Online book launch to include conversation about indigenous identity

SEATTLE — Author Alyssa London will discuss her recently published children’s book, “The Journey of the Freckled Indian: A Tlingit Culture Story,” online Monday.

The book launch also will feature illustrator Monica Ricker-Bolter, Northwest formline artist Preston Singletary and Debra Yepa-Pappan, community engagement coordinator at Field Museum in Chicago.

The Facebook Live event will be from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m on Potlatch Fund’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PotlatchFund.

The event is free to the community; no pre-registration is required. Join it at https://www.facebook.com/events/edit/657941051774385.

It will include a panel discussion moderated by Brian Tanner, director of Philanthropic Partnerships for the Potlatch Fund.

The author will read an excerpt from her book and talk about what the project means to her.

Personal connection

London is a member of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribe of Alaska and grew up in Bothell with visits to her dad in Alaska to see her extended family and participate in cultural events, organizers said.

She is the recipient of a 2015 Potlatch Fund grant for her Culture Box Project, which expanded into a series of art pieces and later, Culture Story LLC.

In 2019, London received another Potlatch Fund grant to support her first book project.

“The Journey of the Freckled Indian” follows the main character, Freckles, after she is ridiculed by classmates for “not looking Indian enough.”

Through time spent with her Tlingit grandfather in Ketchikan, Alaska, Freckles develops confidence in her identity and later inspires other children to learn about their culture and be proud of their heritage, organizers said.

Rickert-Bolter is a Chicago-based visual artist of Potawatomi, African American and German descent employed as a concept artist for Smyles Creative, LLC.

Singletary is a glass artist living in Seattle who provided the Tlingit and Northwest Coast Native American Formline for the book, which features themes of transformation, animal spirits, and shamanism through blown glass forms and mystical sand-carved Tlingit designs.

Singletary’s artworks are included in museums and private collections across the United States.

Yep-Pappan is Korean and a member of the Pueblo of Jemez in New Mexico.

Through her artwork and her work at the museum, she aims to change inaccurate representations of Native people, organizers said.

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