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Belcourt, North Dakota
Exploring Chippewa History and Culture Through Literature

The NEH-funded Louise Erdrich Reading Program offered faculty and students at Turtle Mountain Community College the opportunity to engage more deeply with Native American culture and heritage. An award-winning and prolific author, Louise Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. Her intricately-researched novels offer readers the chance to learn about the Band at the same time that they provide a foundation for literary discussions. For people who rarely see themselves represented in textbooks, Erdrich’s writing provides a unique opportunity to explore their past and present through the written word. The program helped establish the historical and cultural awareness critical to fulfilling the college’s mission to teach and preserve the Turtle Mountain Band’s history and culture.

“[The program] made us all think differently. We had the chance to sit down in an unusual situation. . . after having that experience we all felt more comfortable with each other. We’re more willing to share.”
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