Introducing Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie

The following introduction was written by Stacie Sheldon to introduce Sherman Alexie at Eastern Michigan University in December, 2007. It was translated by Howard Kimewon and Margaret Noodin and was read by Stacie Sheldon.

Sherman Alexie Anishinaabe aawe miinwaa wiidigemaagane miinwaa minowsaa dibinoojiiman.
Sherman Alexie is an Indian* and a husband and he is raising his kids.
Sherman Alexie is an Indian and a husband and a father raising his kids.


Aapichigwaa nitaa aadisooke.
Really the best he tells stories.
He is a gifted storyteller.


Niibina dibaadaan manadendamowin miinwaa Anishinaabeg ezhi kchi’nenendiwaad.
Many things he tells about sadness and Anishinaabe people how they love each other.
There are lessons about grief and love and reflecting back on one’s self in his stories.


Anishinaabe dibaajimod batiinag baapwin giishpin gego sidaa’endamowin batiinag.
That Indian he tells about lots of laughter if something grief very much.
There is so much to laugh about in his work even when telling us something heart-breaking.


Kaa gwa aapchi wengwamizisii e-kidod wi Anishinaabe aawed maampii Chimookimankiing.
No really he is not careful (when) he speaks about it Indian to be here in America.
He could really hold back, play it safe and speak very carefully about being an Indian in this country,


kido gwa wa kidod
he says really talks
but he speaks his mind


onjidaa gwa pane pisdaagozi
on purpose really always he provokes
on purpose, he provokes people


miinaash bekan wii enendamowaad
and differently will they think
and challenges them to think in a new way.


He once said, “It’s my job to beat the crap out of the world.”


We would translate that as,
“Mii maampi getkamig gaa enji-sigoyaanh wii ba pogijikaazyaanh.”
So here on earth will during my life will I make a disturbance.
“I was put here on earth to stir things up.”


* Note: Until he introduces himself as a member of another specific tribe, we see Mr. Alexie as one of us, as Anishinaabe, which means, “the original people.”

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