Indian No More

by Charlene Willing McManis and Traci Sorell

When the government strips the Grand Ronde in Oregon, comprised of multiple Northwest... read more

When the government strips the Grand Ronde in Oregon, comprised of multiple Northwest Native nations, of their federally recognized Indian status, Regina Petit and her Umpqua family move to Los Angeles. Biracial (Umpqua/ white Portuguese) Regina, 10, and her little sister, Peewee, are soon playing with kids in the neighborhood but find even their closest new friends, African American siblings Keith and Addie, think the Hollywood version of Indians is real. Regina’s frustration sometimes has her wishing she could just go along— why not dress up as Tonto for Halloween? Regina’s optimistic dad has gotten a good job and they are transforming their rundown house into a cozy home, but his positive outlook begins to unravel in the face of discrimination. Traditional tales and family history shared by her grandmother, Chich, help Regina feel comforted. So, too, does realizing that her Indian identity has been shaped by her family and Native community; it doesn’t come from outsiders. Regina’s compelling, engaging voice is honest and childlike in a novel based on author McManis’s family history. Set in the mid–1950s, Regina’s story speaks of resilience, even as the racism faced by Native children and children of color it reveals still resonates today. End matter includes McManis’s childhood photos, and information about government termination of tribes from the 1940s to 1960s (the Grand Ronde were reinstated in 1983), and the Indian Relocation Act of 1956. (Ages 9–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

show less