All Coyote's Children
Bette Lynch Husted Oregon State University Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3608.U852 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Jack and Annie Fallon had been living what seemed the ideal life with their son Riley, spending the school year in Portland, where Jack was a professor of Native American history, and summers at Jack’s family ranch in northeastern Oregon, on land surrounded by the Umatilla Indian Reservation. But a good way of life can disappear almost overnight, as the Umatilla, Cayuse, and Walla Walla peoples already know. Now the teenage Riley is in rehab, Jack has disappeared without a trace into the remote wilderness, and Annie is recovering from her own hospitalization following a mental health crisis.
Still fragile, a bereft Annie returns to the ranch, where she is befriended by Leona, a Umatilla-Cayuse neighbor. Leona, as it turns out, has a long connection to the family that even Jack never knew about. At the time of his disappearance, Jack had been grappling with his family’s legacy—with the conflicts and consequences of white settlement of native ground. Three generations before he was born, the family ranch was taken from the Umatilla reservation through the Allotment Act. Jack’s mother died when he was six, but his father’s stern presence still cast a shadow on the land.
“Survival is hard sometimes,” Leona says, but with her help, Annie is able to bring Riley home from rehab and begin the work of healing their small family, learning, season by season, how to go on living without Jack. Leona, Riley’s friends Alex and Mattie, and old neighbors Gus and Audrey become a larger family for Annie as they share the stories that connect them—long-silenced stories from both cultures that could solve the mystery of Jack’s disappearance.
In prose that is lyrical and clear-eyed, All Coyote’s Children weaves an unforgettable tale of cultures and families caught in the inescapable web of who they are and what they have inherited.
Several sacred artifacts have gone missing from the Minnesota Red Earth Reservation and the suspect list is continuously growing. While it could be the racists from the bordering town, or a young man struggling with problems at home, or the county coroner and his cronies, the need for answers and apprehending the culprit is amplified when Jed Morriseau, the Tribal Chairman, is murdered. Investigating these mysterious occurrences because of tribal traditions and the honor of her family, Renee LaRoche works to track down the people responsible. But can she maintain her intense investigation as well as her new relationship with Samantha Salisbury, the visiting women’s studies professor at the white college nearby? Renee is caught between the traditions of her tribe and efforts to help her chimook lover accept their cultural differences.
The American Café
Sara Sue Hoklotubbe University of Arizona Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3608.O4828A44 2011 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
2012 WILLA Literary Award Winner: Best Original Softcover Fiction
When Sadie Walela decides to pursue her childhood dream of owning a restaurant, she has no idea that murder will be on the menu.
In this second book in the Sadie Walela series, set in the heart of the Cherokee Nation, Sadie discovers life as an entrepreneur is not as easy as she anticipated. On her first day, she is threatened by the town’s resident "crazy" woman and the former owner of the American Café turns up dead, engulfing the café—and Sadie herself—in a cloud of suspicion and unanswered questions.
Drawing on the intuition and perseverance of her Cherokee ancestry, Sadie is determined to get some answers when an old friend unexpectedly turns up to lend a hand. A diverse cast of characters—including a mysterious Creek Indian, a corrupt police chief, an angry Marine home from Iraq, and the victim’s grieving sister and alcoholic niece—all come together to create a multilayered story of denial and deceit.
While striving to untangle relationships and old family secrets, Sadie ends up unraveling far more than a murder.
Anadarko, a small bootlegger town in Oklahoma’s Kiowa Country, shakes off its sleepy veneer when J.D. Daugherty, an Irish ex-cop turned private eye, and Hoolie Smith, a Cherokee war veteran, show up to investigate the mysterious disappearance of oilman and geologist Frank Shotz.
J.D. and Hoolie find their simple missing person case hides a web of murder, graft, and injustice tied to a network of bootleggers with links to the Ku Klux Klan. Set in the aftermath of the violent Tulsa race riot of 1921, Anadarko reveals a deadly and corrupt town filled with a toxic cocktail of booze, greed, and bigotry.
Tackling racial prejudice head-on, author Tom Holm expertly weaves a vivid and suspenseful tale set in Prohibition-era Indian Country. This gritty whodunit shows nothing is ever simple in the fight between good and evil.
Autobiography of a Yaqui Poet
Refugio Savala; Edited by Kathleen M. Sands University of Arizona Press, 1980 Library of Congress F1221.Y3S28 | Dewey Decimal 970.00497
This is the major literary achievement of a sensitive, gifted man. The author is a Yaqui Indian, a railroad gandy dancer who sees beauty in iron spikes and rail clamps as well as in twilight-purple mountains and glossy-leafed cottonwood trees. In the seventy years following his flight from the Yaqui-Mexican wars in Sonora, Savala became a talented poet and loving recorder of his people's cultural heritage. A large sampling of his original works appears in the interpretations section of this book. Together with the beautifully written autobiography, they offer a unique view of Arizona Yaqui culture and history, railroading in the American West, and the personal and artistic growth of a Native American man of letters.
When American Indians left reservations in the 1950s, enticed by the federal government’s relocation program, many were drawn to cities like Tacoma and Seattle. But in these new homes they found unemployment and discrimination, and they were no better off. Sin Aikst Indian Bernie Whitebear was an urban activist in the Pacific Northwest during the last decades of the twentieth century, a man dedicated to improving the lives of Indians and other ethnic groups by working for change and justice. He unified Northwest tribes to fight for the return of their land and was the first to accomplish this in the United States. But far from a fearsome agitator, Bernie was a persuasive figure who won the praise and admiration of an entire community. Bernie began organizing powwows in the 1960s with an eye toward greater authenticity; and by making a name in the Seattle area as an entertainment promoter, he soon became a successful networker and master of diplomacy, enabling him to win over those who had long ignored the problems of urban Indians. Soft-spoken but outspoken, Bernie successfully negotiated with officials at all levels of government on behalf of Indians and other minorities, crossing into political territory normally off-limits to his people.
Bernie Whitebear’s story takes readers from an impoverished youth—including a rare account of life on the Colville Reservation during the 1930s—to the “Red Power” movement as it traces Bernie’s emergence as an activist influenced by contemporaries such as Bob Satiacum, Vine DeLoria, and Joe Delacruz. By choosing this course, Bernie was clearly making a break with his past, but with an eye toward a better future, whether staging the successful protest at Fort Lawton or acting on behalf of Native fishing rights in Puget Sound. When he died in July 2000, Bernie Whitebear had left an inestimable legacy, accomplishing things that no other Indian seemed able to do. His biography is an inspiring story for readers at many levels, an account of how one American Indian overcame hardships and obstacles to make a difference in the lives of his people—and an entire community.
Betrayal at the Buffalo Ranch
Sara Sue Hoklotubbe University of Arizona Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3608.O4828B48 2018 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
When Sadie Walela learns that her new neighbor in Cherokee Country, Angus Clyborn’s Buffalo Ranch, offers rich customers a chance to kill buffalo for fun, she is horrified. No good can surely come from this. It doesn’t, and murder soon follows.
Even though Deputy Sheriff Lance Smith, Sadie’s love interest, suspects a link to the Buffalo Ranch, he can find little evidence to make an arrest. And when a rare white buffalo calf is born on the ranch and immediately disappears, Sadie’s instincts tell her something is wrong—and she sets out to prove it. Her suspicions—and fears of more violence—escalate when a former schoolmate returns to Oklahoma to visit her ailing father and finds employment at the ranch. Will she be the next victim?
Drawn deeper and deeper into danger, Sadie uncovers an unparalleled web of greed and corruption. It will take all of her investigative skill to set things straight—assuming she and her wolfdog can stay alive long enough to succeed.
Garifuna live in Central America, primarily Honduras, and the United States. Identified as Black by others and by themselves, they also claim indigenous status and rights in Latin America. Examining this set of paradoxes, Mark Anderson shows how, on the one hand, Garifuna embrace discourses of tradition, roots, and a paradigm of ethnic political struggle. On the other hand, Garifuna often affirm blackness through assertions of African roots and affiliations with Blacks elsewhere, drawing particularly on popular images of U.S. blackness embodied by hip-hop music and culture.
Black and Indigenous explores the politics of race and culture among Garifuna in Honduras as a window into the active relations among multiculturalism, consumption, and neoliberalism in the Americas. Based on ethnographic work, Anderson questions perspectives that view indigeneity and blackness, nativist attachments and diasporic affiliations, as mutually exclusive paradigms of representation, being, and belonging.
As Anderson reveals, within contemporary struggles of race, ethnicity, and culture, indigeneity serves as a normative model for collective rights, while blackness confers a status of subaltern cosmopolitanism. Indigeneity and blackness, he concludes, operate as unstable, often ambivalent, and sometimes overlapping modes through which people both represent themselves and negotiate oppression.
For much of U.S. history, the story of native people has been written by historians and anthropologists relying on the often biased accounts of European-American observers. Though we have become well acquainted with war chiefs like Pontiac and Crazy Horse, it has been at the expense of better knowing civic-minded intellectuals like Andrew J. Blackbird, who sought in 1887 to give a voice to his people through his landmark book History of the Ottawa and Chippewa People. Blackbird chronicled the numerous ways in which these Great Lakes people fought to retain their land and culture, first with military resistance and later by claiming the tools of citizenship. This stirring account reflects on the lived experience of the Odawa people and the work of one of their greatest advocates.
In the spring, the bear returns to the forest, the glacier returns to its source, and the salmon returns to the fresh water where it was spawned. Drawing on the special relationship that the Native people of southeastern Alaska have always had with nature, Blonde Indian is a story about returning.
