Native American Historical Fiction & Nonfiction discussion

What Is Your Link To Native American History?

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message 1: by Brad (new)

Brad Jensen (bradjensen) | 14 comments Mod
Are you Native American? Raised around Native Americans? Just find Native American History intriguing? Let us know your link and why you are interested in the subject.

message 2: by Brad (last edited May 07, 2014 10:56AM) (new)

Brad Jensen (bradjensen) | 14 comments Mod
Me? I was born in the sacred lands of many western plains native americans, the Black Hills (Pahá Sápa in Lakota, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva in Cheyenne, awaxaawi shiibisha in Hidatsa) of South Dakota. In my hometown I attended grades one through twelve alongside native americans which many I knew as friends. While getting webbed feet after moving to the rainy lands of the Northwest I began devouring books about the natives and their histories. This sparked my savage interest in native culture and the plights of those that came before us here in North America.

All my interest in Native American History got me looking further back in time for stories about them before the incursion of Anglo Europeans. Finding very little on that subject lead me to writing my current novel "Ancestral". You can find more info on "Ancestral" at:

OK....I shared...Your Turn! =8)

Elizabeth (Alaska) I have no personal connection to Native American history. The population of the community where I live is something near 25% and so their history and culture are very much a part of everything. My interest grows, but I have many and varying interests.

message 4: by L. (new)

L. White (BMSLibrarian) | 2 comments I am Mohawk descent through my mother's side of the family and due to my profession, I am always looking at Native Books for their authority. Who is the author? What point of view is being presented? How accurate is this? I own almost 100 native books from children, cookbooks, history, and look forward in sharing in this group.

message 5: by Brad (new)

Brad Jensen (bradjensen) | 14 comments Mod
Thanks for joining us L!

message 6: by L. (new)

L. White (BMSLibrarian) | 2 comments Thanks!

message 7: by Sieme (new)

Sieme Bossier | 1 comments I have no link with Native Americans at all. I am born in Europe. But something inside me attracts me a lot to their culture and especially their way of thinking. I own some books as it is not so easy to find them on the other side of the Ocean. I buy them mostly second hand. I like to think about their story, of the books. Who has read them, do the readers had the same greatness in reading them as I had... I am now studying at a university and I would love to use my studies to know more about the native populations and maybe work together to help protecting Nature.

message 8: by Mary (new)

Mary Black (goodreadscommarysblack) | 6 comments I've been hanging around American archaeologists for the past 30 years, and have visited many ancient Native American sites. I am fascinated by the past and concerned that most Americans know so little about the original inhabitants of the Americas. I've recently completed a novel about the first peyote shaman on the Rio Grande, who lived about 4000 years ago. His people painted magnificent polychrome, abstract paintings, often covering entire walls of stone with one composition.

message 9: by Brad (new)

Brad Jensen (bradjensen) | 14 comments Mod
Thanks for joining us Mary. What is the name of your novel and is it available yet?

message 10: by Mary (new)

Mary Black (goodreadscommarysblack) | 6 comments The novel is called Peyote Fire. I'm making "final" revisions before sending it to an agent. Wish me luck!

message 11: by Brad (new)

Brad Jensen (bradjensen) | 14 comments Mod
Best of luck Mary!

message 12: by Paul (new)

Paul Courneya | 3 comments I am an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.

message 13: by Brad (new)

Brad Jensen (bradjensen) | 14 comments Mod
Thanks for joining us Paul!

Everyone can shoot out any questions or topics that they would like to talk about on the Discussion Board. Thanks All!

message 14: by Paul (new)

Paul Courneya | 3 comments Good luck with your new novel, Mary. I have read quite a few books about Native Americans who lived in the early 1700s to the present, but none about the ancient natives. I have visited some of the ancient sites in the U.S. Keep us posted as to when your book is available for purchase.

message 15: by Mary (new)

Mary Black (goodreadscommarysblack) | 6 comments Gary McCarthy wrote a book called Mesa Verde Thunder set around 1300 AD, which has just been reissued. I will interview him on my blog, on August 25, 2014.

message 16: by Ty (new)

Ty Bard | 2 comments Hi all, my name is Ty Bard - if anyone is interested in Muskogee (Creek) or the colonial southeast - please take a look at my new novel 'Trekking to Ocmulgee.' Happy to answer any questions I can.
Trekking to Ocmulgee

message 17: by Paul (new)

Paul Courneya | 3 comments TY, Thanks for the heads up. I added the book to my "to read" list.

message 18: by Ty (new)

Ty Bard | 2 comments Paul wrote: "TY, Thanks for the heads up. I added the book to my "to read" list."

