Stories I Didn’t Know
It’s a family reunion … what could go wrong? Plenty, as we soon learn when Rita Davern exposes an ugly reality at the heart of a family legend. Her family members have always been proud to say that their great grandparents once owned Pike Island, a beautiful piece of land at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. But when Rita relates what happened to the people who lived there before, some family members react with understanding, others with arguments and anger. Rita’s attempts to understand what happened and why leads her on a journey that requires facing the complicated legacy of westward expansion in the U.S. Along the way she meets Ramona, a Dakota educator. What Ramona’s ancestors experienced because of U.S. government policies puts faces and names on this story. Rita listens and learns. She wants to find a way to put something right. We learn the value of finding and facing the past by watching her journey.