From Issue 99 of Apex Magazine, “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience” is a story about settlers, written for Natives. But also the kind of story that settlers need to read. I say written for Natives because although it’s a story, with a beginning, middle, end, climax, etc, it’s also an experience in itself, and probably cathartic in a “finally someone gets it” way. But of course Roanhorse would, being that it’s part of an own voices “special” issue.
Written from the point of view of an Indian (using this terminology because the story does), but in second person present, it walks the reader through a metaphorical (and yet all-too-real) journey through appropriation–not only of cultural accouterments, but of land, life, peace of mind, happiness. It’s a story of what happens when those outside a culture get to define that culture, and is written with the world-weary feeling that accompanies knowing it’s happened over and over, for so many, and will go on happening.
Personally, I look forward to reading the rest of the stories in Apex 99 and wish they’d go out of their way to publish more like it. But being the kind of magazine that attracts submissions like this might be something Apex isn’t up to. I don’t know yet, as I’ve only had a subscription for a few months. But we’ll see.