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“Being alive and Native is an act of resistance, resilience and activism,” says Marcie Rendon

By DWIGHT HOBBES

Marcie Rendon, writer and grassroots firebrand, has made her way into the mainstream with the hit novels, “Murder on the Red River” and “Girl Gone Missing” (Cinco Puntos Press), racking up love-letter reviews from Publisher”™s Weekly, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Kirkus Review and more like it”™s lunch.

Marcie Rendon, writer, grassroots firebrand. Photo: Sigwan Rendon

“What”™s an Indian Woman to Do When White Girls Act More Indian Than Indian Women Do?” circa mid-90s to the best of her recollection, was the highlight of an afternoon with the likes of Janice Command and Ardie Mendoza reading prose-poetry from a Native perspective. It”™s a scathing send-up of sexually slumming, paleface predators hunting Native men while Native women stew in seething consternation. This gathering eventually evolved into the theatre company/performance troupe and Raving Natives Productions with Rendon at the hub. Debuting at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, noted for the satirical social statement “Free Frybread Telethon”, a tour de force of sardonic wit that roasted white liberal hypocrisy on a spit, lampooning the American prison system in its treatment of Native Americans.

Rendon continued as a community arts activist, WLA Children”™s Book Award winning author and, notably, playwright (“SongCatcher””“Great American History Theater, Sacajawea”“Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater).

Dwight: “Marcie Rendon social critic cum mystery writer. Who could”™ve seen that coming? You weren”™t small potatoes before. Has your increased profile as a novelist benefited your contributions as someone committed to community?”

Marcie: “The increased profile has opened doors to opportunities to speak to broader audiences. I find that “Cash Blackbear,” mystery series resonates not just with Native women but women in general who have always wanted to be as empowered as Cash is. The stories also have a following with men who admire the toughness of the characters. I have talked to a lot of audiences that I would have never gotten in front of before””farmers, small town residents, women”™s book clubs, country western radio stations. All are opportunities to build understanding and create deeper conversations with folks who may have never heard of ICWA, #MMIW or adoption as a means of stealing Indian identity and land.”

Dwight: “Doesn”™t seem you”™ve left your activism behind. In fact, that your protagonist is Native, member of a population noted in Wikipedia as plagued by a MMIW (missing and murdered Indigenous women epidemic).”
Marcie: “Being alive and Native is an act of resistance, resilience and activism. As long as we are breathing we are going against the oppression. For me, writing is a way to put voice to many of the stories in a way that is comprehensible to others, while creating a mirror for ourselves as Native people. At least that”™s my hope.”

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