Native Authors:

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Native American myths, legends, children's teaching stories, tall tales, are treated by many writers -- especially of children's books for the multicult school trade -- as mere raw material to be mined, adapted. This form of cultural theft is criticized elsewhere, often (here) in reviews of books for children created that way. There seems a general tendency for the dominant society to believe that Indian people are still primitives -- whether their belief is that this is crude or whether it is the romanticism of Nuagers, who create stereotyped Noble Savages, who are Everyseeker's Spiritual Teacher.

The dominant society prefers to ignore the fact that from many Indian societies and tribes have come writers and published intellectuals, not only storytellers who sit around campfires and murmur tales to anthros. In partial attempt to remedy the lack of knowledge about these people, and the parts they have played in indigenous intellectual history, I am preparing bio notes on some of them, here. For starters, some of the authors whose writings are represented in Native STORIES. This is in itself useful info, but also part of an attempt to demonstrate the idea that our stories are a literature, not raw material for non-Indian "re-tellers"

Zitkala Sha, Gertrude Simmons Bonnin -- Yankton Nakota (Sioux), 1876 - 1938; political activist, essayist, short story writer, musician, orator, editor.

Ohiyesa, Charles A. Eastman, -- Santee Wahpetonwan Dakota, 1858-1939; on santee reservation (near Redwood Falls, MN). Raised traditionally until a young man, became physician, writer, orator, activist.

Marie McGlaughlin, Santee Mdewakanton Dakota. McGlaughlin rolls controversy, her help to her husband and th Army in preparing those rolls, she was on the Army payroll as interpreter. Her book of little stories was published by white SD newspaper in 1916.

Simon Pokagon, 1830-1899, Michigan Potawatomi. Novel: Queen of the Woods. Other writings.

Storytellers: Native American Authors Online Web sites for many current day Native American authors.


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Page prepared by Paula Giese graphics, layout, text copyright 1996

Last updated: Saturday, July 13, 1996 - 1:18:13 AM