Stories about life on Native American reservations often focus on the hardships — alcoholism, drugs, violence and poverty. In Rez Life: An Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life, Ojibwe writer David Treuer strives to capture stories about the beauty of life on Indian reservations.
The son of an Ojibwe mother and an Austrian holocaust survivor, Treuer grew up on the Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota. Though he acknowledges that reservation life comes with a range of challenges, he says most treatments of Native American history leave out the good parts of the experience.
Treuer, who typically writes novels about Native American life, talks with NPR's Neal Conan about his first work of non-fiction.