A fresh perspective on anti-poaching
Historical Novel Society review of Native
It is ironic that it is only now, when I am faced with marketing my first novel, that I am forced to really think hard about why I wrote it. Yes, it’s an adventure, it’s a drama, and it’s a big bold story of the old American west, but actually when I analyse the motive for the book it’s much more simple.
Native is a story about the values of traditional American Indian culture and spirituality. That’s what I wanted to convey, and in doing so cause my readers to consider what has been lost in the name of progress.
Of course, the plot involves more than an articulation of the Lakota way of life, but this is because ones respect and understanding of the morality of Indian culture is only truly realised when juxtaposed with the ideals that inspired the actions of those who drove them from their ancestral lands.
At a time when the decisions that govern our world are determined by finance, power, and sectarianism in all its forms, it is worth reflecting upon a doctrine that was unconstrained by money, was centred upon reverence for the gifts provided by our ‘Mother Earth’ and considered it the responsibility of all to act in the best interests of the generations yet to come.
The Lakota, consistent with almost all American Indian tribes consider(ed) themselves ‘spiritual beings’, living a human existence. As such, they see themselves as equals to all things, the animal nations, the mountains, trees and rivers, and of course all other people placed on this earth by the ’Great Spirit’.
I have no idea how one reconciles the pressures of modern society with the values of the Lakota, but I can’t help feeling that we need to do everything we can to breathe new life into a cultural heritage that could teach us so much about how we could live better, more peaceful and valuable lives.
It is at this moment that I risk people glazing over at my idealism, hence Native - convey the message embedded in a story that is packed full of history, excitement and drama. For those who are inclined to hear the message, I hope that they may find the book thought provoking, but for those who are simply looking for an entertaining read, I hope equally that the novel hits the spot.