#NotYourPrincess

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

I loved this book! The full review will be posted soon at kaitgoodwin.com/books! Thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity to connect books to their readers!
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Just as they did with Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices, Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale have once again created an anthology of Native American voices from Canada and the United States. This time, however, it is devoted to the voices of indigenous women only. For Charleyboy, this work is "a love letter to all young indigenous women trying to find their way, but also to help dispel those stereotypes so we can collectively move forward to a brighter future for all."

#NotYourPrincess is divided into four sections, all of which contain a collection of  poems, prose, art, and photographs by women and teens detailing some of the issues that have impacted their past, present and future as Native women.

In the first section, "The Ties That Bind," is about the ties to the past, recognizing a heritage and identity marred by the trauma and humiliations of the residence schools where Native children were taught to feel shame about who they are, and forced to assimilate to white society, or the shame felt at having everything taken by the government and wearing blankets in an attempt to protect themselves and to hide their shame. But, as Lianne Charlie (Tagé Cho Hudän) shows in her picture montage, #LittleSalmonWoman, Native women are their past but they are their present, too and it's in the present that things can change, accented by the last two entries of this section, In Her Words by Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe/Ojibwe) and Jen VanStrander  (Western Band of Cherokee).

The next section, "It Could Have Been Me," looks at the way victimization of indigenous women has always been perpetuated on Native women and those who now refuse to accept being victims and fight back. Even as young Native women are disappearing, are hurt and abused, actress Imalyn Cardinal (Cree/Dene) states flatly "I Don't Want to Be Afraid." And in "The Things We Taught Our Daughters," Helen Knott (DaneZaa/Cree) tackles domestic and sexual abuse and the way keeping silent was taught from generation to generation, and that now, it is time to speak up, to not accept this kind of treatment. As if in answer to Knott's is a poem by Patty Stonefish (Lakota) called "It Could Have Been Me" that ends with the word "I will not believe I am weak-/ I know I am indomitable./ I have the privilege of another day." I think this poem really shows the strength and the determination of young Native women refusing to be the victim anymore.

The third section, "I Am Not Your Princess," considers cultural appropriation in We Are Not a Costume by Jessica Deer (Mohawk) and the kind of erasure that happens when an indigenous person doesn't fit peoples preconceived ideas of what a Native person should look like, as in A Conversation with a Massage Therapist by Francine Cunningham (Cree/Métis), or the refusal to be stereotyped in Stereotype This by Melanie Fey (Diné), and What's There to Take Back? by Tiffany Midge (Hunkpapa Lakota) in response to a call for submissions about recreating Tiger Lily into "a real image of Indigenous womanhood."

Section four, "Pathfinders," looks at Native women who are forging a different, more positive present and future for themselves and their children. In the poem When I Have a Daughter, Ntawnis Piapot (Piapoy Cree Nation), tells her future daughter "Don't wait. Don't whine. Don't pine./  Go for it. Work for it. Earn it" even if it means being shunned and ostracized, have the courage to stand up and fight for justice. Which is exactly what 13-year-old Annalee Rain Yellowhammer (Hunkapapa, Standing Rock Sioux) did when she signed on to try and stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. In Defender of Mother Earth, this young activist writes "We demand 'rezpect' for out water, our land, and our voices. This is followed by photographs of successful Native athletes in Living Their Dreams. There are other successful women contributing to this section, but they point out that being a pathfinder isn't without obstacles and difficulties that must be overcome simply because they are Indigenous women. But these women have forge a path that celebrates their identity as strong, independent Native women following their dreams, leading the way for future generations.

#NotYourPrincess is not necessarily an easy book to read, but certainly one that should be read by Native and non-Native people, male and female. Native girls and women reading it will find a celebration of the multiple identities of their womanhood, of "taking control of how they and their traditions are seen" and of shattering stereotypes. It is impossible not to be affected by these contributions of different women, but it is also not an easy book to review. There is so much in the short one and two page offerings of women expressing themselves so freely, that just talking about it doesn't do justice to what is contained between the covers. My advice: Read #NotYourPrincess

Pair this with Dreaming in Indian for a more well-rounded though far from complete look at what it means to be Native in today's world.