Thanks Paul - my facebook page has bonus info posted on it and I will be posting excerpts and insights via bublish shortly

message 19: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) | 5 comments Hi, I’m Larry Moniz, a retired Journalist and Publicist with more than 45 years experience as a writing professional and numerous journalism, PR and fiction writing awards.

I still write. It’s not what I do but who I am. I’ve written both fiction and non-fiction books as well as an archeological research paper on the source from which (at least) some of The Americas first migrant populations. Hint: It wasn’t Beringia, despite die-hard archeologists who built careers on a now disproven hypothesis. Widely known as the “Clovis First” theory, timelines at more than a dozen other locations show a land bridge migration couldn’t have happened when claim.

I’ve also been a student of American Indian History for more than half a century and am currently working on what, hopefully, will become an epic-length fictionalized tale of the history and demise of one of the Northeastern Woodlands Indian Tribes great nations. After four years of research I’m finally confident with my understanding of their culture and history to begin writing.

Some of you may ask why the book is fictionalized. It’s very simple. While there are lots of archeological tomes written by highly respected archeologists and anthropologists, their research is based on artifacts. Only a few Europeans who lived during the peak years of their existence wrote about those First Nations and much of that was colored by their prejudices, including religion, a desire to usurp their lands and, perhaps most of all, a perception that Native Americans were sub-human “savages.” Far from it, they just had a different and, in some cases, highly sophisticated culture.

Chasing the Beringia Land Bridge Myth and Finding Solutrean Boats

Murder in the Pinelands (Inside Story) by Larry Moniz

Molly's Revenge by Larry Moniz

message 20: by Leigh (new)

Leigh Podgorski (leighpod) | 2 comments Hi Everyone:
I'm Leigh Podgorski. I'm a writer and have studied and researched Native American history for several decades. Imagine my surprise when in 2005 while turning my attention towards my own ancestors, my Polish history, I discovered buried in my background was none other than Chief Pohawtan, Pocahontas's father. The union was between my grandmother's brother and the Pohawtan line-- so no crossing of bloodlines with me -- but perhaps there was a crossing of spiritual lines.
In 1999 I interviewed elder Katherine Siva Saubel, for the play WE ARE STILL HERE that was about her and the Cahuilla Indians of Southern California. In 2006, I was able to raise the money to adapt the play to a documentary. Along the way I had also been researching the Ute Indians, having fallen in love with the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. When I discovered the history of the Ute Indians and their Shining Mountains, I felt compelled to tell that story, and the shameful history of the Utes displacement from their pristine world. From a trilogy of plays, to a screenplay, to a master's thesis, to the adaptation to the novel OURAY'S PEAK, I hope I have done justice to that story.
Now, I am seeking reviews for that historical fiction/ coming of age novel OURAY'S PEAK . The story follows the journey of Kristin Tabor as she treks cross-country and deep within the Rocky Mountains in search of her mother, discovering her Ute Indian heritage, and, eventually, her heart.
GoodReads link:
I will be happy to provide a free Kindle or a PDF to someone who would be willing to read and review.

message 21: by Mary (new)

Mary Black (goodreadscommarysblack) | 6 comments My book Peyote Fire: Shaman of the Canyons was released last October. It is available on Amazon in both paperback and kindle formats. The book concerns the ancient people who made incredible rock art in the canyons of the Lower Pecos 4,000 years ago along the Rio Grande. You can read the first chapter free on my blog at (note the "s" between mary and black)

message 22: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (balibra76) | 2 comments Hi there --

I am a new member and this is a challenging question for me to answer. At this point, I do not feel that I can claim Native heritage. My father's ancestors migrated from France to Canada in the late 1500s and some intermarried with Native women. However, as of the 20th century (if not earlier), they identified themselves as French-Canadian and Catholic. We are not enrolled in any tribe and I grew up in the United States within the mainstream American culture. Someday I would like to do some genealogical research to learn more about the women in my father's family tree. Much of the information complied by my older relatives focuses on the male line. But I don't think this would "establish" me as a Native person. I haven't shared in the culture, history, and trauma which I feel is part and parcel of that heritage. I don't mean to offend anyone with this, just trying to explain where I'm at in terms of identity.

