Native American Women

Some Suggested Readings

Acoose, Janice, or Misko-Kisikawihkwe (Red Sky Woman), Iskwewak-Kah' Ki Yaw Ni Wahkomkanak: Neither Indian Princesses Nor Easy Squaws, 1995, Woman's Press, Toronto, Ontario. A deconstruction of the stereotypical images of indigenous women in popular literature.

Albers, Patricia, & Beatrice Medicine, The Hidden Half: Studies of Plains Indian Women, 1983, University Press of America, Washington, DC. Papers presented at a 1977 symposium.

Allen, Paula Gunn (Laguna and Sioux), Grandmothers of the Light: A Medicine Woman's Sourcebook, 1991, Beacon Press, Boston. Native American (Laguna Pueblo and Sioux) author. Grandmothers of the Light is an extraordinary collection of stories from Native American civilizations across the continent. Allen shares myths that have guided female shamans toward an understanding of the sacred for centuries.

Allen, Paula Gunn (Laguna and Sioux), The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions, 1986. Documents and continuing vitality of American Indian traditions and the crucial role of women in those traditions. In this new addition is a preface reflecting on the remarkable resurgence of American Indian pride in the last decade. Beacon Press .

Allen, Paula Gunn (Laguna and Sioux), Spider Woman's Granddaughters: Traditional Tales and Contemporary Writing by Native American Women. This is a powerful collection of traditional tales, biographical wirings and short stories. Included are works by Louise Erdrich, Leslie Marmon Silko, Vicki Sears, Mary Tall Mountian, Anna Lee Walters, Leanne Howe, Linda Hogan, Misha Gallagher and others. "Intensely beautiful and poignant stories so lyrically rendered that when they are finished their spirits linger."Beacon Books .

Anderson, Marilyn, & Jonathan Garlock, Granddaughters of Corn: Portraits of Guatemalan Woman, 1988, Curbstone Press, Willimantic, CT. Describes the everyday reality faced by Mayan women in Guatemala today.

Angel, Adriana, & Fiona Macintosh, The Tiger's Milk: Women of Nicaragua, 1987, Henry Holt & Company, Seaver Books division, New York. The stories of Nicaraguan women of today, in their own words.

Awiakta, Marilou (Cherokee), Selu: Seeking the Corn-Mother's Wisdom. An abridged version spoken by the author, with music by Joy Harjo and Poetic Justice. The Corn-Mother is a living spirit and a teacher of wisdom. Marilou Awiakta reads from her book which weaves together poems, stories and essays to suggest ways of restoring balance and harmony in ourselves, our society, and our environment. 2 CASSETTE TAPES Audio Literature .

Awiakta, Marilou (Cherokee), Selu: Seeking the Corn-Mother's Wisdom. The Corn-Mother, called called Selu by the Cherokee, is a living spirit to Native Americans. In this weaving of essays, poems and stories, we are introduced to the life-giving story of the Corn-Mother, and the Native people who revered corn as both food and spiritual sustenance. Among Selu's traditional survival wisdoms are strength, respect, balance, adaptability and cooperation. With a central theme of unity in diversity, Selu offers us a key to creating in ourselves and in the world. Fulcrum Publishing .

Axtell, James, editor, The Indian People of Eastern America: A Documentary History of the Sexes, 1981, Oxford University Press, New York.

Bataille, Gretchen M., American Indian Women: A Biographical Dictionary, 1993, and American Indian Women: A Guide to Research, 1991, both from Garland Publishing, New York.

Bataille, Gretchen M., & Kathleen Mullen Sands, American Indian Women: Telling Their Lives, 1984, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.

Bradford, C.J., & Laine Thom, Dancing Colors: Paths of Native American Women, 1992, Chronicle Books, San Francisco.

Brant, Beth (Mohawk) , Writing as Witness. "In putting together this collection of essay, talk and theory, I hope to convey this message that words are sacred. Not because of the person transmitting them, but because words themselves come from the place of mystery that gives meaning and existence to life." Women's Press PB .

