The Real Red Lake

A prettier picture of life on the reservation

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What is left to be said about the school shootings at Red Lake? Certainly, not nearly so much as will be, as politicians, reporters, and other assorted gasbags weigh in with somber pronouncements about the woes of the reservation. But if you are curious about the place itself (as opposed to the particulars of the recent horror there), beg, borrow or steal a copy of the book Red Lake Nation: Portraits of Ojibway Life. The collection of beautiful and intimate photographs--like the one below--taken by the late Minneapolis Tribune staffer Charles Brill, documents reservation life, mainly in the early 1970s. The images--of classrooms and moose hunts, of powwows and softball games, of funerals and feasts--reveal more about Red Lake than everything written or uttered in the past week.

 
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