"Make sacrifices. Invest your time and money in a real future. Think of others. Think of tomorrow."

GREG SARRIS

Quote from Tribal Chairman Greg Sarris' article for the March 2021 Newsletter of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria.

Creative work by Greg-Sarris

New Publication

Watermelon Nights

In Watermelon Nights, Greg Sarris tells a powerful tale about the love and forgiveness that keep a modern Native American family together in Santa Rosa, California. Told from the points of view of a twenty-year-old Pomo man named Johnny Severe, his grandmother Elba, and his mother, Iris, this intergenerational saga uncovers the secrets—and traumatic events—that inform each of these characters’ extraordinary powers of perception. First published in 1998, Watermelon Nights remains one of the few works of fiction to illuminate the experiences of urban Native Americans and is the only one to depict the historical conditions that shape a tribe’s rural-to-urban migration.

This new edition of the novel features a revised preface by the author and an afterword by Reginald Dyck, who identifies broader contexts important to our understanding of the novel, including tribal sovereignty, federal Indian policy, and the effects of historical trauma. Gritty yet rich in emotion, Watermelon Nights stands beside the works of Louise Erdrich, Stephen Graham Jones, and Tommy Orange.

New Publication

How A Mountain Was Made

Now available in paperback! In the tradition of Calvino's Italian Folktales, Greg Sarris, author of the award-winning novel Grand Avenue, turns his attention to his ancestral homeland of Sonoma Mountain in Northern California. In sixteen interconnected original stories, the twin crows Question Woman and Answer Woman take us through a world unlike yet oddly reminiscent of our own: one which blooms bright with poppies, lupines, and clover; one in which Water Bug kidnaps an entire creek; in which songs have the power to enchant; in which Rain is a beautiful woman who keeps people's memories in stones. Inspired by traditional Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo creation tales, these stories are timeless in their wisdom and beauty, and because of this timelessness their messages are vital and immediate.

“These are charming and wise stories, simply told, to be enjoyed by young and old alike—'stories need us if they are to come forth and have life too.'” 

Kirkus Reviews

New Publication

Weaving the Dream

A world-renowned Pomo basket weaver and medicine woman, Mabel McKay expressed her genius through her celebrated baskets, her Dreams, her cures, and the stories with which she kept her culture alive. She spent her life teaching others how the spirit speaks through the Dream, how the spirit heals, and how the spirit demands to be heard.

"In his endeavor to write about McKay, the celebrated Pomo basket weaver and medicine woman, Sarris has been able to find his own identity. Part American Indian, Filipino, and Jewish, he was adopted at birth and is now chief of the Coast Miwok tribe. His bonding with this extraordinary individual and his growth during their relationship is described throughout the book. . . . McKay's life, simple yet spiritual, is as quintessential as the baskets she wove. Her stories are poignantly collected and captured in this biography."

Library Journal

Tribal Work

Greg Sarris is currently the Tribal Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. He is in his fifteenth consecutive elected term as Chairman of the Tribe and is currently leading the Tribe in its economic development endeavors. Greg oversees all business negotiations and the daily operations of the Tribe. Greg spearheaded the effort to build a casino, the Graton Resort and Casino, which opened November 2013. A large portion of the profits from the casino will be given back to the community where it is located, Sonoma County and the City of Rohnert Park, for the preservation of public parks and open spaces, and for the establishment of low-cost organic farming for low income members of the community. Learn more about Greg Sarris and all that he has accomplished for his tribe and community.

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