Publication Date: April 29, 2022
What is at stake when our young people attempt to belong to a college environment that reflects a world that does not want them for who they are? In this compelling book, Navajo scholar Amanda Tachine takes a personal look at 10 Navajo teenagers, following their experiences during their last year in high school and into their first year in college. It is common to think of this life transition as a time for creating new connections to a campus community, but what if there are systemic mechanisms lurking in that community that hurt Native students’ chances of earning a degree? Tachine describes these mechanisms as systemic monsters and shows how campus environments can be sites of harm for Indigenous students due to factors that she terms monsters’ sense of belonging, namely assimilating, diminishing, harming the worldviews of those not rooted in White supremacy, heteropatriarchy, capitalism, racism, and Indigenous erasure. This book addresses the nature of those monsters and details the Indigenous weapons that students use to defeat them. Rooted in love, life, sacredness, and sovereignty, these weapons reawaken students’ presence and power.
Amanda R. Tachine is an assistant professor of higher and postsecondary education at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University.
“Tachine has come to this volume with a love, creativity of spirit, and dedication to Native students’ survivance that shines forth. Scholars and practitioners will have a lot to learn from these candid stories of intergenerational wisdom.”
—Eve L. Ewing, assistant professor, University of Chicago