Told in eloquent layers that blend Native stories and metaphor with social and spiritual journeys, this enchanting memoir traces the author’s life from her difficult childhood growing up in the Tlingit community, through her adulthood, during which she lived for some time in Seattle and San Francisco, and eventually to her return home. Neither fully Native American nor Euro-American, Hayes encounters a unique sense of alienation from both her Native community and the dominant culture. We witness her struggles alongside other Tlingit men and women—many of whom never left their Native community but wrestle with their own challenges, including unemployment, prejudice, alcoholism, and poverty.
The author’s personal journey, the symbolic stories of contemporary Natives, and the tales and legends that have circulated among the Tlingit people for centuries are all woven together, making Blonde Indian much more than the story of one woman’s life. Filled with anecdotes, descriptions, and histories that are unique to the Tlingit community, this book is a document of cultural heritage, a tribute to the Alaskan landscape, and a moving testament to how going back—in nature and in life—allows movement forward.
These autobiographical essays by a member of the Coeur d'Alene tribe interweave personal experiences with striking portraits of relatives, both living and dead, to form a rich tapestry of history, storytelling, and remembrance. Hale's is a story of intense and resonant beauty. Breathtaking in its range and authority, Bloodlines is an important addition to the literature of women of color.
Wrapped in blankets and looking at the stars, a young Navajo girl listened long ago to stories that would guide her for the rest of her life. "Such summer evenings were filled with quiet voices, dogs barking far away, the fire crackling, and often we could hear the faint drums and songs of a ceremony somewhere in the distance," writes Luci Tapahonso in this compelling collection.
Blue Horses Rush In takes its title from a poem about the birth of her granddaughter Chamisa, whose heart "pounded quickly and we recognized / the sound of horses running: / the thundering of hooves on the desert floor." Through such personal insights, this collection follows the cycle of a woman's life and underlines what it means to be Navajo in the late twentieth century. The book marks a major accomplishment in American literature for its successful blending of Navajo cultural values and forms with the English language, while at the same time retaining the Navajo character. Here, Luci Tapahonso walks slowly through an ancient Hohokam village, recalling stories passed down from generation to generation. Later in the book, she may tell a funny story about a friend, then, within a few pages, describe family rituals like roasting green chiles or baking bread in an outside oven. Throughout, Tapahonso shares with readers her belief in the power of pollen and prayer feathers and sacred songs.
Many of these stories were originally told in Navajo, taking no longer than ten minutes in the telling. "Yet, in recreating them, it is necessary to describe the land, the sky, the light, and other details of time and place," writes Tapahonso. "In this way, I attempt to create and convey the setting for the oral text. In writing, I revisit the place or places concerned and try to bring the reader to them, thereby enabling myself and other Navajos to sojourn mentally and emotionally in our home, Dinétah."
Anita Endrezze has deep memories. Her father was a Yaqui Indian. Her mother traced her heritage to Slovenia, Germany, Romania, and Italy. And her stories seem to bubble up from this ancestral cauldron. Butterfly Moon is a collection of short stories based on folk tales from around the world. But its stories are set in the contemporary, everyday world. Or are they?
Endrezze tells these stories in a distinctive and poetic voice. Fantasy often intrudes into reality. Alternate “realities” and shifting perspectives lead us to question our own perceptions. Endrezze is especially interested in how humans hide feelings or repress thoughts by developing shadow selves. In “Raven’s Moon,” she introduces the shadow concept with a Black Moon, the “unseen reflection of the known.” (Of course the story is about a witch couple who seem very much in love.) The title character in “The Wife Who Lived on Wind” is an ogress who lives in a world somewhat similar to our own, but only somewhat. “The Vampire and the Moth Woman” reveals shape-shifters living among us.
Not surprisingly, Trickster appears in these tales. As in Native American stories, Trickster might be a fox or a coyote or a raven or a human—or something in between. “White Butterflies” and “Where the Bones Are” both deal with devastating diseases that swept through Yaqui country in the 1530s. Underneath their surfaces are old Yaqui folktales that feature the greatest Trickster of all: Death (and his little brother Fate).
Enjoyably disturbing, these stories linger—deep in our memory.
The Attack Along the Washita River, Custer’s Last Victory and the Action That Led to the Plains Indians’ United Quest for Retribution
The cold dawn of November 27, 1868, was the moment George Armstrong Custer had longed for ever since the Civil War ended three years before. It was also the moment Black Kettle of the Cheyenne nation had feared ever since he had survived the deadly attack on his people at Sand Creek, Colorado Territory. Custer, who gloried in battle, was no longer the national hero, the celebrity he had been in wartime. He was a forgotten man who had failed in his first Indian campaign the year before. He needed a resounding victory to resurrect the attention he craved, and the sleepy Cheyenne village along the banks of the Washita River—ironically near present-day Cheyenne, Oklahoma—proved irresistible. Custer led his 7th U.S. Cavalry in an early morning charge that wiped out the encampment, killing those who resisted and some of those who fled. Black Kettle’s Cheyenne had signed documents of peace with the U.S. Government as they had done before Sand Creek, but once again that did not protect them. Custer ordered his troops to capture women and children and traveled with these prisoners as a way to shield his column from a retaliatory strike on their way back to their post. Called both a massacre and a battle, the action at the Washita River returned Custer to national prominence as the “greatest Indian fighter of all.” Coming Through Fire: George Armstrong Custer and Chief Black Kettle tells the converging stories of a Civil War hero and a native warrior who met along the Washita River. Black Kettle had given up fighting—he had “come through the fire”— and made his mark on treaty after treaty to try to save the Cheyenne and their way of life from the encroachments of the U.S. government and white settlers. He watched the government breach the terms of each treaty, yet he continued to work for a compromise, knowing that negotiations were the only way his people could survive. But the flood of wagon trains and settlements, the killing of the great buffalo herds, the new diseases and broken promises, political ambition, naked greed, and continuing restrictions on land, food, and shelter persisted. As the U.S. Army, including Custer, continued to attack and forceably move Indians to reservations despite treaties indicating otherwise, Black Kettle’s dreams of peace were shattered. He ended his life face down in the freezing waters of the Washita River, shot by one of Custer’s troopers. The “greatest Indian fighter” would not survive the Indian Wars either, cut down near the Little Big Horn River, in part for his actions against Black Kettle and the Cheyenne.
Confessions of an Iyeska
Viola Burnette University of Utah Press, 2018 Library of Congress E99.T34 | Dewey Decimal 978.004975244009
In this autobiography, Viola Burnette braids the history of the Lakota people with the story of her own life as an Iyeska, or mixed-race Indian. Bringing together her years growing up on a reservation, her work as a lawyer and legal advocate for Native peoples, and her woman’s perspective, she draws the reader into an intelligent and intimate conversation.
The Fort Laramie treaties of 1851 and 1868 changed everything for the Sioux. When Burnette was born on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in the late 1930s, her people were still striving to make sense of how to live under the impoverished conditions created by the imposed land restrictions. Like most Native children at that time, she was forced by federal law to attend boarding school and assimilate into white culture. Her story reveals the resulting internal conflict that she and her people faced in embracing their own identity in a world where those in authority taught that speaking Lakota and being Indian were wrong. After a difficult jump into adulthood, Burnette emerged from an abusive marriage and, while raising four children, enrolled in junior college in her thirties and law school in her forties. She went on to become an advocate for women subjected to domestic violence and the first attorney general for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.
Borne out under the far-reaching effects of the government-enforced restructuring of her people, Burnette’s inspiring narrative of strength and determination makes clear the importance of understanding history from a Native standpoint.
“I am an Iyeska and I am assimilated, but on my own terms. I choose when, where, and how I use the knowledge and skills I have learned. As long as we continue to teach our children and grandchildren the language, values, and traditions of the Lakota people, we will survive.”—from the book
Deception on All Accounts
Sara Sue Hoklotubbe University of Arizona Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3608.O4828D43 2003 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Is murder always a simple transaction? Don't bank on it.
Sadie Walela's life is about to be turned upside down.
One morning Sadie unlocks the door at the Mercury Savings Bank and confronts a robber who's been lying in wait for her and her fellow employees. He flees after stealing money and killing her coworker. When a whirlwind of events leaves Sadie herself under suspicion, she sets out to clear her name.
This banker turned sleuth is suddenly plunged into an unfamiliar world in which people are not always as they appear—not her employer, not the homeless man she's befriended, not the police officer who takes an interest in the case, not the man she falls in love with. And, as she's beginning to imagine, not even herself.
Sadie is a blue-eyed Cherokee living in northeastern Oklahoma, a half-blood who finds she sometimes has to adapt to get by in the white man's world. As she faces adversity at each bend in the road, she adapts and moves forward, much as her father's ancestors did. But as she comes to term with murder, romance, and her hopes for a career, Sadie finds deception on all accounts.
Basket weaver, storyteller, and tribal elder, Frances Manuel is a living preserver of Tohono O’odham culture. Speaking in her own words from the heart of the Arizona desert, she now shares the story of her life. She tells of O’odham culture and society, and of the fortunes and misfortunes of Native Americans in the southwestern borderlands over the past century.
In Desert Indian Woman, Frances relates her life and her stories with the wit, humor, and insight that have endeared her to family and friends. She tells of her early childhood growing up in a mesquite brush house, her training in tribal traditions, her acquaintance with Mexican ways, and her education in an American boarding school. Through her recollections of births and deaths, heartache and happiness, we learn of her family’s migration from the reservation to the barrios and back again. In the details of her everyday life, we see how Frances has navigated between O’odham and American societies, always keeping her grandparents’ traditional teachings as her compass.
