AMERICAN HISTORICAL NOVELS discussion

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Inspiration

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message 1: by Amanda (last edited Jul 30, 2018 09:28AM) (new)

Amanda Skenandore (amandaskenandore) | 72 comments Happy Monday! I’d like to begin the week by talking about inspiration. While story ideas can come from anywhere, for me it usually begins with a particular era of history. One that leaps out as both important but also overlooked.

The idea for BETWEEN EARTH & SKY came to me in an Ojibwe casino in Wisconsin. We’d stopped so my mother-in-law could have a cigarette and play the slots for while. Not being much of a gambler, I wandered to the back of the casino where several black-and-white pictures hung. They were images of Native American children dressed in military garb. Boarding school students, my mother-in-law told me.

I’d never heard of such schools or of the children taken from their reservations to attend. The intent, as Col. Pratt founder of the Carlisle Indian School said, was to “kill the Indian in him and save the man.” The more I researched, the more engrossed in these children’s stories I became. Some went on to achieve success, by the white man’s standard. Some returned to their homes on the reservation and became leaders of their people. Some never fit in either world. But all had been robbed of part of their cultural selves. In writing BETWEEN EARTH & SKY I wanted to share these stories that seemed absent from the history books.

Do you remember this part of American history from your school textbooks? What eras of our history do you find are often overlooked? Comment for a chance to win a signed copy of my book.


message 2: by Beverly (new)

Beverly I grew up in Montana and knew Native American's who lived both on and off the reservation. I learned about this terrible practice from my Montana history..required in school. Ever since, I have been interested in the Native American stories and culture.


message 3: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Skenandore (amandaskenandore) | 72 comments Beverly wrote: "I grew up in Montana and knew Native American's who lived both on and off the reservation. I learned about this terrible practice from my Montana history..required in school. Ever since, I have bee..."

Hi Beverly. Glad it was included in your school's curriculum. Some of my friends who grew up in California remember learning about it too. In Colorado, where I grew up, it wasn't a part of our history lessons. (At least not that I remember). When I was six or seven I read the book Naya Nuki by Kenneth Thomasma and ever since then I've loved Native American stories and culture too.


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