This book is recommended for readers age 14+
This book was an EARC received from NetGalley
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This is a very powerful collection of stories from Native American Women.

These stories were in multiple different forms. There are poems, short stories, essays, as well as paintings, photographs, and drawings. One of the stories was in the form of a comic, and another looked like pages torn from a notebook. Each of them were different and used a different format.

There were a few pieces on the residential schools in Canada. For those that don’t know, the residential schools separated Native children from their parents, and raised them to be “white.” They removed their Indigenous culture from them, and refused to let them practice it. The women who wrote these stories are the children of the kids who were sent to residential schools. Though they didn’t witness it first hand, they have seen the pain that their parents still feel from their time spent there.

There was also an essay about how racist and harmful a Pocahontas costume is for Halloween. It represents more than just a character, even if the wearer means no harm. It is a costume but it represents a real person, who cannot take it off at the end of the night. People also think that Indigenous women need to look a certain way. There were a couple of pieces on not looking Indigenous enough, as if you can’t identify as a Native Woman if you have the wrong colour hair or skin. I find it crazy that people can think that, because they wouldn’t say that other cultures. For some reason people judge Indigenous people by what percentage of Native heritage they have in their genes,

I loved this collection of Native American Women’s voices.
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A powerful book. Important for the representation it provides and the authenticity of the voice. I will definitely be recommending for high school classrooms/libraries!
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This book was everything I thought it would be and then some. It's not just a novel, but a very clear cry from indigenous women that they are still very much present in modern America. From poets, to doctors, activists, to even sports players; indigenous women are far from the timid Disney princess that patriarchal America try to claim. These women, no, these survivors in every sense of the word, have learned not only how to cope with generational genocide and other issues, but they have also learned how to heal, fight back and make their voices heard. This collection of resistance, mixes prose and poetry, and even biographical data of some indigenous survivors. I will definitely be adding this to my permanent collection, and I am looking forward to more works from these women.
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I absolutely loved this - the art and text were beautiful and inspiring. I am planning on using this for a listicle soon, but I need a few more books to add before I'm able to put it up. When I do, it'll be on my Wordpress blog.
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This is truly a gorgeous collection of poetry, journal art, stories, and quotes from Native American women. There is much pain, and anger in the past and present for Native Americans as a whole entity - and even more so for Native American women. This book is a way for them to get some of that power back. 

Through their words, art, and history, these women are collecting what has been taken away from them. The imagery and the art shared with us in #NotYourPrincess is evidence of women refusing the cookie-cutter shape of the Pocahontas-tribal-princess trope in exchange of showing the reader who they really are. They are women who hurt, love, and are angry. There is much power in this book, and I encourage all people to read and appreciate the work and heart that went into its collection.
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I loved the mix of poetry, comics, interviews... and I learnt a lot from them. Also the contrast between the more positive stories and the heartbreaking ones was wonderful.
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#NotYourPrincess was both empowering and inspiring. I do wish it had been longer because I found myself wanting to read so much more. I also really loved all the artwork shown throughout. It would great if there was a sequel to this anthology.
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Loved this book and has shared my love on 8nstagram, will also be using it in my classroom
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Powerful and necessary. It's refreshing to see such a wide collection of writing by Native women.
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Not Your Princess was absolutely FILLED with incredible artwork from so many highly talented young women. Each page was showing off talent from girls that can write, draw, paint, photograph, and was telling their amazing stories. I look forward to reading and getting to immerse myself in more books like this that discuss and embrace cultures that are not as widely known and respected.
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It has taken me awhile to compose my thoughts for this, as there is a massive and complex cloud of them. This resonates with me so deeply, but how do you put this, exactly?
This project is a beautiful and intricate choir of voices, and yet sorrowful in that the core of all these women's writing is a cycle of injustice, loss and assimilation. As someone, like so many, that has become distanced in this way from their roots, these are very powerful and familiar.