It is extraordinary to hear from a Native American woman like Frances, in her own words and her own point of view, to enter the complex and sensitive aspects of her life experience, her sorrows, and her dreams. We also become privy to her continuing search for her identity across the border, and the ways in which Frances and Deborah have attempted to make sense of their friendship over twenty-odd years. Throughout the book, Deborah captures the rhythms of Frances’s narrative style, conveying the connectedness of her dreams, songs, and legends with everyday life, bringing images and people from faraway times and places into the present.
Deborah Neff brings a breadth of experience in anthropology and Southwest Native American cultures to the task of placing Frances Manuel’s life in its broader historical context, illuminating how history works itself out in people’s everyday lives. Desert Indian Woman is the story of an individual life lived well and a major contribution to the understanding of history from a Native American point of view.
When the Apache wars ended in the late nineteenth century, a harsh and harrowing time began for the Western Apache people. Living under the authority of nervous Indian agents, pitiless government-school officials, and menacing mounted police, they knew that resistance to American authority would be foolish. But some Apache families did resist in the most basic way they could: they resolved to endure. Although Apache history has inspired numerous works by non-Indian authors, Apache people themselves have been reluctant to comment at length on their own past. Eva Tulene Watt, born in 1913, now shares the story of her family from the time of the Apache wars to the modern era. Her narrative presents a view of history that differs fundamentally from conventional approaches, which have almost nothing to say about the daily lives of Apache men and women, their values and social practices, and the singular abilities that enabled them to survive.
In a voice that is spare, factual, and unflinchingly direct, Mrs. Watt reveals how the Western Apaches carried on in the face of poverty, hardship, and disease. Her interpretation of her people’s past is a diverse assemblage of recounted events, biographical sketches, and cultural descriptions that bring to life a vanished time and the men and women who lived it to the fullest. We share her and her family’s travels and troubles. We learn how the Apache people struggled daily to find work, shelter, food, health, laughter, solace, and everything else that people in any community seek.
Richly illustrated with more than 50 photographs, Don’t Let the Sun Step Over You is a rare and remarkable book that affords a view of the past that few have seen before—a wholly Apache view, unsettling yet uplifting, which weighs upon the mind and educates the heart.
Drowning in Fire
Craig S. Womack University of Arizona Press, 2001 Library of Congress PS501.S85 vol. 48 | Dewey Decimal 810.8
Josh Henneha has always been a traveler, drowning in dreams, burning with desires.
As a young boy growing up within the Muskogee Creek Nation in rural Oklahoma, Josh experiences a yearning for something he cannot tame. Quiet and skinny and shy, he feels out of place, at once inflamed and ashamed by his attraction to other boys. Driven by a need to understand himself and his history, Josh struggles to reconcile the conflicting voices he hears—from the messages of sin and scorn of the non-Indian Christian churches his parents attend in order to assimilate, to the powerful stories of his older Creek relatives, which have been the center of his upbringing, memory, and ongoing experience.
In his fevered and passionate dreams, Josh catches a glimpse of something that makes the Muskogee Creek world come alive. Lifted by his great-aunt Lucille’s tales of her own wild girlhood, Josh learns to fly back through time, to relive his people’s history, and uncover a hidden legacy of triumphs and betrayals, ceremonies and secrets he can forge into a new sense of himself.
When as a man, Josh rediscovers the boyhood friend who first stirred his desires, he realizes a transcendent love that helps take him even deeper into the Creek world he has explored all along in his imagination.
Interweaving past and present, history and story, explicit realism and dreamlike visions, Craig Womack’s Drowning in Fire explores a young man’s journey to understand his cultural and sexual identity within a framework drawn from the community of his origins. A groundbreaking and provocative coming-of-age story, Drowning in Fire is a vividly realized novel by an impressive literary talent.
Pilulaw Khus has devoted her life to tribal, environmental, and human rights issues. With impressive candor and detail, she recounts those struggles here, offering a Native woman’s perspective on California history and the production of knowledge about indigenous peoples. Readers interested in tribal history will find in her story a spiritual counterpoint to prevailing academic views on the complicated reemergence of a Chumash identity. Readers interested in environmental studies will find vital eyewitness accounts of movements to safeguard important sites like Painted Rock and San Simeon Point from developers. Readers interested in indigenous storytelling will find Chumash origin tales and oral history as recounted by a gifted storyteller.
The 1978 Point Conception Occupation was a turning point in Pilulaw Khus’s life. In that year excavation began for a new natural gas facility at Point Conception, near Santa Barbara, California. To the Chumash tribal people of the central California coast, this was desecration of sacred land. In the Chumash cosmology, it was the site of the Western Gate, a passageway for spirits to enter the next world. Frustrated by unfavorable court hearings, the Chumash and their allies mobilized a year-long occupation of the disputed site, eventually forcing the energy company to abandon its plan. The Point Conception Occupation was a landmark event in the cultural revitalization of the Chumash people and a turning point in the life of Pilulaw Khus, the Chumash activist and medicine woman whose firsthand narrations comprise this volume.
Scholar Yolanda Broyles-González provides an extensive introductory analysis of Khus’s narrative. Her analysis explores “re-Indianization” and highlights the newly emergent Chumash research of the last decade.
In the world of book publishing, this volume from a traditional Chumash woman elder is a first. It puts a 20th (and 21st) century face, name, identity, humanity, personality, and living voice on the term Chumash.
Evil Dead Center: A Mystery
Carole laFavor University of Minnesota Press, 2017 Library of Congress PS3562.A274E9 2017 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
An Ojibwa woman has been found dead on the outskirts of the Minnesota Red Earth Reservation. The coroner ruled the death a suicide, but after an ex-lover comes back into her life saying foul play was involved, Renee LaRoche wants to prove otherwise. As the events begin to unfold, Renee conducts a presumably normal welfare check on a young Ojibwa boy in foster care. After she learns the boy has suffered abuse, Renee finds herself amid an investigation into the foster care system and the deep trauma it has inflicted on the Ojibwa people. As Renee uncovers horrible truths, she must work through her own childhood issues to help shine a light on the dark web she has stumbled into.
Lyman “Bean” Wilson, a half-breed Nevada Indian and middle-aged professor of journalism at Lakota University in South Dakota, is reassesing his life. The result is a string of family reconnections, sexual adventures, crises at work, pipe and sweat-lodge ceremonies, and—through his membership in the secret Ghost Dancers Society—political activism, culminating in a successful plot to blow the nose off of the George Washington statue on Mt. Rushmore.
In this food memoir, named for the manoomin or wild rice that also gives the Menominee tribe its name, tribal member Thomas Pecore Weso takes readers on a cook’s journey through Wisconsin’s northern woods. He connects each food—beaver, trout, blackberry, wild rice, maple sugar, partridge—with colorful individuals who taught him Indigenous values. Cooks will learn from his authentic recipes. Amateur and professional historians will appreciate firsthand stories about reservation life during the mid-twentieth century, when many elders, fluent in the Algonquian language, practiced the old ways.
Weso’s grandfather Moon was considered a medicine man, and his morning prayers were the foundation for all the day’s meals. Weso’s grandmother Jennie "made fire" each morning in a wood-burning stove, and oversaw huge breakfasts of wild game, fish, and fruit pies. As Weso grew up, his uncles taught him to hunt bear, deer, squirrels, raccoons, and even skunks for the daily larder. He remembers foods served at the Menominee fair and the excitement of "sugar bush," maple sugar gatherings that included dances as well as hard work.
Weso uses humor to tell his own story as a boy learning to thrive in a land of icy winters and summer swamps. With his rare perspective as a Native anthropologist and artist, he tells a poignant personal story in this unique book.
A History of the Influential Seneca Leader Who Fought to Maintain Indian Sovereignty During the Bitter Wars for North America Nearly a century before the United States declared the end of the Indian Wars, the fate of Native Americans was revealed in the battle of Fallen Timbers. In 1794, General Anthony Wayne led the first American army— the Legion of the United States—against a unified Indian force in the Ohio country. The Indians were routed and forced to vacate their lands. It was the last of a series of Indian attempts in the East to retain their sovereignty and foreshadowed what would occur across the rest of the continent. In Guyasuta and the Fall of Indian America, historian Brady J. Crytzer traces how American Indians were affected by the wars leading to American Independence through the life of one of the period’s most influential figures. Born in 1724, Guyasuta is perfectly positioned to understand the emerging political landscape of America in the tumultuous eighteenth century. As a sachem of the vaunted Iroquois Confederacy, for nearly fifty years Guyasuta dedicated his life to the preservation and survival of Indian order in a rapidly changing world, whether it was on the battlefield, in the face of powerful imperial armies, or around a campfire negotiating with his French, British, and American counterparts. Guyasuta was present at many significant events in the century, including George Washington’s expedition to Fort Le Boeuf, the Braddock disaster of 1755, Pontiac’s Rebellion and the Battle of Bushy Run in 1763, and the Battle of Oriskany during the American Revolution. Guyasuta’s involvement in the French and British wars and the American War for Independence were all motivated by a desire to retain relevance for Indian society. It was only upon the birth of the United States of America that Guyasuta finally laid his rifle down and watched as his Indian world crumbled beneath his feet. A broken man, debilitated by alcoholism, he died near Pittsburgh in 1794.
Supported by extensive research and full of compelling drama, Guyasuta and the Fall of Indian America unravels the tangled web of alliances, both white and native, and explains how the world of the American Indians could not survive alongside the emergent United States.
