Sherman Alexie has made a career as a novelist, poet, filmmaker, and thorn in the side of white liberalism since his first book of poetry, The Business of Fancydancing was published in 1992.

He is a Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian and grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington, about 50 miles NW of Spokane.

Alexie was born with water on the brain and was not expectd to live more that a few years. Being stubborn, both in word and in life, Sherman lived though his early quality of life was tarnished by bouts of seizure and uncontrollable bed wetting. Luckily, he outgrew those childhood aliments and showed much creative promise as a young boy.

As a teen, Alexie decided not to attend the reservation school, believing he would receive an inadequate education. He instead took classes at an all-white public school in nearby Reardon,WA. According to his official website, "he was "the only Indian...except for the school mascot." There he excelled academically and became a star player on the basketball team.

Early dreams of beoming a doctor fell to the wayside after Alexie discovered his dislike for blood. He was encouraged to write by a professor. After graduating from Washington State University, Alexie won two literary fellowships and a year later saw Fancydancing published. The book was an immediate success and I Would Steal Horses was published soon after. Alexie was encouraged by his success and gave up drinking alcohol for good.

He continued to write prolifically (14 books to date) about Native Americans of all walks of life and has won numerous awards. In 1998 one of his short stories became the basis for the independant movie "Smoke Signals."

From Inside Dachau by Sherman Alexie

4. the american indian holocaust museum
What do we indigenous people want from our country?
We stand over mass graves.
Our collective grief makes us numb.
We are waiting for the construction of our museum.
We too could stack the shoes of our dead and fill a city
to its thirteenth floor.
What did you expect us to become?
What do we indigenous people want from our country?
We are waiting for the construction of our museum.

We are the great-grandchildren of Sand Creek and Wounded Knee.
We are the veterans of the Indian wars.
We are the sons and daughters of the walking dead.
We have lost everyone.
What do we indigenous people want from our country?
We stand over mass graves.
Our collective grief makes us numb.
We are waiting for the construction of our museum.

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