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Ka’m-t’em: A Journey Toward Healing

Dr. Kishan Lara-Cooper & Walter J. Lara Sr. 

“Throughout the book there is a beautiful poetry of resistance and renewal that rings in each essay, echoing a renaissance of hope and transformation” – Michael Yellowbird (Fargo, North Dakota)

K’am-te’m: A Journey toward Healing, co-edited by Dr. Kishan Lara-Cooper and Walter Lara Sr., incorporates the testimonials of 26 California Indigenous leaders of all ages and backgrounds. Ka’m-t’em translates in the Yurok language as a basket that holds the treasures of Indigenous people. As such, this book shares unique concepts of balance and harmony with the human, natural, and spiritual elements of the world. 

This book presents Indigenous testimonials of resistance, renewal, advocacy, resilience, beauty, and awakening. For example, a lead plaintiff in Lyng v. NICPA, a case that went to the Supreme Court, shares in-depth Indigenous knowledge and “behind the scenes” influences of the case; a fluent Tolowa speaker describes the impact of colonial education on language loss and his personal journey as a first-language English speaker learning to speak his heritage language; and a regalia maker describes the impact of genocide on communal relationships, the natural environment, and Indigenous spirituality, while relating the journey of reclaiming Indigenous identity through the process of regalia-making. In the sharing and in the listening of Indigenous testimonials, we are reminded of the beauty and the strength within us. The precious knowledge shared in this book inspires reclamation of identity and encourages readers to seek, search, embrace, and value their own truth.

All of the royalties from this book will be forwarded to the Ka’m-t’em scholarship for Indigenous California youth.

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