Author aims to boost Indigenous representation with new book

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The conversation about representation in all types of media is more relevant than ever, especially for Indigenous Peoples.

According to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, only 1% of books by U.S. publishers were written by an Indigenous author in 2021.

Ria Thundercloud breaks this mold in ‘Finding My Dance’ as she highlights an important moment in her life where she discovered her love for dance and an appreciation for her Indigenous culture.

“Finding words to articulate certain emotions was very hard for me but dance was able to put me in my body and out of my head and it really helped me express and kind of heal myself in my own way,” she said.

Ria is from the Ho-Chunk Nation and Sandia Pueblo. Ria is trained in all styles of dance but sticking to her Indigenous roots has kept her grounded. She shows her love and appreciation for her heritage through traditional movement, music and clothing, which she wants to pass along to younger generations.

“As Indigenous people and people of color, we don’t really see a lot of representation of us in books and in stories so I think this is an amazing thing that younger generations get to grow up seeing faces similar to them seeing features that are similar to them.”

The book is now on sale online and in some stores. You can learn more about her and the book on her Instagram page (no login needed).