“KILL THE INDIAN” by Christine Javid

Mahlon Sakima can’t stop watching his father’s thirty-year-old murder on video. His father’s political activism for the Ojibwe Nation got him assassinated on campus, while standing next to a Lincoln statue, and now a professor at the local college wants to write a book about him. She thinks his father was a hero, but Mahlon doesn’t trust her. He owns a dog kennel on the reservation and also worries about being Ojibwe enough. So he gives his dogs Ojibwe names and begins to open up to memories of his father, right before the killer’s parole hearing.When the professor reveals Joe Sakima’s secrets, Mahlon’s luminous image of his father is threatened. As the parole hearing draws near, Mahlon starts to unravel complicated feelings about his father, injustice, love and trust. His story is universal, yet at the same time it is specific to the experiences of indigenous peoples living on reservations in North America today. Kill the Indian, a multicultural novel complete at 87,000 words, looks at repressed grief, love, anger and loss through the larger tableau of historical trauma from lost lands and broken treaties still impacting Native Americans today. I am an academic editor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison working for ACS Journal of Organic Chemistry. A former Associated Press journalist, I was inspired to write my story in 2013 while listening to an Ojibwe attorney describe his upbringing at a conference. I have interviewed Ojibwe people, a Choctaw attorney, researched books and visited reservations in preparation for writing this book, written during the course of 2014 while attending Madison Writer’s Studio (Workshop Leader Susanna Daniel, author of Stiltsville and Sea Creatures). Thank you for your consideration. KILL-THE-INDIAN
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