Cops don’t respond to calls on Stag Hill. Neither does the fire department. The Ramapough Lenape, a destabilized people—origins uncertain, debated and mythologized—are struggling to survive in the face of an ecological devastation visited upon them by the neighboring Ford plant, which has dumped paint sludge in abandoned mines for decades. The EPA hasn’t delivered on its promise of a cleanup, and the woods in which they hunt and play are toxic.
Exley DeGroat is an apathetic Ramapough teenager trying to define himself and his people, wrestling with the revenants of his past and the horrors of his present. Mixedbloods is a story of identity, of a cultural history under attack, and destructive—often violent—behavior. It documents a class struggle between the rich and poor, but also between the organic and the inorganic, and thus between the forces of life and the forces of death.