Hawk Dancer



   The two novels and the series of Birch Clump Readers are works of historical and contemporary fiction by Joshua Seidl. Most stories are connected with the fictional village of Birch Clump in Michigan's pristine Upper Peninsula woodlands.
   The characters portray inter-cultural relations among Euro-American, Native American and Metis cultures. The stories are driven, dynamic, and at time humorous. Human kind, being what it is, bring about endearing and sentimental stories, and at other times moments of indifference and injustices.
    Joshua's books are family value oriented. They are not soft and cuddly; rather they present the rough and tumble of life, as well as the characters' hopes and aspirations. Some dreams come true, others are shattered. There is romance, love, violence, separations and reunions. 
books by Joshua Seidl
Hawk Dancer
The first novel

Richard White’s last night at his family’s home was late December 1934. He was seventeen and alone. His parents looked straight at him from their framed station on the wall. They were placed in a gray stone winter morgue waiting spring when the ground would be soft enough to bury them.
   He moved in with his Great Uncle John Bird the following morning.

   The Bird farm forms the core base for Richard’s dreaming, his quest or calling in life. Others will become involved with the farm, turning it into a place of vision and hope. It became a sanctuary for many over the next eighty-some years. Yet, the peace did not come without challenges. 
    American Nazi sympathizers of pre-World War II burned a cross there. The FBI questioned not a few of their friends during the McCarthy Red Scare Era. Indigenous American families moved in temporarily as refugees in their own land at the outset of the American Indian Termination and Relocation Acts of Congress that began in 1948.
    A number of biases and injustices surface among the Native American, Euro-American and Metis communities in the region over an orphaned one-year-old Native boy in 1952. White and Indian couples endure a lengthy court battle over custody of the child. The court ruled against placing the child back into his Tribal Nation and relatives in favor of the White family who would “raise the child up civilized and in a good Christian home.”
   The child later proves to be terminally ill. Prejudices mount again when a Pottawatomie healed the child through Indigenous medicine ways. Richard White, by then a Catholic Priest find himself and the friary built on his Uncle’s farm in the center of a religious strife.
    Richard is the Hawk Dancer. He is Metis and embraces all there is of his mixed culture. He does not see this as two ways or two religions. He is much like the healer who never abandoned his traditions in embracing the Catholic Church.

  These two companion novels dramatize the gradual process towards cultural diversity, civil rights of the 1960’s and into the 1980's. It was an era of great change for America and the World, the mainline Churches and society. Great changes were made, more or less, for the better, this author believes. 
    Even in his advanced years. Friar Jacob Hawk Dancer (aka Richard White), is looked to for his wisdom on issues of peace and justice as the book carries the stories into the 21st century. We see how he groomed the Baby Boomer youths to become today’s Elders. 

author Joshua Seidl
The follow up companion novel to Hawk Dancer

    Hawk Dancer covers 1934-2010. Cloudburst overlaps as a companion follow-up novel (pt. 2 effectively) to incorporate more of the Baby Boomers of the early 1950s. It covers 1965-2013.
    The Birch Clump Village Reader series is a collection of short stories on these characters and new ones. These short stories, poems and artwork is able to weave through the novels as well as bringing us up to the current year.

    The author’s agenda is to present practical growth in multiculturalism. He has an emphasis on the promotion of Indigenous cultural rights. This is done entertainingly through realistic stories of ordinary people.

    Dean’s pranks backfire, such as the time he placed a cup of ink over the principal’s door just as the man came out of his office. Self-conscious of his diminutive state, he picks and loses fights with the next shortest boy in class. Cynthia finds his fights exhilarating. The two are high school steadies.
    Trudy had a grade school crush on Randy, dated Erik in high school, went to the prom with Burch but married another villager. (Randy is the orphan from Hawk Dancer.)
    Linda fell for cute little Jason from the start of their freshman year of high school, 1965. She dubbed him her little knight in blue jeans. The romance continues to this day.
    Amos Crow goes missing in the BCV Reader series cliff hanger, The Fishing Hole, a three part mystery.

    View the major events of recent history through the villagers of Birch Clump: World War II, Korean War, Vietnam, the Great American Civil Rights Movement, the late challenges of treaty rights, Vatican II and more in the novels and the BCVR readers. No one person or place is insignificant enough not to have made a difference in the lives of others, and in essence, the nation and the world.

Author: Joshua Seidl
    Posing here with a double barrel Liberator and Clerical collar. A dude dressed like this must surely have some entertaining tales in store for you.
Illustrator: Kathy Johnson
    Her ability to convey the story on canvas is remarkable. Note the lucid rendition of Erik's unanticipated vision. Her art is found in the two novels and in portions of the first two BCV Readers.
Jacob White
Author's artwork
    This is Joshua's rendition of Richard White, (AKA: Fr. Jacob Hawk Dancer) after he founded the Franciscan Congregation of St. James.
    The BCV Readers contain many of the authors illustrations.
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