We find our way forward by going back.
The invented history of the Western world is crumbling fast, Anishinaabe writer Patty Krawec says, but we can still honor the bonds between us. Settlers dominated and divided, but Indigenous peoples won’t just send them all “home.”
Weaving her own story with the story of her ancestors and with the broader themes of creation, replacement, and disappearance, Krawec helps readers see settler colonialism through the eyes of an Indigenous writer. Settler colonialism tried to force us into one particular way of living, but the old ways of kinship can help us imagine a different future. Krawec asks, What would it look like to remember that we are all related? How might we become better relatives to the land, to one another, and to Indigenous movements for solidarity? Braiding together historical, scientific, and cultural analysis, Indigenous ways of knowing, and the vivid threads of communal memory, Krawec crafts a stunning, forceful call to “unforget” our history.
This remarkable sojourn through Native and settler history, myth, identity, and spirituality helps us retrace our steps and pick up what was lost along the way: chances to honor rather than violate treaties, to see the land as a relative rather than a resource, and to unravel the history we have been taught.
To Be Good Kin. Published in February 2022 by Midnight Sun Magazine.
How Creation Stories Shape Us. Published in August 2022 by Broadview Magazine.
“Fierce debut … Krawec’s prose is electric, shot through with passion and knowledge [and] it offers some thought provoking ideas.” Publisher’s Weekly
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Praise for Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future
“The fierce debut by Medicine for the Resistance podcaster Krawec critiques the harmful impact of European Christian settler colonialism on Indigenous Americans. Krawec’s prose is electric, shot through with passion and knowledge … This may not have all the answers, but it offers some thought-provoking ideas.” Review in Publisher’s Weekly
“An invitation and a challenge to become better relatives to one another at this critical moment in human and planetary history. Generous and wise, Becoming Kin is a rare book designed to be put to immediate and practical use.”
—Naomi Klein, New York Times bestselling author and professor of climate justice at the University of British Columbia
“Memoir weaves with history, philosophy,spirituality, and politics; the past abides in the present and informs the future, and, as Krawec reminds us, that future very much depends on the choices we make today. She calls us—and herself—into accountability for what we do with the histories we’ve all inherited, and welcomes us into better relations with one another…and all the beautiful difficulties that world-changing work entails. I’m so glad this book is in the world.”
—Daniel Heath Justice, author of Why Indigenous Literatures Matter
“Becoming Kin is a powerful invitation into unlearning and learning. Krawec offers an essential vision for our relationships with the earth, the land, and each other.”
—Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, author of On Repentance and Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World
“A must-read for those working toward understanding and dismantling colonization. Patty Krawec reminds us what it means to come home to ourselves, this earth, and one another, and invites us to ask the beautiful, difficult questions that will help us reclaim that belonging.”
—Kaitlin Curtice, author of Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God
“Krawec holds space for Indigenous kin in a broad sense—and Black displanted people—and offers us a needed treatise on how to think. I will be reading and rereading this book for years to come, and I know it will inform my work as a Black feminist scientist.”
—Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, author of The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred
“Generous but also demanding, in the best way possible. A wonderful expression of how we can become better kin, with the world and with ourselves.”
—Jesse Wente, author of Unreconciled, arts journalist, and director of Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office
“Patty Krawec has written a passionate and profound meditation on lineage, community, and systemic erasure. Grand in scope and depth of research, yet intimate in the telling, this book is an education for the soul.”
—Omar El Akkad, Giller Prize–winning author of What Strange Paradise and American War
“Crucial for understanding both colonization and Indigeneity, Becoming Kin is part history, part memoir, and part inspiration, lighting a path forward based on successful race relations, peace, and understanding.”
—Keri Leigh Merritt, historian and writer
“Becoming Kin is stunning; both in its indictment of colonial violence and especially in its painstakingly brilliant and beautiful articulation of another world and the reorganization of our relations beyond the nation-state, colonialism, and oppression. This book is a rigorous yet generous invitation to learn, to imagine, to dream, to act—to become kin.”
—Harsha Walia, author of Border & Rule and Undoing Border Imperialism
“Our interconnectedness with nature—and each other—is central to Indigenous teachings. Patty Krawec draws from Indigenous wisdom, history, and personal insight to reveal a path forward. Incisive and beautifully written, this book is a vital guide to coming together in greater kinship.”
—Ziya Tong, science broadcaster and author of The Reality Bubble
“Becoming Kin is a brilliant work of critical analysis woven into a tapestry of autobiographical reflections. Krawec deconstructs settler colonialism through a personal lens and invites readers to travel with her on a journey of myth, reflection, and healing.”
—Lee Francis IV, CEO and publisher of Red Planet Books and Comics
“Becoming Kin speaks powerful truths about our collective histories of violence; it not only encourages but also provides next steps for us to do better, now that we know better.”
—Dr. Robyn Bourgeois, acting vice provost for Indigenous engagement, Brock University
“A brilliant, generous book—a must-read for anyone who wants to show up for a world of possibility rather than doom. Patty Krawec beckons us into perceiving our interconnections, with a powerful recentering of how we tell stories and histories for transformed futures.”
—Alexis Shotwell, author of Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times
“Becoming Kin is an act of hospitality. Krawec is a compelling storyteller, and this book is a powerful offering of hope and redemption in the journey of becoming kin.”
—Michael Krause, teaching pastor