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Telling Our Own Stories

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  • Telling Our Own Stories

    Novel Portrays Earlier Days in Native America

    Corina Roberts has been invited to the Sixth Annual Native American Writers Symposium at the Southeastern Oklahoma University, in Durant, Oklahoma, on November 10 through 12, 2005. Roberts will present a paper titled “Telling Our Own Stories” and share from her recently completed novel, “The Wisdom Walkers”.

    “The Wisdom Walkers” is a fictional story about two women horse traders who fulfill a destiny left to them by aging parents; a destiny that includes traveling across continents and oceans to meet one another for the first time. It is not that this journey has fallen into the hands of women that is unusual, however. It is that the journey takes place 74,000 years ago, long before popular archeology would have natives on the North American continent, and well before the currently accepted time frame for ocean-going ships.

    Current evidence and popular theory points to the migration of American Indians to the western hemisphere over the Bering Land Bridge in the recent geologic past, but Roberts believes that native peoples have been here far longer than current scientific thought suggests.

    Little evidence of the human condition exists from 74,000 years ago, and there is a good reason why. A massive volcano named Toba erupted in that time period in the region of Indonesia. This singular event nearly exterminated the human race, changed the earth’s climate, and destroyed whole civilizations. We know very little about the times before Toba. Roberts believes humans probably achieved a much higher degree of civilization than we currently suspect.

    Many Native American peoples do not believe they descended from Mongolians who walked across a temporary land bridge. Their own creation stories often point to an origin in the western hemisphere. The Hopi creation story includes not one, but four “worlds” – four times that the Earth was destroyed, or completely altered and rendered uninhabitable. During this time the people lived underground. According to the Hopi, we are now living in the fourth world.

    Roberts is more concerned about today’s native peoples than about nailing down dates. “We trivialize the validity and culture of native peoples when we call them immigrants” she says. “What few Indian children are fortunate enough to grow up learning their creation stories are then sent to schools that teach them they are the descendents of wandering Asians. Their very existence is marginalized by this education. Their own stories are invalidated.”

    “The Wisdom Walkers” is available online at . To learn more about Redbird, “The Wisdom Walkers” or other works by Roberts:

    Corina Roberts, Founder
    Redbird, P.O. Box 702, Simi Valley, CA 93062 (805) 217-0364 email: [email protected]

    Addendum to Press Release
    Novel Portrays Earlier Days In Native America

    Early ancestors walk in pre-historic times

    The novel “The Wisdom Walkers” takes places in an ancient time from which there are no known surviving records of the human experience. Yet it includes the ancestors of many of today’s tribal peoples, from the east coast of the present-day United States to the borders of South America.

    Its indigenous characters include peoples from the modern-day regions of the Tarahumara in South America, the Shoshone, Mono and other nations from the California/Nevada region, the Nez Perce of Oregon and Idaho, the Apache of the southwest, the Cheyenne and other plains tribes, and the nations along the eastern seaboard from the regions of the Delaware to the Iroquois.

    Significantly, “The Wisdom Walkers” also portrays a movement seldom, if ever, considered by science; that members of these nations may also have traveled to distant lands and met with other cultures, weaving a genetic web that does not flow in a linear fashion from Mongolia to America, but in a circular pattern, like the Earth itself.

    The Bering Strait is not the route of choice in this novel. Rather, an ocean-going vessel from the coast of present-day France travels to the Chesapeake Bay area to meet with a party which has come, by land, across the North American continent. The ocean-faring party hugs the coastline of Europe, Iceland, Greenland, Canada and North America to arrive at their destination.

    When that early European party departs, they do so with an additional crew member; a young man from North America whose children will be born on European soil. It is their genetic legacy that will eventually return to their ancestral homeland in the Americas.

    Roberts thinks it is unlikely that mankind has only become “civilized” in the past four to six thousand years of our 1.5 million year history on the planet as “modern man.” She also feels it unlikely that oceanic voyages and cross-continental travel is a recent phenomenon, or one that only certain cultures would enjoy. What does seem likely is that environmental factors have obscured and erased numerous successions of civilizations, and their collective knowledge.

    If in fact the Toba volcano, or other cataclysmic natural events, reduced the human population to a mere two to five thousand people, those people would have lost the vast majority of their cultural knowledge. They would have been reduced, from whatever their previous state of accomplishment, to wandering scavengers and hunter-gatherers in a very short time frame. The tough, not the intellectual, would have had a better chance at surviving such a catastrophe. #

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