New Native stories: A novel, an economic report

Two new tales about Native Americans have emerged recently from New Mexico. One is fiction, a novel, the other non-fiction, a gathering of economic numbers and big policy challenges.

The novel is “There There.” The numbers are in “The Economic Impact of the 19 Indian Pueblos in New Mexico.”

Tommy Orange wrote “There There” while completing a master’s program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. The urban tale is about a dozen protagonists as they converge on a pow-wow in Oakland, California. Some of the characters spend a bit of time in New Mexico as they travel to Oakland from as far away as the alleys of downtown Oklahoma City.

“There There” is challenging, an illuminating tale well worth reading, though not exactly a page turner. It has spent time on best seller lists including that of the New York Times where it was ranked for 15 weeks.

The All Pueblos Council of Governors commissioned the economic impact report. The University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business & Economic Research did the analysis.