I have remained deeply interested in American Indian culture, history, and literature since I took a college class on "History of the American West." After I earned my BA in History, I earned an MLS, became an academic librarian, then earned a Master's degree in American Studies in 2012. My thesis was about the libraries and reading culture of the Carlisle Indian School. It is not available for free online because I reworked it into an article which will be published in the journal _Book History_ in Fall 2015.

In American Studies, I was trained to view Native people as a "symbol" or "lens" through which to gain greater understanding of American culture, history, and literature. For example, how have images and stories of American Indians been used to describe or debate themes such as "the frontier," "savagery/violence," or the "natural environment?" How do Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frederic Remington, Edward Curtis, and other authors/artists portray Native people, and what does this say about Americans' understanding of American Indians and themselves (whites)? Although I learned a great deal, I was also troubled because I often felt we weren't going far beyond stereotypes, which some students were absorbing as reality. In other words, we were studying what white people were saying about American Indians, rather than what American Indians were saying about themselves. So, I try to prioritize Native-authored biographies, histories, and poetry over other readings.

Today, I am a librarian at a non-main campus of a very large university in Pennsylvania. Although we offer undergraduate and graduate programs in American Studies, we don't currently have a faculty member who focuses on American Indians. Although I am well aware that I am not the most knowledgeable person to fill the role, I offer credit courses and take on independent study students when I am asked to. Since I am a full-time librarian, I don't tend to publish in American Indian-related academic journals or attend those conferences, but I do try to keep up my reading, including academic articles and books, novels, poetry, and more. I decided to get more involved with Goodreads in order to connect with other scholars, students, and writers, as I haven't been able to find many with similar interests here in my neck of the woods. I am hoping to learn more from whatever debates happen in this forum, and to get tips on up-and-coming authors that I should read.

Wishing you all the best,

Bernadette :)

message 23: by Louis (new)

Louis Grumet | 2 comments I am writing a book about the negotiations with the Mohawks in Ganienkeh in the 1990s in New York

message 24: by Spencer (new)

Spencer C-cooke | 1 comments Hello. My Tribe is Coast Salish Quinault. I have several book about Native American facts and fictions, myths and legends and what not. I have just joined this group. Thanks. :)

message 25: by Leigh (new)

Leigh Podgorski (leighpod) | 2 comments I have researched and written about Native American history and culture for decades, having always felt a pull towards the way they lived in harmony with the earth. Imagine my pleasant surprise, then, when while researching my Polish ancestry, I discovered my roots go back to Powhatan. My grandmother's brother married a lady who was a direct descendant Though our bloodlines do not cross, I am sure our spirit lines do.
In 1999 I interviewed Dr. Katherine Siva Saubel in order to write a one act play about her for a festival I was also producing entitled CelebrateWomen. In 2006, I was able to raise the money to adapt that play to a documentary.
That DVD is now on sale on my web site:
There are several packages available, including one with signed copies of my book OURAY'S PEAK that contains some history of the Ute Indians.
It was my deepest pleasure and privilege to work so closely with Katherine and to gain her trust and permission to tell her story.
On the DVD, Katherine and her brother speak Cahuilla-- and then translate the language. The documentary also contains them singing Cahuilla bird songs as well as a Native Cast enacting the Cahuilla Creation Story.
From 1999 until our last performance some 7 years later, WE ARE STILL HERE was a consummate journey for all of us.
Katherine was an inspiring leader, teacher, and friend.
A trailer from the documentary can be viewed on my web site.

message 26: by Diana (new)

Diana Strenka | 1 comments I went to Cherokee, NC, last year, and was completely entranced. It is such a magical place. I would love to go back!!

message 27: by Louis (new)

Louis Grumet | 2 comments Any good books concerning Iroquois history, with emphasis on Mohawk relationships with the British around the American Revolution? or Mohawk refusal to go along with the building of the St Lawrence Seaway?

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