Join Laura Waterman Wittstock and Roy Taylor as they talk with Ron Leith, Anishinabe/Ojibwe-Mdewakanton Dakota First Nation. His new book of poetry, “Poems from the Deep” is out and available on Amazon. Ron says about his literary work: "Reimagining history in a vile and sadistic promenade may not seem as though it is a useful approach, and it may not be, but for me the exposition of injustice, anti-heroes, human carnage, colonialist rampage, and the true nature of the common man is a vital application in my work.”
He writes in an autobiographical narrative: "I feel very fortunate in that I have had the advantage of being mentored by the best that Indian Country has had to offer. In 1971 I met and became family with the leadership of the American Indian Movement. AIM had a fresh vision of Indian Education and what it ought to mean to the Indian community. They offered a direct solution to the problems that existed in the non-Indian, colonialist educational system. This was important to me because I had seen what the current systems were providing for Indian youth. The answer, of course, was Indio-centric, native controlled systems. Indian administered systems of educational training and learning. This was the system that I wanted to be a part of and I began at the ground floor in the research and development of the American Indian Movement Survival Schools for Self Determination. There I had the freedom to select the best that literature, art, history, science, and politics had to offer and synthesize that work for native students. Between 1968 and 1976 everything changed with regard to Indian education, not only in Minnesota but nationally and internationally. The individuals who would become crucial to the new vision were all working within the American Indian Movement. The synthesis of self-determination in education, native controlled school systems, educational policy revisionism, and truth in history all came about during the development of the AIM Survival School systems."