Diving For Pearls

Online writers' resources by Ingrid Bruck


Ingrid Bruck is an editor at Between These Shores.  She was a featured writer in BTSA Issue #2. Her column is devoted to online writer resources. She found her own writer support community online. Writing this column is one way of "paying it forward". 

Diving for Pearls: Online Writers Resources

BTS Books strives to be a writers resource. Toward that end, we invite writers to share their information, link, and news of interest for the literary community. 

Email your pearls of resources for writers to:

Ingrid Bruck, Network and Resource Editor



August 2022

Online Resources about Native Americans for Writers


Political sensitivities and definitions of what is socially appropriate change over time. The Pope’s recent visit to discuss residential schools in Canada is a prime example. For those interested, follow this link to the news story of  Pope Francis’s current visit to Canada:  https://www.politico.com/news/2022/07/29/pope-apology-canada-indigenous-people-00048642


The country of Canada has entered a period of reassessment of the devastating results on Native American from colonial conquest. When colonialists first invaded and defeated native tribes, the conquerers assumed political and legal control of the land and resources. Post-conquest, the original inhabitants were outright killed or at best displaced to the least valuable land and resources, all while the colonizer grew stronger. Modern Canada has reached that ‘safe’ point in political history—they have consolidated control. Native Americans in Canada pose no real threat to the power structure or dominance of the invader. 


As in the United States, Native American children in Canada were taken from their parents, forced to live in residential schools, trained in European culture and European language. This news story about reparation for damages to Native Americans reveals a current political correctness shift and a new openness to discussion. A renewed sense of moral responsibility is also evident in the United States at present, as well as other colonizers.  


Where does a writer with a social conscience go to re-learn the colonization story of Native Americans from the viewpoint of the oppressed (instead of the victor)?  People who read turn to Native American literature to discover the facts from the source. The  literary marketplace and libraries hold a reservoir of information, it’s a place to search for books and articles that preserve and retell the colonization story from the native person’s viewpoint.


Native American Literature - online literature resources

Search: poetry, oral stories and biography.


            Poetry. Native American poetry envisions a good life that complements the natural world. Past-Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo exemplifies this poetic trend to seek consolation and wholeness through communion with nature.  For an overview of Harjo’s poetry and work, go to poets.org  https://poets.org/search?combine=joy%20harjo


Other Native American poet links at Poets.org:

Christy Passion (Native Hawaiian). https://poets.org/poet/christy-passion

Michael Wasson (Nez Perce).  https://poets.org/poet/michael-wasson

Gwen Westerman Dakota).  https://poets.org/poet/gwen-westerman


            Oral Stories. Oral Tradition in Native America, Winged Messenger Nations: Birds in American Indian Oral Tradition, Native Educational Endeavors, Inc., South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks, Black Hills State University.https://nativeede.wixsite.com/wingedmessenger/oral-tradition-in-native-america


Native American Oral Literatures, by Timothy Powell, Oxford Bibliographies:https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199827251/obo-9780199827251-0070.xml


Mythology & Oral Traditions - Native American & Indigenous Studies, Rebecca Crown Library, River Forest, IL 60305:  https://research.dom.edu/c.php?g=1098125&p=8108193


            Biography.  See Wikipedia’s Native American Literature for a list of tribal authors.  Example of Native America life stories: Sarah Winnemucca (Paiute) wrote about her tribe's first interactions with European Americans in Life Among the Paiutes. Or John Rollin Ridge (Cherokee) wrote, The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta, about the infamous California bandit.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_literature


Native American artifacts and collections in Museums and Online Virtual Collections.

Search: Native American Art, Dance, and History


            North & South American Native Americans - The Smithsonian Museum features North, Central and South Native American Indian History, Art and Dance at two museum locations: New York, New York & Washington, DC.  This museum hosts twelve online exhibitions. Some examples: Poetry, Inka Road, Day of the Dead, Trail of Tears, Wampum.  https://americanindian.si.edu/online-resources/exhibition-websites


            National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, Mexico:  The largest collection of ancient Mexican art. See a virtual exhibition of the archaeology and history of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic heritage. 23 exhibit rooms filled with ancient indigenous artifacts, including many from Pre-Columbian, Aztec and Mayan civilization.


NAIS: Native American & Indigenous Studies Association.  NAIS is an international advocate for indigenous people and Native Americans.  They publish a research journal with an interdisciplinary approach to the study of  Native American & indigenous issues and communities. https://naisa.org


Best wishes to write well in August 2022!  

Young Businesswoman
Sketching Pencils
Vintage Home Decor