- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (March 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0803234627
- ISBN-13: 978-0803234628
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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So, How Long Have You Been Native?: Life as an Alaska Native Tour Guide Hardcover – March 1, 2015
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“With tremendous empathy, warm humor, and trained insight, Native scholar and ethnographer Alexis Bunten embedded herself for a summer season in her own [Alaska Native] people’s cultural tourism industry. After working as a tourist guide, she produced this absolutely original, insider’s journal on the difficult choices and behind-the-scenes debates over how to enlighten outsiders with limited attention spans while protecting the vulnerable, deep-seated beliefs and ritual practices and ever-evolving lifestyles of the local indigenous community. A case study of what small-scale, traditional societies are experiencing all around the world, this is a groundbreaking work and a riveting read.”—Peter Nabokov, author of Where the Lightning Strikes: The Lives of American Indian Sacred Places (Peter Nabokov 2014-09-16)
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She also did her fair share of white bashing and America bashing. Having a long history in Alaska I am very used to the white bashing but it gets old. she also mentions how it feels to be a "minority". Well, in most of the villages in Alaska, whites are in the minority. On page 159 she mentions the "massive genocide of millions (natives) that cleared the land that became America" Really? Where did she come up with that? Well, there was fighting on both sides if you study your history, and yes, the Natives were here first. Public sympathy has always been on the side of the Natives over the American Government. But please, enough white America bashing. Instead of thinking of all that was done against your ancestors, think of all the good that the white (taxpayer) has contributed.
On page 152 she complains about Columbus Day being a holiday. I agree. There are a lot of better things to celebrate. She recommended Indigenous People's Day. Her Yupik tribe celebrates Elizabeth Peratrovich Day in place of President's Day and in spite of her America bashing, Sitka celebrates Alaska Day on 10/18 every year celebrating the transfer of the Territory of Alaska to the United States.
Other than the white America bashing and the poor details there were parts of the book that were entertaining. I do have to say, tho, that after reading her book I would not take a tour with Sitka Tribes. I would go with the other group.