As I complete the book, Forest Lovers by Vreeland I cannot help but feel changed in some deep sense. What a wonderful journey with such an authentic handling of matters of the heart and art….I highly recommend this book!
"Some may argue that Carr appropriated the aboriginal art of her highly romanticized vision of a homogenized "Indian" culture, or that her paintings of abandoned villages and poles which she calls "relics of [the] primitive greatness" of the West, intimate that the "authentic" Indians who made them existed only in the past, prior to the adulteration by white colonialism. Nevertheless, the genuineness of her love for whatever her version of Native cultures may have been cannot be argued. She stated in an interview in 1929, "I used to wish I was born an Indian." And in a letter in 1941, no longer able to visit Native villages, she wrote that she was "homesick for Indian," as though it were a longed-for state of being.
Current practice demands different terms than what I’ve used in The Forest Lover: First Nations people for Indians, Kwakwaka‘wakw for Kwakiutl, Nuu’chah’nulth for Nootka. With apologies to those who may object, in the novel I have used the terms reflective of Emily’s language, time, and perspective as one of the settler society. Emily was painfully conscious of the thin line between appreciation and appropriation. At times, she must have felt overwhelmed by mysteries beyond her grasp. Like her, I hope, as an outsider, that my appreciation for Native culture shines through my shortcomings in understanding something that can rightly be the work of a lifetime. "