The Hatak Witches
Devon A. Mihesuah University of Arizona Press, 2021 Library of Congress PS3563.I371535H38 2021 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
After a security guard is found dead and another wounded at the Children’s Museum of Science and History in Norman, Oklahoma, Detective Monique Blue Hawk and her partner Chris Pierson are summoned to investigate. They find no fingerprints, no footprints, and no obvious means to enter the locked building.
Monique discovers that a portion of an ancient and deformed skeleton had also been stolen from the neglected museum archives. Her uncle, the spiritual leader Leroy Bear Red Ears, concludes that the stolen remains are those of Hatak haksi, a witch and the matriarch of the Crow family, a group of shape-shifting Choctaws who plan to reestablish themselves as the powerful creatures they were when the tribe lived in Mississippi. Monique, Leroy, and Chris must stop the Crows, but to their dread, the entities have retreated to the dark and treacherous hollow in the center of Chalakwa Ranch. The murderous shape-shifters believe the enormous wild hogs, poisonous snakes, and other creatures of the hollow might form an adequate defense for Hatak haksi.
But what no one counts on is the unexpected appearance and power of the Old Ones who guard the lands of the Choctaw afterlife. Blending tribal beliefs and myths into a modern context, The Hatak Witches continues the storyline of Choctaw cosmology and cultural survival that are prominent in Devon A. Mihesuah’s award-winning novel, The Roads of My Relations.
These sixteen stories—ten of which have not been previously published—represent the work of one of the most influential Native American writers of the twentieth century—held by many to be the most important Native Americans to write fiction before N. Scott Momaday. Birgit Hans's introductory essay provides a brief biography of McNickle, sets the stories in the context of his better known work, and provides insights into their literary significance. Together, they constitute a collection essential to an adequate understanding of McNickle and of the development of Native American fiction.
En roulant ma boule, roulant...
Meat for God
The Hawk Is Hungry
Debt of Gratitude
Going to School
Let the War Be Fought
In the Alien Corn
Six Beautiful in Paris
The Silver Locket
In deceptively simple prose and verse, Louis V. "Two Shoes" Clark III shares his life story, from childhood on the Rez, through school and into the working world, and ultimately as an elder, grandfather, and published poet. How to Be an Indian in the 21st Century explores Clark’s deeply personal and profound take on a wide range of subjects, from schoolyard bullying to workplace racism to falling in love. Warm, plainspoken, and wryly funny, Clark’s is a unique voice talking frankly about a culture’s struggle to maintain its heritage. His poetic storytelling style matches the rhythm of the life he recounts, what he calls "the heartbeat of my nation."
Originally published in Mexico in 1970, Indigenous and Popular Thinking in América is the first book by the Argentine philosopher Rodolfo Kusch (1922–79) to be translated into English. At its core is a binary created by colonization and the devaluation of indigenous practices and cosmologies: an opposition between the technologies and rationalities of European modernity and the popular mode of thinking, which is deeply tied to Indian ways of knowing and being. Arguing that this binary cuts through América, Kusch seeks to identify and recover the indigenous and popular way of thinking, which he contends is dismissed or misunderstood by many urban Argentines, including leftist intellectuals.
Indigenous and Popular Thinking in América is a record of Kusch's attempt to immerse himself in the indigenous ways of knowing and being. At first glance, his methodology resembles ethnography. He speaks with and observes indigenous people and mestizos in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. He questions them about their agricultural practices and economic decisions; he observes rituals; he asks women in the market the meaning of indigenous talismans; he interviews shamans; he describes the spatial arrangement and the contents of shrines, altars, and temples; and he reproduces diagrams of archaeological sites, which he then interprets at length. Yet he does not present a "them" to a putative "us." Instead, he offers an inroad to a way of thinking and being that does not follow the logic or fit into the categories of Western social science and philosophy. In his introduction, Walter D. Mignolo discusses Kusch's work and its relation to that of other twentieth-century intellectuals, Argentine history, and contemporary scholarship on the subaltern and decoloniality.
Indigenous (In)Justice explores legal and human rights issues surrounding the Bedouin Arab population in Israel's Naqab/Negev desert. With contributions from international scholars, including United Nations officials, the volume examines the economic and social rights of indigenous peoples within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In recent years, archaeologists and Native American communities have struggled to find common ground even though more than a century ago a man of Seneca descent raised on New York’s Cattaraugus Reservation, Arthur C. Parker, joined the ranks of professional archaeology. Until now, Parker’s life and legacy as the first Native American archaeologist have been neither closely studied nor widely recognized. At a time when heated debates about the control of Native American heritage have come to dominate archaeology, Parker’s experiences form a singular lens to view the field’s tangled history and current predicaments with Indigenous peoples.
In Inheriting the Past, Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh examines Parker’s winding career path and asks why it has taken generations for Native peoples to follow in his footsteps. Closely tracing Parker’s life through extensive archival research, Colwell-Chanthaphonh explores how Parker crafted a professional identity and negotiated dilemmas arising from questions of privilege, ownership, authorship, and public participation. How Parker, as well as the discipline more broadly, chose to address the conflict between Native American rights and the pursuit of scientific discovery ultimately helped form archaeology’s moral community.
Parker’s rise in archaeology just as the field was taking shape demonstrates that Native Americans could have found a place in the scholarly pursuit of the past years ago and altered its trajectory. Instead, it has taken more than a century to articulate the promise of an Indigenous archaeology—an archaeological practice carried out by, for, and with Native peoples. As the current generation of researchers explores new possibilities of inclusiveness, Parker’s struggles and successes serve as a singular reference point to reflect on archaeology’s history and its future.
Killing Time with Strangers
W. S. Penn University of Arizona Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS501.S85 vol. 45 | Dewey Decimal 810.80054
Young Pal needs help with his dreaming.
Palimony Blue Larue, a mixblood growing up in a small California town, suffers from a painful shyness and wants more than anything to be liked. That's why Mary Blue, his Nez Perce mother, has dreamed the weyekin, the spirit guide, to help her bring into the world the one lasting love her son needs to overcome the diffidence that runs so deep in his blood. The magical (and not totally competent) weyekin pops in and out of Pal's life at the most unexpected times—and in the most unlikely guises—but seems to have difficulty setting him on the right path. Is there any hope for Palimony Blue?
Don't ask his father, La Vent Larue; La Vent is past hope, past help, a city zoning planner and a pawn in the mayor's development plans who ends up crazy and in jail after he shoots the mayor in the—well, never mind. Better to ask Pal's mother, who summons the weyekin when she isn't working on a cradle board for Pal and his inevitable bride. And while you're at it, ask the women in Pal's life: Sally the preacher's daughter, Brandy the waitressing flautist, Tara the spoiled socialite. And be sure to ask Amanda, if you can catch her. If you can dream her.
Using comic vision to address serious concerns of living, Penn has written a freewheeling novel that will surpass most readers' expectations of "ethnic fiction." Instead of the usual polemics, it's marked by a sense of humor and a playfulness of language that springs directly from Native American oral tradition.
What more can be said about a book that has to be read to the end in order to get to the beginning? That Killing Time with Strangers is unlike any novel you have read before? Or perhaps that it is agonizingly familiar, giving us glimpses of a young man finding his precarious way in life? But when the power of dreaming is unleashed, time becomes negotiable and life's joys and sorrows go up for grabs. And as sure as yellow butterflies will morph into Post-It notes, you will know you have experienced a new and utterly captivating way of looking at the world.
The Last of the Ofos
Geary Hobson University of Arizona Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS501.S85 vol. 39 | Dewey Decimal 810.80054
Thomas Darko is a Mohican for the twentieth century, the last surviving member of the tiny Mosopelea Tribe of the Mississippi Delta, called Ofos by outsiders. Never numbering more than a few hundred people in recorded history, his kinsmen have died away until Thomas comes to think of himself as "a nation of one." Now an old man in the waning years of the century, Thomas tells the story of his rough-and-tumble life--one which saw many of the changes that Indian people have faced in modern America—and he emerges as one of the most endearing characters in contemporary Native American literature.
In this subtle but inventive novel, presented as Thomas's memoirs, Geary Hobson offers us a glimpse into a life filled with simple joys and sorrows. In relating his Louisiana childhood, Thomas recalls not just school-learning but being taught Indian ways by the small Ofo community. He tells of his life as a roustabout in the oil fields, of his courtship of the rambunctious Sally Fachette, and of his career as a bootlegger, which landed him in prison. We share Thomas's wartime stint with the Marines—where "for the first time in my life I was treated like a equal"—and his life as a farm laborer and a Hollywood extra portraying warbonneted Cheyennes. Then in his later years, when he truly has become the last of his kind, we find Thomas recruited by an anthropologist from the Smithsonian Institution to preserve his people's culture. In Washington, he is exposed to the vagaries of Indian policy and the emerging Native American movement.
Throughout Thomas's story, readers are introduced to a wide-ranging cast of characters, from the outlaws Bonnie and Clyde to a fellow Marine who is wary of Indians, to an uppity anthropologist who doesn't consider Thomas "expert" enough to handle an Ofo flute. Always poor in material wealth but rich in heritage, Thomas Darko is a Native American Everyman whose identity is shaped by family and homeland. His "autobiography" paints a realistic portrait of an Indian confronting the obstacles in his life and the dilemmas of his age as his story reveals the painful legacy of being the last of one's kind.
"She asked me if I liked them. And what could I say? They were wonderful." From the very beginning of Sergio Troncoso's celebrated story "Angie Luna," we know we are in the hands of a gifted storyteller. Born of Mexican immigrants, raised in El Paso, and now living in New York City, Troncoso has a rare knack for celebrating life.
Writing in a straightforward, light-handed style reminiscent of Grace Paley and Raymond Carver, he spins charming tales that reflect his experiences in two worlds. Troncoso's El Paso is a normal town where common people who happen to be Mexican eat, sleep, fall in love, and undergo epiphanies just like everyone else. His tales are coming-of-age stories from the Mexican-American border, stories of the working class, stories of those coping with the trials of growing old in a rapidly changing society. He also explores New York with vignettes of life in the big city, capturing its loneliness and danger.
Beginning with Troncoso's widely acclaimed story "Angie Luna," the tale of a feverish love affair in which a young man rediscovers his Mexican heritage and learns how much love can hurt, these stories delve into the many dimensions of the human condition. We watch boys playing a game that begins innocently but takes a dangerous turn. We see an old Anglo woman befriending her Mexican gardener because both are lonely. We witness a man terrorized in his New York apartment, taking solace in memories of lost love. Two new stories will be welcomed by Troncoso's readers. "My Life in the City" relates a transplanted Texan's yearning for companionship in New York, while "The Last Tortilla" returns to the Southwest to explore family strains after a mother's death—and the secret behind that death. Each reflects an insight about the human heart that has already established the author's work in literary circles.
Troncoso sets aside the polemics about social discomfort sometimes found in contemporary Chicano writing and focuses instead on the moral and intellectual lives of his characters. The twelve stories gathered here form a richly textured tapestry that adds to our understanding of what it is to be human.
Legends of the Northern Paiute shares and preserves twenty-one original and previously unpublished Northern Paiute legends, as told by Wilson Wewa, a spiritual leader and oral historian of the Warm Springs Paiute. These legends were originally told around the fires of Paiute camps and villages during the “story-telling season” of winter in the Great Basin of the American West. They were shared with Paiute communities as a way to pass on tribal visions of the “animal people” and the “human people,” their origins and values, their spiritual and natural environment, and their culture and daily lives.
The legends in this volume were recorded, transcribed, reviewed, and edited by Wilson Wewa and James Gardner. Each legend was recorded, then read and edited out loud, to respect the creativity, warmth, and flow of Paiute storytelling. The stories selected for inclusion include familiar characters from native legends, such as Coyote, as well as intriguing characters unique to the Northern Paiute, such as the creature embodied in the Smith Rock pinnacle, now known as Monkey Face, but known to the Paiutes in Central Oregon as Nuwuzoho the Cannibal.
Wewa’s apprenticeship to Northern Paiute culture began when he was about six years old. These legends were passed on to him by his grandmother and other tribal elders. They are now made available to future generations of tribal members, and to students, scholars, and readers interested in Wewa’s fresh and authentic voice. These legends are best read and appreciated as they were told—out loud, shared with others, and delivered with all of the verve, cadence, creativity, and humor of original Paiute storytellers on those clear, cold winter nights in the high desert.
“Little Hawk” was born Raymond Kaquatosh in 1924 on Wisconsin’s Menominee Reservation. The son of a medicine woman, Ray spent his Depression-era boyhood immersed in the beauty of the natural world and the traditions of his tribe and his family.
After his father’s death, eight-year-old Ray was sent to an Indian boarding school in Keshena. There he experienced isolation and despair, but also comfort and kindness. Upon his return home, Ray remained a lonely boy in a full house until he met and befriended a lone timber wolf. The unusual bond they formed would last through both their lifetimes. As Ray grew into a young man, he left the reservation more frequently. Yet whenever he returned—from school and work, from service in the Marines, and finally from postwar Wausau with his future wife—the wolf waited.
In this rare first-person narrative of a Menominee Indian’s coming of age, Raymond Kaquatosh shares a story that is wise and irreverent, often funny, and in the end, deeply moving.
An energetic Hopi woman emerges from a traditional family background to embrace the more conventional way of life in American today. Enchanting and enlightening—a rare piece of primary source anthropology.
Contrary to the fictional account of James Fenimore Cooper, the Mohegan/Mohican nation did not vanish with the death of Chief Uncas more than three hundred years ago. In the remarkable life story of one of its most beloved matriarchs—100-year-old medicine woman Gladys Tantaquidgeon—Medicine Trail tells of the Mohegans' survival into this century.
Blending autobiography and history, with traditional knowledge and ways of life, Medicine Trail presents a collage of events in Tantaquidgeon's life. We see her childhood spent learning Mohegan ceremonies and healing methods at the hands of her tribal grandmothers, and her Ivy League education and career in the white male-dominated field of anthropology. We also witness her travels to other Indian communities, acting as both an ambassador of her own tribe and an employee of the federal government's Bureau of Indian Affairs. Finally we see Tantaquidgeon's return to her beloved Mohegan Hill, where she cofounded America's oldest Indian-run museum, carrying on her life's commitment to good medicine and the cultural continuance and renewal of all Indian nations.
Written in the Mohegan oral tradition, this book offers a unique insider's understanding of Mohegan and other Native American cultures while discussing the major policies and trends that have affected people throughout Indian Country in the twentieth century. A significant departure from traditional anthropological "as told to" American Indian autobiography, Medicine Trail represents a major contribution to anthropology, history, theology, women's studies, and Native American studies.
When Faustin, the old Acoma, is given his first television set, he considers it a technical wonder, a box full of mystery. What he sees on its screen that first day, however, is even more startling than the television itself: men have landed on the moon. Can this be real? For Simon Ortiz, Faustin's reaction proves that tales of ordinary occurrences can truly touch the heart. "For me," he observes, "there's never been a conscious moment without story."
Best known for his poetry, Ortiz also has authored 26 short stories that have won the hearts of readers through the years. Men on the Moon brings these stories together—stories filled with memorable characters, written with love by a keen observer and interpreter of his people's community and culture. True to Native American tradition, these tales possess the immediacy—and intimacy—of stories conveyed orally. They are drawn from Ortiz's Acoma Pueblo experience but focus on situations common to Native people, whether living on the land or in cities, and on the issues that affect their lives. We meet Jimmo, a young boy learning that his father is being hunted for murder, and Kaiser, the draft refuser who always wears the suit he was given when he left prison. We also meet some curious Anglos: radicals supporting Indian causes, scholars studying Indian ways, and San Francisco hippies who want to become Indians too.
Whether telling of migrants working potato fields in Idaho and pining for their Arizona home or of a father teaching his son to fly a kite, Ortiz takes readers to the heart of storytelling. Men on the Moon shows that stories told by a poet especially resound with beauty and depth.
"It was in the year of 1945 on a cold morning, the third day, in the month of March. A little boy was born as the wind blew against the hogan with bitter colds and the stars were disappearing into the heaven." So begins the story of Broneco, a Navajo boy who tells of his search for a miracle. Through that telling we learn a new perspective on language and life. In Miracle Hill, Blackhorse Mitchell presents the unforgettable account of a boy’s struggle to learn—which would be for him a miracle—in the face of handicaps most people would call insurmountable. Under the guidance of a teacher determined to help him pursue that miracle, he records his life from birth to the dawn of manhood: herding family sheep, living at a boarding school, encountering whites for the first time, journeying home, and finally enrolling in the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, where his talent was encouraged. Miracle Hill is written in a distinctively personal style, without strict adherence to orthodox grammar that would have robbed Mitchell of his true voice. Filled with unforgettable characters and brimming with insights into Navajo ways and family relationships, it is a book that crosses cultural barriers and speaks to the miracle-seeker in us all.
Louis Kenoyer, born in 1868 at Grand Ronde reservation, Oregon, was the last known native speaker of Tualatin Northern Kalapuya. His autobiographical narrative was recorded in 1928 and 1936 and is archived in the Special Collections of the University of Washington Library. Kenoyer's autobiography is a rare, first-person narrative by a Native American discussing life on an Oregon reservation. To bring his compelling story to contemporary readers, Henry Zenk and Jedd Schrock have completed a translation of the original Tualatin narrative and prepared extensive annotations and commentary to supplement the text. The original Tualatin is presented alongside the English translation.
N. Scott Momaday University of Arizona Press, 1996 Library of Congress PS501.S85 vol. 16 | Dewey Decimal 810.8
Of all of the works of N. Scott Momaday,The Names may be the most personal. A memoir of his boyhood in Oklahoma and the Southwest, it is also described by Momaday as "an act of the imagination. When I turn my mind to my early life, it is the imaginative part of it that comes first and irresistibly into reach, and of that part I take hold." Complete with family photos, The Names is a book that will captivate readers who wish to experience the Native American way of life.
Native American Autobiography is the first collection to bring together the major autobiographical narratives by Native American people from the earliest documents that exist to the present. The thirty narratives included here cover a range of tribes and cultural areas, over a span of more than 200 years.
From the earliest known written memoir—a 1768 narrative by the Reverend Samson Occom, a Mohegan, reproduced as a chapter here—to recent reminiscences by such prominent writers as N. Scott Momaday and Gerald Vizenor, the book covers a broad range of Native American experience. The sections include “Traditional Lives;” “The Christian Indians, from the Eighteenth Century to Indian Removal, 1830;” “The Resisting Indians, from Indian Removal to Wounded Knee, 1830-90;” “The Closed Frontier, 1890-;” “The Anthropologists' Indians, 1900-;” “‘Native American Renaissance,’ 1968-;” and “Traditional Lives Today.” Editor Arnold Krupat provides a general introduction, a historical introduction to each of the seven sections, extensive headnotes for each selection, and suggestions for further reading, making this an ideal resource for courses in American literature, history, anthropology, and Native American studies. General readers, too, will find a wealth of fascinating material in the life stories of these Native American men and women.
