Margin Notes



NotYourPrincessIn #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women edited by Lisa Carleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale, Isabella Fillspipe (Oglala Lakota) writes a letter titled “Dear Past Self.” The letter acknowledges hardships, speaks personal truths, and provides inspiration and words of encouragement. Fillspipe gives herself permission to express her anger and sadness while also empowering herself to move beyond those feelings and love herself. The letter is written in a way that it could be for anyone, but whatever history and personal experiences Isabella holds are woven into the power of the words. The artwork and self-portrait make the letter even more personal and beautiful.

Dear Past Self

This letter could be used as a mentor text for students to write their own “Dear Past Self” letters in their Writer’s Notebook, as part of a multi-genre portfolio, or as a piece of narrative or persuasive writing.

If you would like to pull in other mentor texts with a similar style, The Player’s Tribune has a column titled “Letter To My Younger Self” with a collection of letters:

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