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The People Shall Continue

Simon J. Ortiz and Sharol Graves

IR j970.00497 ORT in the Genealogy & Local History Library

Poet Simon J. Ortiz tells of the history of the Native/Indigenous peoples of North America from Creation to the invasion and usurpation of Native lands and beyond. Themes of collective resistance, resilience, and respect for the environment are very relevant to our current times.

Dr. Debbie Reese, on the website American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL) says, “His book, in short, offers a history of American Indians.” You can read her full review here: https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/2006/12/simon-ortizs-people-shall-continue.html

Established in 2006 by Dr. Debbie Reese of Nambé Pueblo, AICL provides a critical analysis of Indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books and is a great place to go if you’re looking for quality books and resources. AICL also offers a critique on which books to be wary of or avoid.

Lee and Low Books, the largest multicultural children’s book publisher in the country, also offers a Teacher’s Guide here: https://www.leeandlow.com/books/the-people-shall-continue/teachers_guide

Simon J. Ortiz is a Puebloan writer of the Acoma Pueblo tribe, and one of the key figures in the second wave of what has been called the Native American Renaissance. Ortiz has published many books of poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction, but The People Shall Continue is his only book for young readers. His writing focuses on modern people’s alienation from others, oneself, and one’s environment—urging humanity to reconnect with the wisdom of ancestral spirits and with Mother Earth. You can find more of his poetry here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/simon-j-ortiz

The People Shall Continue first came out in 1977, but we have the 2017 40th Anniversary Edition, which features new artwork by original illustrator Sharol Graves and a section about the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

Sharol Graves is a multimedia artist who studied art at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico during high school and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Mills College in Oakland, California. Her artwork has been shown throughout the U.S. since 1977. Her Native American Indian lineage includes Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee Tribe and Chief Peter Graves of the Red Lake Chippewa Tribe. She is a member of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe.