Tribal Journey: Pathfinders

Overview

Jason's lucky to be alive, but life in a wheelchair was not in his plans. Even when he was protecting his mom and siblings from his drunken father or escaping from home to be with his friends, he never imagined his future in a wheelchair.

When reading a text message while driving, he is in a car accident that leaves him with a paralyzed leg. Jason sees himself only as a kid who will always be paralyzed, but when he becomes part of the Raven ...

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Overview

Jason's lucky to be alive, but life in a wheelchair was not in his plans. Even when he was protecting his mom and siblings from his drunken father or escaping from home to be with his friends, he never imagined his future in a wheelchair.

When reading a text message while driving, he is in a car accident that leaves him with a paralyzed leg. Jason sees himself only as a kid who will always be paralyzed, but when he becomes part of the Raven Canoe Family and learns to "pull" a canoe, his outlook on life begins to change.

After completing a two-week tribal canoe journey with his Duwamish tribal members, Jason is proud to be a Coast Salish Indian. From the hardships and camaraderie of the journey, he gains a new sense of courage and determination to someday swim and walk again.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sandra Eichelberger
After an accident leaves one of Jason's legs paralyzed, he begins a journey to find his heritage and becomes a key participant in his Native Duwamish Indian tradition—the Tribal Journey by canoe from his home in Seattle to the Cowichan tribe in Canada. Jason was never interested in his Native American roots until after the car accident left him disabled. At first depressed, he finds purpose initially through learning to help carve a canoe. Later he is invited to help "pull" on the canoe trip through Puget Sound and up to Canada—a two-week journey that changes his life. While the car crash that caused his injury was due to driving while using a cell phone, the author chooses not to dwell by sermonizing on the evils of distracted driving. Instead, the story focuses on the Indian traditions that were forbidden when non-Native politicians denied Native American rights. The feelings of heritage and healing through community are the real stories of the book. Jason embarks on a new phase of his life, gaining strength through working on a common goal and celebrating a revered Duwamish tradition he never knew existed. Robinson, of Native American descent, writes about Indian culture with respect and reverence. Readers will gain insight into the importance of tradition, song and ceremony in Native tribes. A quick read that should appeal to those who like to learn about different cultures, especially those living in or near Native American populations. Reviewer: Sandra Eichelberger
Kirkus Reviews
Helping to carve and then paddle a traditional canoe brings a disabled Seattle teenager back to his Salish roots. Paralyzed in one leg after a traffic accident (both he and the other driver were texting), Jason is gradually drawn out of his depression. This is effected first by the healer his Duwamish mother brings in, who tells him, "Your soul has been very far away from your body. I called it to come back to be with you again." Following this, he is invited to join in the creation of a cedar dugout for the annual gathering of Coast Salish tribes. Ugly early scenes with Jason's abusive German-American father--"A lot of people think all Indians are alcoholics. Not in my family"--seem shoehorned in, but they are mitigated later on. Jason's experiences in the canoe's ceremony-rich carving, naming and challenging 200-mile journey to Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island take center stage to spark both his acceptance of a place in the Native American community and his resolve to walk again. An uncomplicated tale of mirrored inner and outer journeys, welcome for its look at Native American characters in a modern context. (Fiction. 10-16)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781939053015
  • Publisher: 7th Generation
  • Publication date: 4/15/2013
  • Pages: 111
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Robinson, a writer and filmmaker of Cherokee and Choctaw descent, has spent twenty-five years working with American Indian communities to tell the stories of Native people. His previous works include From Warriors to Soldiers, which examines American Indians in the US military from the Revolutionary War to modern times, and The Language of Victory, the story of the American Indian code talkers of World War I and World War II. Robinson currently lives in the central California coast region.

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