"This is the first comprehensive anthology of American Indian autobiography ever published. It will be of interest to virtually anyone teaching or studying the literatures of the native peoples of North America, as well as to a general audience, because of the informative, literate introductions and the absorbing narratives themselves."—William L. Andrews, series editor
Histories of rights have too often marginalized Native Americans and African Americans. Addressing this lacuna, Native Land Talk expands our understanding of freedom by examining rights theories that Indigenous and African-descended peoples articulated in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As settlers began to distrust the entitlements that the English used to justify their rule, the colonized and the enslaved formulated coherent logics of freedom and belonging. By anchoring rights in nativity, they countered settlers’ attempts to dispossess and disenfranchise them. Drawing on a plethora of texts, including petitions, letters, newspapers, and official records, Yael Ben-zvi analyzes nativity’s unsettling potentials and its discursive and geopolitical implications. She shows how rights were constructed in relation to American, African, and English spaces, and explains the obstacles to historic solidarity between Native American and African American struggles.
Born in the early 1940s in northern Arizona’s high country desert, Jim Dandy began life imbued with the traditions of the Navajo people. Raised by his father and grandfather—both medicine men—and a grandmother steeped in Navajo practices, he embraced their teachings and followed in their footsteps. But attending the LDS Placement program in northern Utah changed his life’s course when he became a member of the Mormon Church. Following graduation from high school, Jim served an LDS mission among his people, obtained a bachelor’s degree, and entered the work force in southeastern Utah as a career counselor, teacher, and community advocate who improved educational opportunities on the Navajo Reservation.
Jim has led a life of service and teaching. He maintains the traditional philosophy with which he was raised and the Mormon beliefs that he learned and continues to follow; his life reflects the values inherent in these two different worlds. Readers interested in Navajo philosophy will find his blend of these two distinct views fascinating, while others will better understand the effects of the controversial placement program on the life of one individual. However, this is primarily the warm story of a man’s life among his people and his love for them and their culture.
Night Sky, Morning Star
Evelina Zuni Lucero University of Arizona Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS3562.U2544N54 2000 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
At the Indian artisans show in Santa Clara Pueblo, Cecelia Bluespruce sits with her wares in the middle of a row of booths—a good place to catch buyers. She is a successful Native American artist, a sculptor and potter of renown. But Cecelia is in the middle of something deeper than an art show, for she has become trapped by dreams and shadows of her past.
Night Sky, Morning Star is a story of remembrance and reconciliation in one Native American family separated by time and chance. Cecelia’s grown son, Jude, now wants to learn about the father he has never known. Political activist Julian Morning Star, imprisoned twenty years for a crime he did not commit, is unaware that his son even exists. Troubled by dreams, lies, and denial of the past, Cecelia is guided toward wholeness by family and friends who have their own pasts to confront.
This compelling novel plunges readers into the hubbub of the Indian arts market and into the grim reality of prison life. Evelina Zuni Lucero introduces us to experiences we may find unfamiliar: diverse Native American traditions, life on a BIA Indian agency compound, the making of an Indian activist. But she also reintroduces us to two things we all live for: the power of story and the power of love.
Night Sky, Morning Star is the fiction winner of the 1999 First Book Awards competition of the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas.
Born in Wisconsin, Philip Bergin Gordon—whose Ojibwe name Tibishkogijik is said to mean Looking into the Sky—became one of the first Native Americans to be ordained as a Catholic priest in the United States. Gordon's devotion to Catholicism was matched only by his dedication to the protection of his people. A notable Native rights activist, his bold efforts to expose poverty and corruption on reservations and his reputation for agitation earned him the nickname "Wisconsin's Fighting Priest."
Drawing on previously unexplored materials, Tadeusz Lewandowski paints a portrait of a contentious life. Ojibwe, Activist, Priest examines Gordon's efforts to abolish the Bureau of Indian Affairs, his membership in the Society of American Indians, and his dismissal from his Ojibwe parish and exile to a tiny community where he'd be less likely to stir up controversy. Lewandowski illuminates a significant chapter in the struggle for Native American rights through the views and experiences of a key Native progressive.
On the Back of a Turtle is an all-inclusive history of the Huron-Wyandot people—from before the creation of the Great Island, now called North America, to the present day. No other full-length history of the Huron-Wyandot people exists. Presented in a conversational, easy-to-read style, the book is a compelling and informative telling of the story of the Huron-Wyandot people as told by a tribal historian.
As characters and tribes emerge in the Huron-Wyandot’s oral tradition of creation, and take their respective places upon the Great Island, the author reveals the most difficult element of the Huron-Wyandot’s history: how the tribal name was obtained. With the knowledge of how both Huron and Wyandot are relevant names for one tribe of people, the author then shares his tribe’s amazing history. The reader will be fascinated to learn how one of the smallest tribes, birthed amid the Iroquois Wars, rose to become one of the most respected and influential tribes of North America.
One Voice Rising is a memoir by Ute healer, elder, and historian Clifford Duncan, as told to Anglo writer, Linda Sillitoe. Duncan (1933–2014) was an inspiring leader and a powerful medicine man, and he was, as Sillitoe wrote, “simultaneously one of the most bicultural and traditional American Indians in the West.” Duncan here covers both personal and tribal history during a crucial period in the tribe’s development. His discussions with Sillitoe offer a unique look at individual and societal issues, including the Native American Church, powwows and tribal celebrations, and interactions with the larger world. George Janecek’s photographs of Clifford Duncan and his world expand the impact of Duncan’s words.
“Everything was Indian then, when I was a boy. They had to explain to us about the white man's side. Now everything is in the white man's world and we teach Indian ways.”
—Clifford Duncan (from the book)
Mike Burns—born Hoomothya—was around eight years old in 1872 when the US military murdered his family and as many as seventy-six other Yavapai men, women, and children in the Skeleton Cave Massacre in Arizona. One of only a few young survivors, he was adopted by an army captain and ended up serving as a scout in the US army and adventuring in the West. Before his death in 1934, Burns wrote about the massacre, his time fighting in the Indian Wars during the 1880s, and life among the Kwevkepaya and Tolkepaya Yavapai. His precarious position between the white and Native worlds gives his account a distinctive narrative voice.
Because Burns was unable to find a publisher during his lifetime, these firsthand accounts of history from a Native perspective remained unseen through much of the twentieth century, archived at the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott. Now Gregory McNamee has brought Burns's text to life, making this extraordinary tale an accessible and compelling read. Generations after his death, Mike Burns finally gets a chance to tell his story.
This autobiography offers a missing piece of Arizona history—as one of the only Native American accounts of the Skeleton Cave Massacre—and contributes to a growing body of history from a Native perspective. It will be an indispensable tool for scholars and general readers interested in the West—specifically Arizona history, the Apache wars, and Yavapai and Apache history and lifeways.
The Osage Rose
Tom Holm University of Arizona Press, 2008 Library of Congress PS3608.O494325O83 2008 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Corrupt lawmen, insatiable businessmen, and an oil boom on Indian land. This is the milieu in which Tom Holm sets his gritty and provocative detective novel.
Life is looking easy for J. D. Daugherty, a crusty ex-cop who has set up his own PI firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma, just after World War I. J. D. expects to make a straightforward living off the intrigues of the city’s wealthy socialites, but then Rose Chichester, a privileged young white woman, runs off with Tommy Ruffle, a young Indian who is heir to Osage oil. Hired by Rose’s father to track down the young pair, J. D. and his associate, a Cherokee named Hoolie Smith, find themselves caught in the cross fire of a deadly scheme. When Tommy turns up murdered and with Rose still missing, J. D. and Hoolie must navigate a twisting maze of deception, race riots, and gun battles in their unrelenting search for the truth—a search that ultimately leads to an intimate secret no one suspected.
Tom Holm writes a true private-eye mystery, yet he entwines the story’s layers of conspiracy and deceit with the realities of prejudice and hatred that existed during the early years of Oklahoma statehood. Rooted firmly in its time, Holm’s well-researched novel tells a complex and compelling story of individuals struggling to find justice at any cost in a world still caught between modernity and its Wild West legacy.
Clara Jean Mosley Hall has inhabited various cultural worlds in her life: Native American, African American, Deaf, and hearing. The hearing daughter of a Deaf Nanticoke man, who grew up in Dover, Delaware’s Black community in the 1950s and 60s, Hall describes the intersections of these identities in Paris in America. By sharing her father’s experiences and relating her own struggles and successes, Hall honors her father’s legacy of hard work and perseverance and reveals the complexities of her own unique background.
Hall was abandoned by her Deaf African American mother at a young age and forged a close bond with her father, James Paris Mosley, who communicated with her in American Sign Language. Although his family was Native American, they—like many other Nanticoke Native Americans of that region—had assimilated over time into Dover’s Black community. Hall vividly recounts the social and cultural elements that shaped her, from Jim Crow to the forced integration of public schools, to JFK and Motown. As a Coda (child of deaf adults) in a time when no accessibility or interpreting services were available, she was her father’s sole means of communication with the hearing world, a heavy responsibility for a child. After her turbulent teenage years, and with the encouragement of her future husband, she attended college and discovered that her skills as a fluent ASL user were a valuable asset in the field of education.
Hall went on to become a college professor, mentor, philanthropist, and advocate for Deaf students from diverse backgrounds. Her memoir is a celebration of her family, her faith, her journey, and her heritage.
