Native American reservations have always fascinated me. I mean, outside police have no jurisdiction there, right? Do they have their own government and law enforcement? Do they have their own schools or do they send their kids to public schools? Can I work there even though I am extremely Polish? And don't even get me started on the casinos. I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS! Well, HAD so many questions, until I read Rez Life: An Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life by David Treuer.
The book centers on the life and history of the Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota which fits since this reservation and its citizens are what Treuer knows best. However, his discussions of Indian history and matters of treaties, court cases and the like as they pertain to his tribe and reservation are relevant to other tribes, considering U.S. Indian policy affects all tribes under its single rulings.
I don't know about you, but I had my assumptions about Indian reservations. For example, I can't keep thoughts of Pocahontas(because I'm five), and living off the land out of my brain when anyone even mentions them. I never pictured poverty, but there is so much of it. The memoir did not answer every ridiculous question I have on the subject, but it did give me insight into some history that has been ignored.