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Growing up, I knew two things to be true: My dad was a drunk. Being an Indian was complicated.

When I joined the Navy, these two ideas were cemented when my fellow sailors, after finding out that I was an American Indian, would ask me if I drank a lot or if I still lived in a TeePee. They were asking questions because that’s what they knew and I couldn’t blame them. I could only answer “no” to both. These questions, posed by my curious new friends, made me wish that I knew more about my background, about me.

Dad tried to teach us the language, the culture, what it meant to be Ojibwe. But no one wants to learn from a drunken Indian, least of all, me. Then, in the winter of 1980, my dad nearly died. When he awoke, everything changed. This is his story.

Warrior Spirit Rising is the inspiring true account of Gene Goodsky, as told through the eyes of his oldest daughter, Dianna. Gene was raised in the North Woods of Minnesota, on the tribal lands of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. Surviving years of cultural genocide, racism, and the Vietnam War left him broken—battling severe PTSD and alcohol abuse.

In this stunning tale of Native American perseverance, Good Sky unravels the history of her father, her family, and her people, and the near-death experience that would change their lives forever. With both wit and honesty, she explores the devastating loss of heritage that has impacted generations of Native Americans, and how the powerful choice to forgive can leave a legacy. 

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