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Alison Owings
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Alison Owings is the author of three oral-history based books, including "Indian Voices: Listening to Native Americans" (Rutgers), a survey of what a wide variety of Native people have to say about contemporary life, and say with passion and humor. People interviewed include members of the following tribal nations: Hopi, Iroquois (Haudenosaunee), Kiowa, Lakota, Lemhi-Shoshone, Lumbee, Navajo, Ojibwe, Osage, Passamaquoddy, Pawnee, Penobscot, Yakama, Yup’ik, Yurok and a Hawai’ian.

Alison's other books include "Hey, Waitress! The USA from the Other Side of the Tray," comprised of profiles of American waitresses across the country, from high ends to low ends, from Chez Panisse to the Great American Waffle House. The work for which Alison is best known, it being a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year,” is "Frauen: German Women Recall the Third Reich."
Alison worked for years in television news, beginning at ABC in Washington, DC. Alison and her husband live in Northern California.

Blog Entries by Alison Owings

Racist Redskin: Resolving Anglo Ignorance About Naming Natives

(76) Comments | Posted May 13, 2013 | 11:35 AM

Here's an idea.

It follows the stunning recent report that 79 percent of people polled want the Redskins football team to keep its name. In the evolving American consciousness, where there's growing support for illegal immigrants who want U.S. citizenship and for gays who want wedlock, the same impulse apparently...

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Happy Insult Native Americans Month!

(32) Comments | Posted November 27, 2012 | 9:26 AM

This is the last week of Native American Awareness Month and among my fellow nons, there hasn't seemed to be much awareness going on.

But there has been a lot of ripping, following a lot of ripping off.

Highlights, aka lowlights, include the group...

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The Buffalo in the Room: A Reflection For Native American Heritage Month

(28) Comments | Posted November 2, 2011 | 5:00 PM

As we, the American public, hack through thickets of politically enhanced blogoshere-distributed demonstrations and debates about who we are -- A people who embrace or reject others? A people weaned on vengeance or compassion? A people divided against others? Among ourselves? -- most of us overlook one factor: the buffalo...

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Happy (or Not so Happy) Columbus Day to us All!

(4) Comments | Posted October 3, 2011 | 9:00 PM

Don't let this spoil your parade, picnic, or extended weekend.

The following I offer as part of my one-woman attempt to nudge fellow non-Native Americans into basic understandings, should they need some, via overlooked bits of Americana. Some of the 3,231 responses to my last Huff-posting, about the...

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The Damaging Three Words of the Declaration of Independence

(3231) Comments | Posted July 2, 2011 | 8:30 AM

When I moved to San Francisco decades ago, I was invited to any number of July 4th gatherings. They all had two things in common.

First, they were freezing. What was with this fog?

Second, at someone's suggestion - I think mine, but...

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Gimme That Old Time (Native American) Religion

(308) Comments | Posted June 8, 2011 | 10:14 PM

About a week ago, I participated in a series of talks my local church sponsored called, "Gutsy Women of Faith." My assignment was to go through my just-published book, "Indian Voices: Listening to Native Americans," choose a number of Native women who had spoken to me about faith and discuss...

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Indian Humor During Thanksgiving Week? Ha Ha!

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2010 | 11:26 PM

According to the Lakota/Navajo cultural coordinator at the American Indian Center of Chicago, this is not only American Indian Heritage Month, aka Native American Awareness Month, but, as he put it, Rent-an-Indian Month.

And this coming Thursday? In some circles, it is commemorated as Thankstaking.

Serious...

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The Death of Anti-Nazi Freya von Moltke: An Appreciation and a Challenge

(5) Comments | Posted January 11, 2010 | 2:32 PM

By now, news of the death of Freya von Moltke this month in her adopted state of Vermont at age 98 -- more than twice the age of her husband Helmuth when the Nazis executed him -- has reached the world, if headlines in at least a dozen languages are...

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Obamarella Borrows for the Ball

(2) Comments | Posted January 15, 2009 | 3:43 PM

Cyra offered her silk long johns, Carol lent her camera, another Carol knit me mittens and a scarf, and Liz, Leah, and Kristi delivered into my arms a variegated bouquet of gowns and gown-like contenders -- the trying on of which made me grateful my home has no hidden camera....

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Obama's Campaign is Messing Up My Work

(37) Comments | Posted October 8, 2008 | 12:09 PM

Is anyone else having this problem?

Barack Obama is messing up my work. In my case, a book. True, I'm not the speediest interviewer/researcher/writer, but after The Thin Man (as my husband fondly refers to him) announced in that topcoat in the land of Lincoln that he was running for...

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The Hillary Holdouts ... And A Theory Why

(117) Comments | Posted August 14, 2008 | 7:07 PM

Enough, already. It is time to deconstruct the disaffected.

As the Obama campaign continues to court Hillary Holdouts, not to mention Her and Him, and as her supporters continue to express resignation, anger, pique, sadness, whatever, one element seems oddly lacking in the public discussion about...

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My Hillary Problem: Redux

(144) Comments | Posted January 31, 2008 | 4:52 PM

In the months since I wrote "My Hillary Problem" for this space -- a pondering that moved hundreds of readers to toss bouquets or vitriol, often toward one another - the Democratic presidential race has narrowed itself to three candidates (Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bill Clinton), the war...

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My Hillary Problem

(318) Comments | Posted November 12, 2007 | 2:31 PM

By many measures, I should be wild about Hillary.

We have so much in common. We both are about the same age, both grew up as white Protestant Republican daughters in correspondingly mono-culture neighborhoods, hers in Illinois, mine in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Thanks to our parents and...

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