"A flavorsome re-creation of things past in the life of a generous, friendly people." —New York Times Book Review
"George Webb's gentle recollections of his childhood and Pima Indian lifeways will doubtless endure forever. This deeply moving autobiography is the perfect introduction for younger Pimas to their culture and history." —Arizona Highways
In this sixth collection of stories and verse, award-winning writer Luci Tapahonso finds sacredness in everyday life. Viewing a sunset in a desert sky, listening to her granddaughter recount how she spent her day, or visiting her mother after her father's passing, she finds traces of her own memories, along with echoes of the voices of her Navajo ancestors.
These engaging words draw us into a workaday world that, magically but never surprisingly, has room for the Diyin Dine’é (the Holy People), Old Salt Woman, and Dawn Boy. When she describes her grandson’s First Laugh Ceremony—explaining that it was originally performed for White Shell Girl, who grew up to be Changing Woman—her account enriches us and we long to hear more. Tapahonso weaves the Navajo language into her work like she weaves “the first four rows of black yarn” into a rug she is making “for my little grandson, who inherited my father’s name: Hastiin Tsétah Naaki Bísóí.”
As readers, we find that we too are surrounded by silent comfort, held lovingly in the confident hands of an accomplished writer who has a great deal to tell us about life.
This eagerly anticipated follow-up to the breakout memoir How to Be an Indian in the 21st Century delves more deeply into the themes of family, community, grief, and the struggle to make a place in the world when your very identity is considered suspect. In Rebel Poet: More Stories from a 21st Century Indian, author Louis Clark examines the effects of his mother's alcoholism and his young sister's death, offers an intimate recounting of the backlash he faced as an Indian on the job, and celebrates the hard-fought sense of home he and his wife have created. Rebel Poet continues the author's tradition of seamlessly mixing poetry and prose, and is at turns darker and more nuanced than its predecessor.
In this groundbreaking book, the first Navajo to earn a doctorate in history seeks to rewrite Navajo history. Reared on the Navajo Nation in New Mexico and Arizona, Jennifer Nez Denetdale is the great-great-great-granddaughter of a well-known Navajo chief, Manuelito (1816–1894), and his nearly unknown wife, Juanita (1845–1910). Stimulated in part by seeing photographs of these ancestors, she began to explore her family history as a way of examining broader issues in Navajo historiography.
Here she presents a thought-provoking examination of the construction of the history of the Navajo people (Diné, in the Navajo language) that underlines the dichotomy between Navajo and non-Navajo perspectives on the Diné past. Reclaiming Diné History has two primary objectives. First, Denetdale interrogates histories that privilege Manuelito and marginalize Juanita in order to demonstrate some of the ways that writing about the Diné has been biased by non-Navajo views of assimilation and gender. Second, she reveals how Navajo narratives, including oral histories and stories kept by matrilineal clans, serve as vehicles to convey Navajo beliefs and values.
By scrutinizing stories about Juanita, she both underscores the centrality of women’s roles in Navajo society and illustrates how oral tradition has been used to organize social units, connect Navajos to the land, and interpret the past. She argues that these same stories, read with an awareness of Navajo creation narratives, reveal previously unrecognized Navajo perspectives on the past. And she contends that a similarly culture-sensitive re-viewing of the Diné can lead to the production of a Navajo-centered history.
Opening July 4, 1969, on the Pine Ridge Reservation, The Red Bird All-Indian Traveling Band begins with a raucous Fourth of July gig that abruptly ends with the Red Birds ducking out of the performance in a hilarious hail of beer bottles. By the end of the evening, community member Buffalo Ames is dead, presumed to be murdered, just outside the bar. Sissy Roberts, the band’s singer and the “best female guitar picker on the rez,” is reluctantly drawn into the ensuing investigation by an FBI agent who discovers Sissy’s knack for hearing other people’s secrets.
The Red Bird All-Indian Traveling Band is part mystery, part community chronicle. Shaped by a cast of skillfully drawn characters, all of whom at one time or another are potential suspects, at the core of the story is smart and compassionate Sissy. Four years past high school, Sissy’s wry humor punctuates descriptions of reservation life as she learns more about Ames’s potential killer, and as she embarks on a personal search for ways to buck expectations and leave rural South Dakota to attend college.
Ames’s death is just an example of the undercurrents of violence and passions that run through this fast-moving novel of singing, loving, and fighting. Following Sissy as she unravels the mystery of both Buffalo Ames’s death and her own future, The Red Bird All-Indian Traveling Band is the story of Indian Country on the verge of historic change and a woman unwilling to let change pass her by.
Janet McAdams University of Arizona Press, 2012 Library of Congress PS3563.C263R43 2012 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
This trip wasn’t about her, her need to escape. She had been too young when it happened. Too young to understand what could be worth risking everything for. Even now they seemed naïve, foolish in their belief that anything could change. They had tried to save a generation. If she couldn’t save them, she might find a way to finish their story.
Neva Greene is seeking answers.
The daughter of American Indian activists, Neva hasn’t seen or heard from her parents since they vanished a decade earlier, after planning an act of resistance that went terribly wrong. Discovering a long-overlooked clue to their disappearance, Neva follows their trail to Central America, leaving behind an uncaring husband, an estranged brother, and a life of lukewarm commitments.
Determined to solve the mystery of her parents’ disappearance, Neva finds work teaching English in the capital city of tiny Coatepeque, a country torn by its government’s escalating war on its Indigenous population. As the violence and political unrest grow around her, Neva meets a man whose tenderness toward her seems to contradict his shadowy political connections.
Against the backdrop of Central American politics, this suspenseful first novel from award-winning poet Janet McAdams explores an important chapter in American Indian history. Through finely drawn, compelling characters and lucidly beautiful prose, Red Weather explores the journey from loss to possibility, from the secrets of the past to the longings of the present.
The Roads of My Relations
Devon A. Mihesuah University of Arizona Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS501.S85 vol. 44 | Dewey Decimal 810.80054
"I've traveled a lot of roads, but never alone. My relations are with me," says Billie McKenney, one of the matriarchs of the complex family of Choctaws searching for peace as the white world rapidly encroaches on their tribal land, politics, and values. In her first collection of stories, Native American writer Devon A. Mihesuah chronicles the lives of several generations of a close-knit Choctaw family as they are forced from their traditional homeland in nineteenth-century Mississippi and endure unspeakable sorrows during their journey before settling in southeastern Oklahoma.
Blending family lore, stark realism, and vivid imagination, The Roads of My Relations relays a strong sense of Choctaw culture and world view in absorbing tales of history and legend. Unfolding through the voices and actions of family members, confused half-bloods, and unlikely heroes—not all of them living or even human—the stories tell of the horrors of forced removal, the turbulence of post Civil War Indian Territory, the terrifying violence suffered at the hands of immortal Crow witches, and the family's ultimate survival against forces of evil. Time-traveling ghosts, mysterious medicine men, and eerie shape-shifters share the pages with proud matriarchs, mischievous schoolgirls, and loving siblings.
Together, these interwoven stories express the strength and persistence of a tribe whose identity and pride have survived the disruptions of colonialism. With The Roads of My Relations, Devon A. Mihesuah has created a universal and timeless exploration of heritage, spirituality, and the importance of preserving and passing on tradition.
The first book of its kind, Self-Determined Stories: The Indigenous Reinvention of Young Adult Literature reads Indigenous-authored YA—from school stories to speculative fiction— not only as a vital challenge to stereotypes but also as a rich intellectual resource for theorizing Indigenous sovereignty in the contemporary era. Building on scholarship from Indigenous studies, children’s literature, and cultural studies, Suhr-Sytsma delves deep in close readings of works by Sherman Alexie, Jeannette Armstrong, Joseph Bruchac, Drew Hayden Taylor, Susan Power, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel. Together, Suhr-Sytsma contends, these works constitute a unique Indigenous YA genre. This genre radically revises typical YA conventions while offering a fresh portrayal of Indigenous self-determination and a fresh critique of multiculturalism, heteropatriarchy, and hybridity. This literature, moreover, imagines compelling alternative ways to navigate cultural dynamism, intersectionality, and alliance-formation. Self-Determined Stories invites readers from a range of contexts to engage with Indigenous YA and convincingly demonstrates the centrality of Indigenous stories, Indigenous knowledge, and Indigenous people to the flourishing of everyone in every place.
Sara Sue Hoklotubbe University of Arizona Press, 2014 Library of Congress PS3608.O4828S27 2014 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Suspicions run high when murder mixes with identity theft in the latest installment of the popular Sadie Walela mystery series set in Cherokee Country. No sooner does Sadie embark on an unexpected business trip to the beautiful island of Maui when her long-time neighbor, Buck Skinner, a full-blood Cherokee and World War II veteran, goes missing and becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a petty identity thief.
Iconic lawman Lance Smith joins a community-wide search, but Buck is nowhere to be found. As evidence mounts against her old friend, Sadie rushes to return home to help—only to be delayed by an island-wide earthquake and her own sinking suspicions.
A diverse cast of characters weave together a breathless story of murder, thievery, and the toll of war on the human spirit. In her effort to restore balance to her neighbor’s life, Sadie not only uncovers the truth, but unravels much more than a murder.
