If the book is a reminder of all our nation’s misdeeds against the country’s original inhabitants, it is also a call to action. In each chapter, Dorgan presents a problem faced by Native Americans that seems intractable and then offers examples of individuals or tribes that have succeeded despite the enormous challenges. The statistics in some cases are breathtakingly daunting ... Those depressing numbers, affecting every aspect of Indian life, can feel overwhelming. Dorgan does his best to alleviate despair by telling readers about the many Indian men, women and children who are working to address them.
Dorgan uses Tamara’s sad story as the vehicle to explore the history of America’s treatment of its Native population, from broken treaties and lost homelands to extreme poverty and lack of educational opportunities. He isn’t without hope, citing numerous examples of young Native healthcare workers, educators, and lawyers already having an impact on public policy. But he also wants to inspire readers to address the needs of 'pockets of people living in third-world conditions.'
... a compassionate account of the difficult life of one American Indian woman, from her lost childhood on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to homelessness in the Twin Cities. Through her, Byron Dorgan indicts America’s historic mistreatment of Indians.
A sober and sobering testimonial about the devastating consequences of the United States government’s broken promises to the Native American community ... The text is well organized, balancing personal anecdotes with history and hard data. Many of the statistics, though, lack citations that would further bolster the author’s credibility among skeptics. Dorgan confronts difficult realities with unblinking sensitivity and an infusion of hope. Policy change is his undisguised intention, so the authorial voice is that of a politician persuading his constituency ... Simultaneously appalling and optimistic, this book will enlist many sympathetic readers to the cause of Native rights.
... poignant ... Dorgan uses the harrowing details of Tamara’s life story—which includes sexual abuse, homelessness, untreated PTSD, and attempted suicide—to put a human face on the plight of indigenous Americans in general ... Dorgan’s plea for change serves as an informative and moving introduction to a great injustice.