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November, 2006

A New Poetry Book by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

Editor's note: For the last 10,000 years, indigenous peoples have lived in the part of North America from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi watershed. Here they constructed perhaps tens of thousands of ceremonial and civic sites, including mounds and edifices that rivaled the pyramids of Egypt and of Mexico. Very few have survived to this day. Most were destroyed by the European settlers as they advanced across the continent.

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

From the author:

Blood Run was written to move the state and its citizens to protect, preserve and honor an Indigenous mound site which was a thriving city of six nations and ten thousand people at the time the first Europeans approached the area now lying across the South Dakota and Iowa borders.

The mound city has been desecrated and ignored almost wholly as testimony to the great pre-Columbian Indigenous civilizations for the sake of savage-imagery preferred by colonizing Eurocentrics, et al. There were originally over 400 civic, ceremonial effigy, and burial mounds up to 80 yards wide and 20 yards high. One snake mound, extending a mile and a quarter in length, was used for railroad fill dirt.

The dismantling and denial of the Native settlement upon contact with the French in the early 1700s and the truth of Native peoples pre-contact is simply criminal neglect.

Blood Run seeks to establish a visual face of the site for current and future reference. It attempts to save the remaining 78 site mounds and hundreds of mounds surrounding the site still being plowed under. Remains dating 8,500 to only 150 years ago still rest there.


Allison Adelle Hedge Coke descends from moundbuilders and is of Cherokee, Huron, Creek, French Canadian, Lorraine, Portuguese, English, Scot, and Irish ascendants. She is a professor, Institute of American Indian Arts (summer faculty, Naropa University). She is the author of the American Book Award-winning poetry book, Dog Road Woman (Coffee House Press), and also Off-Season City Pipe (poetry, Coffee House Press); and Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer (memoir, U.NE.).

Allison performs readings, workshops, lectures and performs in-services on enhancing writing skills, NAS and Youth-at-Risk education. She created and organized an online mentorship project in literary arts for incarcerated youth in South Dakota.

Call Speakers for a New America, 800-691-6888 or email info@speakersforanewamerica.com for more information on bookings.


This article originated in the People's Tribune
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