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My Life as an Indian

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  76 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Fascinating, firsthand memoir of a young white man's life among the Piegan Blackfeet in Montana Territory. Includes detailed accounts of religious ceremonies and customs, child-rearing, food preparation, tanning buffalo hides, war parties, raids, and much else. Of great interest to ethnologists and students of Native American history.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 30th 2011 by Dover Publications (first published November 30th 1905)
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Going in to this book I wasn't expecting too much, but I was pleasantly surprised. Seeing as it was published in 1907 I thought the language might be old fashioned but it was really well written. It tells the story of Schultz's life with the Indians of Montana in the late 1800's. There is lots of hunting, inter-tribal fighting, travel and every day life. It covers the coming of settlers from "the States" and also the decline of the bison. Hugely interesting! If I had any minor criticisms it woul ...more
Robert Gilbert
This book is the literary equivalent of the Taj Mahal; it was written as a memorial to the author’s beloved wife. The original title was “My Life as an Indian, the Story of a Red Woman and a White Man in the Lodges of the Blackfeet”, which seems much more appropriate knowing the reason for which it was written. After the first few introductory chapters, the author and his wife become an inseparable couple who share their adventures throughout the rest of the book. As the introduction forewarns, ...more
read it several times and absolutely loved it!
I enjoyed this book, written sort of like a journal with every chapter a story in itself yet sequenced. About life among the Blackfoot, Piegan on the plains and eastern part of the Rockies in Montana and southern Canada. Very similar happenings to many of the plains Indians toward the end of the Buffalo. The abundance of game and buffalo up till the extermination of them and also the changes with trade, reservations, Indian agents that were crooked, and the end of a free life style. Great story ...more
Feb 01, 2008 Holly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in historically accurate accounts of native american culture
Recommended to Holly by: Kay Wagner
This is a first hand account of a trader who became friends with and was accepted by the Piegan tribe. He eventually married a Blackfoot woman and spent his days trading and watching the decline of the native's way of life. He was able to chronicle the disappearance of the buffalo and the decimation of the plains by the cattle and sheep farmers. Overall, an excellent description of the American west in the early 1800's.
Schultz was an amazing man. What a life! He left his comfortable home and certain future in the East to find adventure in the untamed Western territory. He lived with the Blackfeet Indians for years. His books are part recollection of his own experiences, part retelling of the stories he heard around the firepit. An interesting insight into a way of life now gone but hopefully never forgotten.
A very interesting account of life with the Piegan Blackfeet. He starts his story about 1770 or a bit earlier and goes all the way to after the Blackfeet are all corraled on the reservation. He speaks so tenderly of his Blackfoot wife; it's really sweet. He also writes vividly, so you can see what the west was like before white men ruined it (in his opinion).
Debra Lowman
Sep 03, 2012 Debra Lowman rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: free ebook
This one has been republished but is actually available for free online as it was written outside of copyright law.

Worthy non-fiction account of Schultz integrating with the Piegan Blackfeet tribe in Montana in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Vivid, readable non-fiction. A classic favorite.
Aug 25, 2011 Karen is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading the book because I knew JWS's son, and they both (and their wives) knew all of my mother's family, and was like an uncle to my mother. I've started reading the book to two of my grandchildren, but it is a wonderful insight into the lives of the Indian culture in America in the late 1800's.
Interesting and well written.
Fredrick Danysh
The author lived among the Piegan Blackfoot in present day Montana. He writes about the tribe's religious ceremonies and way of life at the end of the nineteenth century.
Interesting real life adventures of a young man living with the Blackfeet/Cree/Paigans/Short Robes/Other Associated Tribes in the early 1800s.
William Stribling
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James Willard Schultz, or Apikuni, (born August 26, 1859, died June 11, 1947) was a noted author, explorer, Glacier National Park guide, fur trader and historian of the Blackfoot Indians.

James Willard Schultz (J.W. Schultz) started writing at the age of 21, publishing articles and stories in Forest and Stream for 15 years. He did not write his first book until 1907 at age 48. The memoir: ''My Life
More about James Willard Schultz...
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