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Augie Reads: 'The Round House'

The following is a list of web resources, organized by broad theme, curated by Augustana librarians to help incoming first-year students as they read the 2014 Augie Reads book, The Round House, by Louise Erdrich.

Book Reviews & Author InformationOjibwe ResourcesReservationsTribal LawSexual AssaultFamily RelationshipsAmerican Indian Boarding Schools


Book Reviews & Author Information

Book Reviews

The following news sources offer book reviews of The Round House:

The New York Times
The Guardian
National Public Radio
Los Angeles Times
Washington Times
Washington Post

Interviews with the Author

PBS NewsHour features a conversation with Louise Erdrich and includes a video of the interview.

NPR interviews Erdrich about the themes in her novel. Includes an audio transcript.

The ArtsBeat blog from the New York Times contains a Q & A exchange with the author.

PBS Faces of America, a series from 2010, includes short video clips from an interview with Erdrich.

Other Resources

The Poetry Foundation offers an extensive biography of Louise Erdrich and a list of her works.

The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2012. Click here for video coverage of Erdrich receiving the award and reading excerpts.

Erdrich owns Birchbark Books, a bookstore in Minneapolis. She also writes a blog for the store.

The publisher, Harper Collins, offers a reading guide with discussion questions for The Round House.

Ojibwe Resources

Note: This nation can also be spelled Ojibway, or referred to as Chippewa or Anishinabe. Use variant spellings to get more results when searching.

Indian Country Wisconsin

Project organized by the Milwaukee Public Museum, this resource is designed to support educational mandates to provide instruction on Native culture, history, sovereignty and treaty rights. Although the book is set in North Dakota, the Ojibway nation extends far into Wisconsin and so most of these essays are very relevant.

An Introduction to Ojibwe Culture and History

This is the private website of Kevin Callahan from the University of Minnesota. It is a little older but does a great job explaining cultural aspects of the community so important in the novel.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but Were Afraid to Ask

A YouTube video featuring Dr. Anton Treuer, author of many books about Native American life, including his most recent, Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but Were Afraid to Ask. Treuer is a member of the Ojibwe nation and is executive director of the American Indian Resource Center at Bemidji State University.


What is a reservation?

This offers a brief explanation of what reservations are and how they came to be. This page was created by the Minnesota Historical Society as part of a website about a specific historical event, the Dakota War of 1862. The information about reservations, though, applies to many Native American groups.

Indian Reservations in the Continental United States

This is a map created by the National Park Service. To save space, the individual reservations are labelled with numbers; consult the map index to learn their names.

Census Map of Indian Reservations

Photographs of Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation (North Dakota)

Louise Erdrich, the author of The Round House, was born in North Dakota and is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. These images are from the collection of the State Historical Society of North Dakota; click on any image to see it full-size.

Photographs of Indian Reservations

From the Denver Public Library, this collection focuses on reservations in the western United States. Scroll down to view all the photos; click on any image to see it full-size.

Tribal Law

Bureau of Indian Affairs

A bureau of the US Department of the Interior, the BIA provides educational and other social services to nearly 2 million American Indian and Alaskan Native people. Its services are modeled closely after but remain separate from similar governmental programs offered elsewhere in the United States. Within the BIA, the Office of Justice Services provides support for the tribal justice system and for training of tribal law enforcement officers.

Tribal Law and Policy Institute

This non-profit organization, which is operated by Native Americans, facilitates the sharing of resources to enable Indian Nations and tribal justice systems to function successfully within their communities. The site includes a comprehensive listing of many tribal law resources, including links to related federal agencies and Native organizations.

General Guide to Criminal Jurisdiction in Indian Country

Published by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, this guide summarizes in broad terms the jurisdiction for various crimes in "Indian Country" (as tribal lands are called by US federal law). Note that this chart applies only to tribal lands, and not to locations under state or federal jurisdiction.

Maze of Injustice: Amnesty International

This page summarizes "Maze of Injustice," a report issued by Amnesty International focusing on the prevalence of violence against indigenous women and the roadblocks in prosecuting such crimes. The summary outlines the complexities inherent in the legal systems (tribal law, federal/state law, etc.) and describes the many difficulties that result from these complications. A link to the full report is included at the bottom of the page.

The US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women: Tribal Communities

Focusing specifically on violence against women within tribal communities, this page describes initiatives designed to change the fact that, as the page states, " in three Indian women reports having been raped in her lifetime." Programs include the Violence Against Women Act of 2005 and the Sexual Assault Demonstration Initiative.

Sexual Assault

RAINN: Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network

RAINN is the United States' largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN provides resources both to help prevent sexual crimes and to support survivors and their friends and families. The "Get Info" tab at the top of the page links to many helpful resources, including statistics and policies at the state and national level.

Native/Tribal Resources - National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence

This collection of resources provides links and information to various non-profit and tribal organizations devoted to increasing the awareness and prevention of violence against Indian women and children.​

"New law offers protection to Native American women"

This article, published February 8, 2014 in The Washington Post, describes a new law, slated to go into effect fully in March 2015, which will allow Indian tribes to prosecute some crimes against women committed on their lands by non-Indians. Though the law will greatly impact the justice process in domestic violence cases - the law stipulates that the non-Indian perpetrator be a boyfriend or husband of the victim - it does not apply to instances in which the perpetrator is a stranger to the victim.

Family Relationships

At this site maintained by The American Academy of Pediatrics you will find professional recommendations about such issues as family communication and communication with adolescents.

American Psychological Association

The American Psychological Association maintains this site that offers information about family relationships, trauma, violence, teens, and more through topics, publications, and a “Psychology Help Center.”

American Indian Boarding Schools

This two-part report from 2008 looks at the beginning and the history of American Indian Boarding Schools and a current boarding school today:

American Indian Boarding Schools Haunt Many by Charla Bear
American Indian School a Far Cry from the Past by Charla Bear

Indian Boarding School Photo Gallery

This gallery includes several photographs from various American Indian Board Schools across the country including before-and-after pictures.

American Indian Boarding Schools: An Exploration of Global Ethnic & Cultural Cleansing

This curriculum guide explains the history, the purpose, and the impact American Indian Boarding Schools had on Native American Indians.