Bill Yenne Westholme Publishing, 2008 Library of Congress E99.D1S267228 2008
An Acclaimed Biography of the Greatest American Indian Leader
Sitting Bull's name is still the best known of any American Indian leader, but his life and legacy remain shrouded with misinformation and half-truths. Sitting Bull's life spanned the entire clash of cultures and ultimate destruction of the Plains Indian way of life. He was a powerful leader and a respected shaman, but neither fully captures the enigma of Sitting Bull. He was a good friend of Buffalo Bill and skillful negotiator with the American government, yet erroneously credited with both murdering Custer at the Little Big Horn and with being the chief instigator of the Ghost Dance movement. The reality of his life, as Bill Yenne reveals in his absorbing new portrait, Sitting Bull, is far more intricate and compelling. Tracing Sitting Bull's history from a headstrong youth and his first contact with encroaching settlers, through his ascension as the spiritual and military leader of the Lakota, friendship with a Swiss-American widow from New York, and death at the hands of the Indian police on the eve of the massacre at Wounded Knee, Yenne scoured rare contemporary records and consulted Sitting Bull's own "Hieroglyphic Autobiography" in the course of his research. While Sitting Bull was the leading figure of Plains Indian resistance his message, as Yenne explains, was of self-reliance, not violence. At the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull was not confronting Custer as popular myth would have it, but riding through the Lakota camp making sure the most defenseless of his tribe--the children--were safe. In Sitting Bull we find a man who, in the face of an uncertain future, helped ensure the survival of his people.
A self-taught artist in several mediums who became known for stippling, Leonard Chana captured the essence of the Tohono O’odham people. He incorporated subtle details of O’odham life into his art, and his images evoke the smells, sounds, textures, and tastes of the Sonoran desert—all the while depicting the values of his people.
He began his career by creating cards and soon was lending his art to posters and logos for many community-based Native organizations. Winning recognition from these groups, his work was soon actively sought by them. Chana’s work also appears on the covers and as interior art in a number of books on southwestern and American Indian topics.
The Sweet Smell of Home is an autobiographical work, written in Chana’s own voice that unfolds through oral history interviews with anthropologist Susan Lobo. Chana imparts the story of his upbringing and starting down the path toward a career as an artist. Balancing humor with a keen eye for cultural detail, he tells us about life both on and off the reservation.
Eighty pieces of art—26 in color—grace the text, and Chana explains both the impetus for and the evolution of each piece. Leonard Chana was a people’s artist who celebrated the extraordinary heroism of common people’s lives. The Sweet Smell of Home now celebrates this unique artist whose words and art illuminate not only his own remarkable life, but also the land and lives of the Tohono O’odham people
In this cycle of poetry and stories, Navajo writer Luci Tapahonso shares memories of her home in Shiprock, New Mexico, and of the places and people there. Through these celebrations of birth, partings, and reunions, this gifted writer displays both her love of the Navajo world and her resonant use of language. Blending memoir and fiction in the storytelling style common to many Indian traditions, Tapahonso's writing shows that life and death are intertwined, and that the Navajo people live with the knowledge that identity is formed by knowing about the people to whom one belongs. The use of both English and Navajo in her work creates an interplay that may also give readers a new way of understanding their connectedness to their own inner lives and to other people.
Luci Tapahonso shows how the details of everyday life—whether the tragedy of losing a loved one or the joy of raising children, or simply drinking coffee with her uncle—bear evidence of cultural endurance and continuity. Through her work, readers may come to better appreciate the different perceptions that come from women's lives.
When Charles Ohiyesa Eastman, a degreed Dakota physician with an East Coast university education, met Elaine Goodale, a teacher and supervisor of education among the Sioux, they were about to witness one of the worst massacres in U.S. history: the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre. As Charles and Elaine witnessed the horror, they formed a bond that would carry them across the United States as they become advocates for Native Americans, whistle-blowing the corruption and racism of the nation’s Native American policies.
They used their lives to fight for citizenship and equal rights for indigenous people. Charles built a national organization of and for Native Americans that paralleled the NAACP. He brought Indian ways into the popular scouting movement. They each wrote eleven books, lobbied Congress, made speeches, wrote articles, and protested the steady erosion of indigenous rights and resources.
In this double biography, social and political history combine to paint vivid pictures of the time. Gretchen Cassel Eick deftly connects the experiences and responses of Native Americans with those of African Americans and white progressives during the period from the Civil War to World War II. In addition, tensions between the Eastmans mirror the dilemmas of gender, cultural pluralism, and the ethnic differences that Charles and Elaine faced as they worked to make a nation care about Native American impoverishment.
The Eastmans’ story is a national story, but it is also intensely personal. It reveals the price American reformers paid for their activism and the cost exacted for American citizenship. This thoughtful book brings a bleak chapter in American history alive and will cause readers to think about the connections between Charles and Elaine’s time and ours.
Two Moon Journey tells the story of a young Potawatomi Indian named Simu-quah and her family and friends who were forced from their village at Twin Lakes, near Rochester, Indiana, where they had lived for generations, to beyond the Mississippi River in Kansas. Historically the journey is known as the Potawatomi Trail of Death. Like the real Potawatomi, Simu-quah would live forever with the vision of her home and the rest of the Twin Lakes village being burnt to the ground by the soldiers as she took her first steps to a distant and frightening westward land. She experiences the heat and exhaustion of endless days of walking; helps nurse sick children and the elderly in a covered wagon that was ill-smelling, hot, and airless; sleeps beside strange streams and caves—and turns from hating the soldiers to seeing them as people. In Kansas, as she planted corn seeds she had saved from her Indiana home, she turns away from the bitterness of removal and finds forgiveness, the first step in the journey of her new life in Kansas.
In this first-ever anthology of Indigenous science fiction Grace Dillon collects some of the finest examples of the craft with contributions by Native American, First Nations, Aboriginal Australian, and New Zealand Maori authors. The collection includes seminal authors such as Gerald Vizenor, historically important contributions often categorized as "magical realism" by authors like Leslie Marmon Silko and Sherman Alexie, and authors more recognizable to science fiction fans like William Sanders and Stephen Graham Jones. Dillon's engaging introduction situates the pieces in the larger context of science fiction and its conventions.
Organized by sub-genre, the book starts with Native slipstream, stories infused with time travel, alternate realities and alternative history like Vizenor's "Custer on the Slipstream." Next up are stories about contact with other beings featuring, among others, an excerpt from Gerry William's The Black Ship. Dillon includes stories that highlight Indigenous science like a piece from Archie Weller's Land of the Golden Clouds, asserting that one of the roles of Native science fiction is to disentangle that science from notions of "primitive" knowledge and myth. The fourth section calls out stories of apocalypse like William Sanders' "When This World Is All on Fire" and a piece from Zainab Amadahy's The Moons of Palmares. The anthology closes with examples of biskaabiiyang, or "returning to ourselves," bringing together stories like Eden Robinson's "Terminal Avenue" and a piece from Robert Sullivan's Star Waka.
An essential book for readers and students of both Native literature and science fiction, Walking the Clouds is an invaluable collection. It brings together not only great examples of Native science fiction from an internationally-known cast of authors, but Dillon's insightful scholarship sheds new light on the traditions of imagining an Indigenous future.
Nearing graduation from Phoenix Indian School, Peterson Zah decided he wanted to attend college. He was refused the reference letters needed for college admission by teachers who told him he would fail and thus embarrass them. Several years later, these instructors would receive invitations from Zah to a party celebrating his graduation from Arizona State University.
And so began a career that took Zah to the presidency of the Navajo Nation. His life and accomplishments have exemplified the ongoing efforts by American Indian communities to gain greater control over their lives and lands. He has made important contributions in many areas, but education has always been one of his main priorities. Perhaps no one in the Southwest has done more than Peterson Zah to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation of American Indian students from colleges and universities.
Zah's presentations to Peter Iverson's classes at Arizona State University, employed examples drawn from his own experiences. Students praised his thoughtful, honest and direct observations. He reinforced a central theme in Iverson's classesthat Indian history encompasses triumph as well as tragedy and victory as well as victimization.
This book grew out of Iverson's determination to share Zah's insights with a wider audience. The two met every few months to consider many subjects related to Zah's life. These sessions formed the foundation for this volume.
Part autobiography, part interview, and part conversation, Zah and Iverson's account touches on a wide range of overlapping topics, but two central themes prevail: education and empowerment. We Will Secure Our Future is a fascinating look into the life of a man who became a respected visionary and passionate advocate for his people.
Honored in his own time as one of the most prominent Indian public intellectuals, Henry Roe Cloud (c. 1884–1950) fought to open higher education to Indians. Joel Pfister’s extensive archival research establishes the historical significance of key chapters in the Winnebago’s remarkable life. Roe Cloud was the first Indian to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees from Yale University, where he was elected to the prestigious and intellectual Elihu Club. Pfister compares Roe Cloud’s experience to that of other “college Indians” and also to African Americans such as W. E. B. Du Bois. Roe Cloud helped launch the Society of American Indians, graduated from Auburn seminary, founded a preparatory school for Indians, and served as the first Indian superintendent of the Haskell Institute (forerunner of Haskell Indian Nations University). He also worked under John Collier at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, where he was a catalyst for the Indian New Deal.
Roe Cloud’s white-collar activism was entwined with the Progressive Era formation of an Indian professional and managerial class, a Native “talented tenth,” whose members strategically used their contingent entry into arenas of white social, intellectual, and political power on behalf of Indians without such access. His Yale training provided a cross-cultural education in class-structured emotions and individuality. While at Yale, Roe Cloud was informally adopted by a white missionary couple. Through them he was schooled in upper-middle-class sentimentality and incentives. He also learned how interracial romance could jeopardize Indian acceptance into their class. Roe Cloud expanded the range of what modern Indians could aspire to and achieve.