An Indigenous artist blends the aesthetics of punk rock with the traditional spiritual practices of the women in her lineage in this journey to reclaim her heritage and unleash her power and voice while searching for a permanent home.
... illuminates the stories and experiences of Indigenous women from the Pacific Northwest for a 21st-century audience. Red Paint offers a poetic narrative of trauma and healing through ancestral rites and punk rock, both of which prove to be potent medicine during LaPointe’s excavation of family legacy and matrilineal power ... For LaPointe, restoring the self to health is entwined with restoring Native women’s voices that have been erased throughout history. She uses her own luminescent voice to tell their stories, wielding language, words, ritual and community as tools of contemporary and ancestral healing.
In writing this book, LaPointe has given her audience a precious gift: a searing, fine-grained portrait of how centuries of cumulative historical trauma and neglect conspire to make it easy for indigenous girls to, quite simply, vanish into thin air ... is at its most moving when LaPointe explores the ghostliness of this state of internal exile experienced by Native American survivors. The natural beauty of her surroundings — the Cascade Mountains; the Skagit River, from whose banks her community gathers red clay for their ceremonial makeup; the sacred salmon and the salty ocean; the blackberries, pine trees, sword ferns, and pebbly beaches — form more than just the story’s backdrop.
... a vulnerable and luminous debut set against the backdrop of Coast Salish ancestral land ... LaPointe applies a punk rock aesthetic to her rich ancestral history ... raises interesting questions about how present-day nomadism, largely driven by following jobs, education or affordable housing, differs from ancestral nomadism where LaPointe’s ancestors traveled the Skagit River and surrounding land following salmon, ripening berries and other forms of sustenance.