in high school, who went on to drive Santa Clara Pueblo toward compiling an environmental impact statement on the consequences of living next to Los Alamos National Laboratory. Theirs are stories among many of the ongoing contemporary struggles to preserve Native lands and lives—and of how we go home.
“This edited collection offers deep, experiential dives into law, policy, and life for contemporary Indigenous peoples in what is now the United States and Canada. These conversations and life histories, taken together, tell us a critical story of the effort it takes to live and transform structures that Indigenous peoples inherit and push against in bids for dignity, sovereignty, care, and justice in the twenty-first century.” —Audra Simpson (Kahnawà:ke Mohawk), professor of anthropology, Columbia University
“This extraordinary book powerfully conveys both the cruel, ongoing dispossession of the Indigenous peoples of North America and their astounding spiritual wealth and resilience. How We Go Home introduces this complex history organically, through riveting and varied first-person stories skillfully woven into a larger tale. All those who seek to create a more just and sustainable way of living should be grateful for the essential wisdom shared in these oral histories.”—Amy Starecheski, director of the Columbia University Oral History MA Program
“Sara Sinclair’s editorial vision in How We Go Home: Voices from Indigenous North America is both radically inclusive and extraordinarily caring. There are so many deep histories here that we need to talk about, that we haven’t been talking enough about. How We Go Home requires us to genuinely hear and listen to the stories and the histories that have shaped Indigenous lives across North America. All of these stories resonated with me in an intimate and personal way—it’s at times both comforting and alarming to read about so many diverging life experiences that so often strike parallels with my own. How We Go Home: Voices from Indigenous North America is an astounding achievement and a deeply necessary book that creates space for a multiplicity of Indigenous lived experiences.”—Jordan Abel, author of Nishga
“How We Go Home is a testament to modern-day Indigenous revitalization, often in the face of the direst of circumstances. Told as firsthand accounts on the frontlines of resistance and resurgence, these life stories inspire and remind that Indigenous life is all about building a community through the gifts we offer and the stories we tell.” — Niigaan Sinclair, associate professor, Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba and columnist, Winnipeg Free Press
“The voices of How We Go Home are singing a chorus of love and belonging alongside the heat of resistance, and the sound of Indigenous life joyfully dances off these pages.”—Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of As We Have Always Done
“This book will inspire you, it’ll piss you off; it’ll take you on a journey of ugly things and beautiful things and back again. It’s a hell of a read. Keep this one on your shelf and never let it go. Damn right.”—Simon Moya-Smith (Oglala Lakota and Chicano), writer, NBC News THINK
"How We Go Home confirms that we all have stories. These stories teach us history, morality, identity, connection, empathy, understanding, and self-awareness. We hear the stories of our ancestors and they tell us who we are. We hear the stories of our heroes and they tell us what we can be."—Honourable Senator Murray Sinclair
“In this continent, oral history began with the creation and retelling of the rich, multilayered, and historical origin stories of Indigenous people whose lives were intricately bound to the land. The destruction and stealing of that land, and the systematic and highly personalized violence targeted against so many Indigenous communities, threatened the very act of storytelling itself. This book took my breath away, and then restored it. It refuses silence. It restores the word—and the field of oral history in unleashing the story of our origins.”—Mary Marshall Clark, Director, Columbia Center for Oral History