NOT WATER OVER THE DAM BY LARRY JORGENSON
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The dams on the Missouri River did more than take away Indian bottom lands, for tribal cultures were disrupted and lives forever changed. A young Lakota’s quest to heed his grandmother’s vision and seek revenge against the white man for the dams, becomes entangled in white man racism and legal system injustice. The miscarriage of justice leads to a murder and to an eco- terrorist plot that bring together a white girl and the young Lakota. With the help of a white lawyer and the FBI, Charlie Red Tail and Johanna Johnson take mystery to a strange conclusion that is hidden in the world of crime and in an unexpected place.
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Charlie became somewhat hardened from being in prison. When he was released, he was uncertain of what to do, had little money, and continued to live with the challenging obligation his grandmother had given to him. He soon drifted from Indian bar to Indian bar and perpetuated on the outside the lonely existence he had inside the prison. However, his mind always returned to his last moments with his dying grandmother. As a survivor of the earth’s rape and of society’s injustice, he with the name of the hawk one night bit his lip as his heart searched for answers in his life. The blood from his lip stained his wool shirt but provided a clear vision of justice. Charlie Red Tail knew what had to be done. He lifted his hands to the sky and prayed to the Great Spirit for wisdom and how to handle the bitterness in his heart. Charlie wanted to believe the Great Spirit would answer him, as it had when the steel door finally swung open and he walked free of the false accusation of the white man. Charlie learned in prison of helpful contacts in the world of crime and gained a certain mindset for dispensing revenge for the many wrongs his people suffered. Thus, when he left the white man’s hell-hole, he had fixed firmly in his mind what needed to be done to fulfill his grandmother’s vision. When the “steel door” opened, Charlie Red Tail had a plan. Now, in this time of freedom, Charlie Red Tail could again hear blasting in his ears the bone-chilling slam of the steel door to a cell at the maximum-security prison that forced him as an innocent, naïve boy of eighteen into the sad, threatening world of prison life and starkly fearsome inhabitants. He paused for some time in deep thought, his heart full of grief and hatred for what had been taken from him. As he stood at the dam, forlorn and looking to the Great Spirit, Charlie Red Tail relived the injustice done to him in the supremacist white man’s court when he was sentenced to four years in white man’s prison for the crime of rape, a crime he did not commit, but of which he was convicted on the false testimony and lies of a ranching family who lived near the reservation. The young Lakota Indian stuffed away the past wrongs, at least for now, and focused on the task at hand. It was July 5th, 1985. The twenty-four-year-old stood at the foot of the earthen dam on the historically life-giving river and cried. He dug until he was finished, placed the leather pouch given him by his grandmother just before drawing her last breath, and carefully put back the disturbed black dirt. Black dirt stands for death, and a black stone, stands for revenge, according to his learning. He placed a black obsidian stone on the black dirt at the foot of the dam.
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NOT WATER OVER THE DAM NOMINATED FOR 24TH ANNUAL COLORADO INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION EVVY AWARDS
Outskirts Press has officially nominated Not Water Over the Dam for the 24th Annual Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Awards.
The publisher of the book has advised that "Fewer than 5% of the books Outskirts Press publishes each year are nominated, so this is truly a testament to your work...we nominated just over 100 authors and you are one of them!”
According to CIPA's website: "The CIPA EVVYs is one of the longest-running book award competitions on the Indie publishing scene, running for nearly 25 years. The annual contest is sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA), along with the CIPA Education and Literacy Foundation (ELF).”
“Easy read. Authors background and research reflected in writing."
BOB, VERIFIED AMAZON PURCHASE, ACTUAL REVIEW
“A well written book with great story lines and characters. Interesting background of American Indian culture. It keeps you guessing until the end."
BONNIE, VERIFIED AMAZON PURCHASE, ACTUAL REVIEW
“I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Several plots that intertwine connecting all the elements that make a great story. Easy to read and follow. Hard to put down. Loved it!"
LIZ, AMAZON, ACTUAL REVIEW
"The author captured a likely scenario partially prompted by the taking of land for the dams on the Missouri River in SD. The twists and turns by the principals was interesting and kept me interested in reading the next chapter just to see what happened with "the couple."
LEWAYNE, VERIFIED AMAZON PURCHASE, ACTUAL REVIEW
"Interesting dialogue concerning White/Native American conflict. Native Americans are our most neglected and forgotten minorities."
BRUCE, VERIFIED AMAZON PURCHASE, ACTUAL REVIEW
"Historical novels are my favorite, and this one is well researched with a compelling story. Definitely worth reading -- you'll be roped in by the colorful characters."
LINDA, AMAZON, ACTUAL REVIEW
I would like to thank Michael L. Lawson for his work Dammed Indians Revisited. His writing on the subject of the Pick-Sloan dams on the Missouri River is not fiction, but historical and wonderfully researched and written.