Brant, Beth, editor, A Gathering of Spirit: A Collection by North American Indian Women, 1984, 1988, Firebrand Books, Ithaca, NY. Poetry and stories by contemporary native woman writers. "The women in this book have challenged non-Indian attitudes about Indian women. We have inspired new attitudes among Indian people. We gathered our spirit and called it love and hope. We are alive. We gather the spirit every day - giving it our own names, in our own language."

Brant, Beth and Sandra Laronde, Sweetgrass Grows All Around Her: Native Women in the Arts. In this 96 page issue, the lives and creativity of 46 Aboriginal women from across North America are reflected in their short stories, poetry, biographies, academia, photography and visual art work.

Brave Bird, Mary, with Richard Erdoes, Ohitika Woman, 1993, Grove Press, New York. A contemporary Lakota woman's story of her life, part two. (See also Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog, below.)

Campbell, Maria, Halfbreed, 1973, 1982, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln. An autobiography by a Canadian Metis woman.

Crow Dog, Mary, Lakota Woman, 1991, HarperCollins, New York. A contemporary Lakota woman's life story, part one. (See also Ohitika Woman by Mary Brave Bird, above.)

Davidson, Florence Edenshaw, & Margaret B. Blackman, During My Time: A Haida Woman, 1982, revised edition 1992, University of Washington Press, Seattle.

Farley, Ronnie, Women of the Native Struggle: Portraits & Testimony of Native American Women, 1993, Orion Books, New York. Combines evocative portraits of Native American women with their own reflections on womanhood and what it means to be Native American. The result is a startlingly honest and poetic work. The women within these pages defy stereotypes: they are mothers, activists, artists, enviromentalists and community leaders. Orion Books / Crown Publishing .

Green, Rayna (Cherokee), American Indian Women: A Contextual Bibliography, 1983, and That's What She Said: Contemporary Poetry & Fiction by Native American Women, 1984, both from Indiana University Press, Bloomington.

Green, Rayna (Cherokee),Women in American Indian Society, 1992, Chelsea House, New York. Aimed at junior /senior high school students.This book delves into an area that has long been misrepresented, if not entirely neglected by mainstream scholars. Traditionally Native women played important roles in society, often determining the course of history, but as soon as Europeans set foot on Indian soil, these women began losing ground. Today Native women continue to take matters in hand by revitalizing their heritage and rewriting American history. Chelsea House .

Green, Rayna (Cherokee), That's What She Said: Contemporary Peotry and Fiction by Native American Women. Edited by Rayna Green, this collection represents some of the most interesting and innvative writing in today's literature, despite the fact that many of the authors are for the most part unrecognized outside of feminist and Native American circles. Indiana University Press .

Hale, Janet Campbell, Bloodlines: Odyssey of a Native Daughter, 1993, Random House, New York. The author is Coeur d'Alene.

Hopkins, Sarah Winnemucca, Life Among the Piutes: Their Wrongs & Claims, first published 1883, reprinted 1994, Vintage West Series, University of Nevada Press, Reno. A Piute woman's story of her people.

Jones, David E., Sanapia: Comanche Medicine Woman, 1984, Waveland Press, Prospect Heights, IL.

Katz, Jane, editor, Messengers of the Wind: Native American Women Tell Their Life Stories, 1995, Ballentine Books, New York. "Messengers of the Wind brings us the voices, images, and lives of Native women who have walked in many worlds. The voices are as the land, and yet curent as today's learning about the America of today, and we learn more about ourselves."

Klein, Laura F., & Lillian A. Ackerman, editors, Woman & Power in Native North America, 1995, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. A collection of articles examining gender status and power in ten culture areas.

Mankiller, Wilma, & Michael Wallis, Mankiller: A Chief & Her People, 1993, St. Martin's Press, New York. Cherokee elected leader Wilma Mankiller tells her own story and the story of her people.