"History moves like a fevered heat down through the arteries of generations."

I don't want to be too elaborate as I feel only reading it will truly do justice, and these will be different for everyone, but I also recommend for everyone.
Personal favourites are Jessica Deer's "Not a Costume", Shelby Lisk's "The Invisible Indians", "A Tale of Two Winonas" by Winona Linn, and Helen Knott's "The Things We Taught Our Daughters".
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An excellent (although a bit of a thrown together) collection of art, poetry and testimonials from Native American Women. 

Other than the hasty style of formatting and the # in the title, I loved this book. I felt that having # in the title indicated that the subject was something 'trendy' and one that the importance of would have an expiration date. Which it is not, and does not.

The content outweighs the packaging. Heartbreaking, inspiring, honest, and beautiful.
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Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review, etc.

An important edition to any library's nonfiction collection. The zine-like format makes it easily browse-able for teens and new adults.
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#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women

Release Date: September 12, 2017

Publisher: Annick Press

Trigger Warnings: violence, sexual assault, racism, violence against Native peoples

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads Summary: Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous women across North America resound in this book. In the same style as the best-selling Dreaming in Indian, #NotYourPrincess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, humiliation, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women making themselves heard and demanding change. Sometimes angry, often reflective, but always strong, the women in this book will give teen readers insight into the lives of women who, for so long, have been virtually invisible.

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My Review

I received this book as an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I don’t feel like I have a ton to say about this book. When I first saw this on Netgalley, I was super excited to see some native voices in literature. I really, really appreciated what this book was trying to do. However, the formatting of the book detracted so much from the anthology that I found it incredibly difficult to read. Most of the pages in the book had nothing but designs on them (not art made by the Native Women who created the book but literally just designs and borders on blank pages), which ended up really detracting from my reading experience.

In addition, the stories themselves, while I would say were generally pretty good, were not especially interesting, and there didn’t seem to be any kind of organization as I went through the book, so I kept getting confused as I moved from one piece to the next. I think this anthology would have worked a bit better if they’d organized it by either time or publication type (short stories, then poems, then art, etc).

Overall, I feel like this had a lot of potential, and I appreciated that we are highlighting Native Female voices in the literary community. However, the apparent lack of formatting really detracted from what the book was trying to highlight, and I came out of it feeling like I hadn’t really learned anything or gained anything from the story, because I’d been so distracted by the parts of the book that weren’t important. I’d love to read more anthologies and works like this, but with less focus on visual things and more focus on the actual works being produced.

-Sky
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What an amazing homage to Native Women! Mainstream depictions of native women tend to silence and objectify them - this book elevates the voices of indigenous women, showing them to be strong, revolutionary, and hilarious. It was so refreshing to read something like this, and I look forward to adding a print copy to my classroom bookshelf! The art, poetry, and prose are beautiful and thought-provoking. I highly recommend this book!
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*I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Actual rating: 4.5 stars
This was a very interesting anthology, combining interviews, comics, poetry and photographs to create a beautiful tableau of the hardships and triumphs of Indigenous women. The pieces were very relevant to current events, with several mentions to social media.This is only the second book I have read in my lifetime that accurately depicts this culture, and that is very sad. I feel that as we strive for diverse literature, there will hopefully be more works depicting Indigenous women in the future.  I praise the editors and authors immensely for putting this out into the world, and I hope the world answers back asking for more.
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#NotYourPrincess hit me hard, over and over again. 

Each piece within this book was compelling and so, so strong, while also showing the price that each woman had to pay for that strength. There are no words to describe how impactful this book is. If you haven't read it, you should, and if you have, you should read it again.

I am filled with admiration and respect for all of the women brave enough to share such personal work in this capacity.
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I'm not sure who this book is supposed to be for: there are some pieces that are more about generic ethnicity or feminist themes, but other pieces seemed like they were for an insider audience.  As a reader not from that culture, they didn't make sense, weren't clear, or didn't explain enough.  Perhaps the book is intended primarily for Native readers.
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