Tommy Orange

A citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, Tommy Orange was born in Oakland and attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. After working for eight years in the mental health department of Oakland’s Native American Health Center, he published his debut novel, There, There, in 2018. “For a long time,” Orange said in a 2018 interview, “a real Indian meant someone who does not exist anymore. We’re going through a period right now as a people, wondering—because there are 575 recognized tribes, each with its own language and way of thinking—are we doing harm against Indian identity by talking about us as one people? But at the same time, we’re probably more alike than we are different.”

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