A Lil Help from a Friend

Today is College Girl's 25th birthday. And I am going to be spending the day with her (of course). But I was so lucky that Jolene Perry agreed to guest post for me today.  She is author of Night Sky which is a new release.  This is a YA book that explores the relationship between a girl who is Native American and a boy who is searching for meaning in a life that seems to be coming apart.  I asked Jolene to tell me a lil to understand what might be the differences for a teen from what we know as everyday life and life on a corporation (not reservations in Alaska).  Jolene has also written The Boys Next Door and her next book will be Knee Deep.  I thank her for taking over and giving me the day off to chill with my girl.

Jolene my blog is yours.

In Alaska the natives have corporations, not reservations. This is a big deal, and gives them a lot more freedom, as well as ways of managing their resources (and generally some added income once a year when their dividends are distributed)

From my experience in spending time in some of these VERY remote areas is that there are a few main problems:

1. In preserving their heritage, and way of life/sustaining their families, making money, it's really hard to finish school. A lot of the industry is fishing, which is seasonal, and when a young man or woman plans on staying in the village, it's often hard to see a purpose in finishing high school. In Sky's area it's a little easier - one of the main ways that the native corporations down there make money is in shipping, and then also, in commercial fishing.

2. A lot of these kids want out. When I was in high school, the LAST thing I wanted to do was to be like my parents, lol. And the clans, tribes and native corporations do whatever they can to preserve the culture, but it's still difficult. It IS cool to see the areas where the kids grow up speaking their native language, but those places are shrinking. AND it costs a lot of government money to keep the small villages alive.

3. Just last week I went to a dance performance at one of the local middle schools involving a group of Inupiat dancers and their drums. Three of the women dancers were late teens, and it was fun to see that. On the other end were three women who were well past seventy - it's a very cool thing to see.

4. Common misconceptions are - because there are serious problems with alcohol in a lot of the villages, that's definitely a stereotype they deal with. Government money keeps some of those villages alive, so another stereotype is that there are these groups of people who do nothing and live off of government money, when really the purpose is to give some modern convenience, and to keep people in food when the fishing industry has a bad year.

I have several friends who are Alaska Natives, and it's always fun to hear about them and where they grew up, and how different their lives were from mine. Most places use four-wheelers or snow-machines to travel from house to house and village to village because of the lack of road system, and the climate . . . wow. Let's just say I'm glad I live in the part of Alaska that I do.

Hope that was somewhat helpful without being too long-winded!!

Thanks for letting me take over your blog for the day!

~ Jolene


Night Sky 

After losing Sarah, the friend he’s loved, to some other guy, Jameson meets Sky. Her Native American roots, fluid movements, and need for brutal honesty become addictive fast. This is good. Jameson needs distraction – his dad leaves for another woman, his mom’s walking around like a zombie, and Sarah’s new boyfriend can’t keep his hands off of her.

As he spends time with Sky and learns about her village, her totems, and her friends with drums - she's way more than distraction. Jameson's falling for her fast.

But Sky’s need for honesty somehow doesn’t extend to her life story – and Jameson just may need more than his new girl to keep him distracted from the disaster of his senior year.

Jolene grew up in Wasilla, Alaska. She graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in political science and French, which she used to teach math to middle schoolers.

After living in Washington, Utah and Las Vegas, she now resides in Alaska with her husband, and two children. Aside from writing, Jolene sews, plays the guitar, sings when forced, and spends as much time outside as possible.

You can find out more about Night Sky with the following links:  

Jolene Perry's Twitter #NightSky
Night Sky GoodReads page
Jolene Perry's Facebook
Jolene Perry's Website
Jolene Perry's Blog
Jolene Perry's GoodReads
Tribute Books website
Tribute Books Facebook

Tribute Books Twitter

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook

Kindle buy link
Nook buy link

Smashwords buy link
PDF buy link

1 comment:

  1. Lenore, please wish College Girl a very happy 25th. I hope you enjoyed your day together yesterday. Thanks for allowing Jolene to guest blog for you on a great piece about the native corporations in Alaska - a tie-in to her YA book, "Night Sky."


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