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An Indian Among Los Indígenas: A Native Travel Memoir
  • Price: $26.00
  • Hardcover
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Heyday Books
Pub Date: 2021
ISBN: 9781597145275
Ursula Pike
An Indian Among Los Indígenas: A Native Travel Memoir
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An Indian Among Los Indígenas: A Native Travel Memoir

by Ursula Pike

A gripping, witty memoir about indigeneity, travel, and colonialism

When she was twenty-five, Ursula Pike boarded a plane to Bolivia and began her term of service in the Peace Corps. A member of the Karuk Tribe, Pike sought to make meaningful connections with Indigenous people halfway around the world. But she arrived in La Paz with trepidation as well as excitement, "knowing I followed in the footsteps of Western colonizers and missionaries who had also claimed they were there to help." In the following two years, as a series of dramatic episodes brought that tension to boiling point, she began to ask: what does it mean to have experienced the effects of colonialism firsthand, and yet to risk becoming a colonizing force in turn?

An Indian among los Indígenas, Pike's memoir of this experience, upends a canon of travel memoirs that has historically been dominated by white writers. It is a sharp, honest, and unnerving examination of the shadows that colonial history casts over even the most well-intentioned attempts at cross-cultural aid. It is also the debut of an exceptionally astute writer with a mastery of deadpan wit. It signals a shift in travel writing that is long overdue.

"The Indigenous peoples Pike lived and worked with speak loudly from these pages, challenging many of us to check privileges we didn't know we had, demanding the right to be complex, strong, and human. This book is all heart, all vulnerability, as a young California Indian woman makes family far from home."-- Deborah Miranda, author of Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir