‘Neither Wolf Nor Dog’ Author Comes to Sioux Falls
The One Book South Dakota program has been broadening our literary and cultural horizons for sixteen years now and 2019 is no exception. The program encourages South Dakotans to read one chosen book and discuss it throughout the year.
This year's book selection has a particularly strong resonance in our state given our Native American population and our understanding or lack thereof, of its importance to us all.
Neither Wolf Nor Dog, by Minnesota author Kent Nerburn was inspired by his work on the Red Lake Ojibwe reservation with students compiling tribal elders' memories. In this award-winning, novelization of those experiences, Nerburn strives to bring a deeper understanding of native wisdom and practices to those of us with none.
Neither Wolf Nor Dog tells the story of three men, two native and one non-native on a journey, of exploration, discovery, and self-realization, while trying to find common ground and understanding.
The book was turned in to a motion picture in 2016 by Scottish filmmaker Steven Lewis Simpson and was filmed here in South Dakota.
The title comes from a quote by Sitting Bull, a great Lakota chief, and leader, who said, "I do not wish to be shut up in a corral. All agency Indians I have seen were worthless. They are neither red warriors nor white farmers. They are neither wolf nor dog."
The story weaves divergent philosophies, histories and human perceptions of both, into a rich tapestry that is beautiful to look at, but still difficult to perceive how it was made. Native American and white cultures may always walk different paths, but this book strives to bring those trails closer together.
Kent Nerburn will be here in Sioux Falls on Friday, June 14, from noon to 1:30 PM at the Downtown Library (200 North Dakota Avenue) to discuss his book and share thoughts on race relations and cultural acceptance.