Writer Ian Frazier and Reservation Living

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Ian Frazier is a celebrated magazine writer in New York.

In South Dakota, around the Pine Ridge Reservation of the Oglala Sioux, Frazier is known as a wann-a-be Indian – a white guy with a pony tail, a Harvard grad from Ohio who can’t hear enough of the heroic tales of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. Nor of contemporary heroes, too, like the basketball star SuAnne Big Crow, who improvised a shawl dance with her warmup jacket in a heart-lifting response to anti-Indian hecklers that’s never been forgotten.

He would tell you he’s an orthodox American who’s decided that many of our best constitutional American qualities in this land of the free and home of the brave were in fact learned from the Indians, starting with the idea that in this land, “every one is his own master.”

“That self-possessed sense of freedom is close to what I want,” Ian Frazier writes. “I want to be an uncaught Indian like them.”
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Ian Frazier, magazine writer.