McBride, Bunny, Molly Spotted Elk: A Penobscot in Paris, 1995, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. Biography of a Penobscot women, born in 1903, who found success in show business in the U.S. and Europe.

Medicine, Bea, The Native American Woman: A Perspective, 1978, ERIC/CRESS, Las Cruces, NM. Distributed by National Educational Laboratory Publishers, Austin, TX.

Noble, Mildred (Ojibway), Sweet Grass: Lives of Contemporary Native Women of the Northeast."Ms. Noble's narrative provides the rarely wirtten about revelations of the spirit of a Native American woman . . . she has graced us with both her own revelations and those of five other women who, as result of their experiences are now committed to their communties."

Lurie, Nancy Oestreich, editor, Mountain Wolf Woman, Sister of Crashing Thunder: The Autobiography of a Winnebago Indian, 1961, 1966, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.

Linderman, Frank Bird, Pretty-Shield: Medicine Woman of the Crows, 1960, 1974, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.

Niethammer, Carolyn, Daughters of the Earth: The Lives & Legends of American Indian Women, 1977, Collier Books, New York.

Peters, Virginia Bergman, Women of the Earth Lodges: Tribal Life on the Plains, 1995, Archon Books, North Haven, CT.

Pulford, Florence, Morning Star Quilts: A Presentation of the Work & Lives of Northern Plains Indian Women, 1989, Leone Publications, Los Altos, CA.

St. Pierre, Mark, & Tilda Long Soldier, Walking in the Sacred Manner: Healers, Dreamers, & Pipe Carriers--Medicine Women of the Plains Indians, 1995, Simon & Schuster, Touchstone division, New York. Tilda Long Soldier is Oglala Sioux.

Shoemaker, Nancy, editor, Negotiators of Change: Historical Perspectives on Native American Women, 1995, Routledge, New York.

Spittal, W.G., editor, Iroquois Women: An Anthology, 1990, Iroqrafts Iroquois Reprints, Oshweken, Ontario. Reprints of scholarly articles originally published between 1884 and 1989.

Swan, Madonna, A Lakota Woman's Story."This heartwarming account portrays a spirited, modern-day Lakota Sioux woman's triumph over debilitating illness and depressing conditions on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota . . . her life is a fitting reminder that real heroes can be found in everyday life." University of Oklahoma Press .

Telling It: Women and Language Across Cultures. Featuring prominent Native, Asian-Canadian and Lesbian writers, telling it is a celebration of their work and an exploration of how the power of language can be both spiritually nourishing and politically effective. Press Gang Publishing .

Terrell, John Upton, & Donna M. Terrell, Indian Women of the Western Morning: Their Life in Early America, 1974, 1976, Anchor Press, Garden City, New York.

Voget, Fred W., assisted by Mary K. Mee, They Call Me Agnes: A Crow Narrative Based on the Life of Agnes Yellowtail Deernose, 1995, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma.

Wall, Steve, Wisdom's Daughters: Conversations with Women Elders of Native America, 1993, HarperCollins Publishers, Harper Perennial division, New York. This is the first book in which spiritual leaders among Native American women portray, in thier own words, their ancestral knowledge, philosophies and traditions. Completely open and direct, the elders talk about their role as "Owners of the Moon," as carriers of life and protectors of the life force, about the sacredness of menstration, and about children, medicine, men, sex and ceremony. Harper San Francisco .

Daughters of Abya Yala: Testimonies of Indian Women Organizing Throughout the Continent, 1992, Woman's Committee of the South and Meso-American Indian Information Center, P.O. Box 18703, Oakland, CA 94604.

Watchful Eyes: Native American Women Artists, 1994, Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ. Exhibition catalog.

The Woman's Way, by the editors of Time-Life Books, 1995, Time-Life Books, Alexandria, VA. From the series The American Indian.


Biological and Cultural impacts of European-Ameropean colonization.

Native American Spirituality, Religion, and Medicine

Sterotype vs. Reality



Revised: 24 Feb 00