Sherman Alexie (1966– ) grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation; his mother is Spokane, his father Coeur d’Alene. He was born hydrocephalic and battled both physical illness and social stigma throughout his childhood. Raised Catholic, he attended Gonzaga University for two years but then transferred to Washington State University, completing coursework for the BA in American studies in 1991. His first collection of poems was published the following year. He is the author of many books, including two novels—Reservation Blues and Indian Killer—and three collections of short stories. He has also written the screenplays for two major motion pictures, Smoke Signals and The Business of Fancydancing. His most recent poetry chapbook is Dangerous Astronomy. “Jesus Christ’s Half-Brother Is Alive and Well on the Spokane Indian Reservation” is reprinted from Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, published by Atlantic Monthly Press. Copyright © 1993 by Sherman Alexie. Used by permission of Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

Jody Barnes (1968– ) was born on the Menominee Reservation of northern Wisconsin, a member of the Eagle clan. She attended the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe and Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and now lives in Green Bay. Her work has been published in The Iowa ReviewShenandoahTribal College JournalRed Ink, and several IAIA anthologies. As a child Barnes was baptized into the Catholic church and attended parochial school, but during her teen years she became a self-described “hardcore fatalistic atheist.” The birth of her son, Alexander, enabled her to recover a belief in God. “Millie” originally appeared in Moss Moon: New Work from the Institute of American Indian Arts, published in 1998. Reprinted by permission of Jody Barnes.

Steve Barse (1949– ) is a member of the Kiowa Tribe and is also Wichita and Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux. Having completed a master’s degree in education at the University of South Dakota, he has worked for various tribal, federal, state, and local governments and spent the last fifteen years with the Indian Health Service. He is currently doing freelance writing and materials development and working on a second collection of short stories. He is a member of Norman First American United Methodist Church. “Bertha’s Cross” was written in 1988 and is reprinted from Barse’s The Boy from Enemy Swim and Other Short Stories, published in 2004 by the Native American Comprehensive Plan and the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference of the United Methodist Church. Reprinted by permission of Steve Barse.

Beth Brant (1941– ) is a Bay of Quinte Mohawk from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in Ontario, Canada. Born and raised in Detroit, she dropped out of high school at the age of seventeen to marry and to raise three children, eventually as a single mother. She began her literary career shortly after turning forty and since then has taught writing in a wide range of settings, from leading workshops in a women’s prison to lecturing at the University of Toronto. Her publications include I’ll Sing ’Til the Day I Die: Conversations with Tyendinaga EldersWriting as Witness: Essay and TalkMohawk Trail, a mixed-genre collection; and A Gathering of Spirit: A Collection by North American Indian Women, which she edited. Brant follows Mohawk spiritual traditions, having grown up under a variety of influences, including a devout Methodist grandmother and a father who believed in the Longhouse religion of the Iroquois. “A Death in the Family” was published in 1991 in Brant’s Food and Spirits: Stories. Reprinted by permission of Firebrand Books.

Vine Deloria, Jr. (1933–2005) was born and raised in Martin, South Dakota; he was a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. A graduate of Iowa State University, Augustana Theological Seminary, and the University of Colorado School of Law, he taught at the University of Arizona and then the University of Colorado until retiring in 2000. His father and grandfather were prominent Dakota Episcopal missionary priests, and in 1974 Deloria was named one of eleven “shapers and shakers of the Christian faith” in a survey of religious leaders and scholars, though at the time he identified himself as “Seven Day Absentist.” He served as executive director of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and was the author of many books, including the classic works Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto andGod Is Red and, more recently, Singing for a Spirit: A Portrait of the Dakota Sioux and Evolution, Creationism, and Other Modern Myths: A Critical Inquiry. “froM thE archiveS” was originally published in the fall 1965 issue of the NCAI Sentinel. Reprinted by permission of the National Congress of American Indians.

Diane Glancy (1941– ) was born in Kansas City, Missouri, of a Cherokee father and an English/German mother. She was raised in the Methodist church, later attended Fundamental Bible and Pentecostal churches, and is currently a member of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City. In 2005 she retired from Macalester College, where she taught native literature and creative writing for sixteen years. She is the author of many books, including, most recently, The Dance Partner: Stories of the Ghost DanceRooms: New and Selected PoemsIn-Between Places, a collection of essays; and Stone Heart: A Novel of Sacajawea. “The Alligator King” originally appeared in Glancy’s Firesticks: A Collection of Stories. Copyright © 1993 by Diane Glancy. Reprinted by permission of the University of Oklahoma Press.

Rayna Green (1942– ) is a self-described “unenrolled and unenrollable Cherokee” active in contemporary Oklahoma Cherokee political and cultural life, having been born into a family of Oklahoma Cherokee Baptists on one side and German Jews from Texas on the other. She is director of the American Indian Program and curator in the Division of Home and Community Life at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, and has produced and directed numerous documentary videos, sound recordings, performance events, and exhibitions on native history and culture. Green is the author (with Melanie Fernandez) of The British Museum Encyclopedia of Native North America and also wrote Women in American Indian Society and edited That’s What She Said: Contemporary Poetry and Fiction by Native American Women. “High Cotton” first appeared in 1983 in Corona, an interdisciplinary journal published by Montana State University. Reprinted by permission of Rayna Green.

Joy Harjo (1951– ) is a Mvskoke (Creek) poet, teacher, and musician. She was born in Tulsa, attended the Institute of American Indian Arts and the University of New Mexico, and completed an MFA at the University of Iowa. Having taught at several colleges and universities, she is now a professor of creative writing at the University of New Mexico. Her most recent books are How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, 1975-2001A Map to the Next World: Poems and Tales; and The Good Luck Cat, a children’s book. She performs widely and has recorded two music CDs, Native Joy for Real and (with Poetic Justice) Letter from the End of the Twentieth Century. As a child she enjoyed the snacks, stories, and songs at a Tulsa Bible church, but today she is a member of the Tallahassee Wygogye Ceremonial Grounds. “The Woman Who Fell from the Sky” is reprinted from Harjo’s The Woman Who Fell from the Sky: Poems. Copyright © 1994 by Joy Harjo. Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Linda Hogan (1947– ) is a Chickasaw poet, novelist, and essayist. Born into a military family, she was raised in Denver , Germany, Oregon, and Oklahoma. She received a master’s degree from the University of Colorado and later returned there to teach creative writing, until her recent retirement in the wake of a near-fatal equestrian accident. She is the author of many books, including The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native MemoirDwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World; and The Book of Medicines: Poems. She also coeditedFace to Face: Women Writers on Faith, Mysticism, and Awakening and The Stories We Hold Secret: Tales of Women’s Spiritual Development. “Amen” originally appeared in Hogan’s That Horse, published in 1985 by Pueblo of Acoma Press. Reprinted by permission of Linda Hogan.

E. Pauline Johnson (1861–1913) was born and raised on the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ontario, where her father and grandfather were respected Mohawk leaders. As a child she was tutored in the classics of English literature by her Anglo-Canadian mother. She published her first poem in 1884 and several years later began reciting her poetry at literary recitals, which soon expanded to include theatrical vignettes. Respected as a poet but better known as a performer, Johnson had a fifteen-year stage career that took her throughout Canada and abroad. Her first collection of poetry, The White Wampum, was published by a prominent London press in 1895. She increasingly turned her attention to writing stories and essays, especially after her retirement from the stage in 1908, but her life was cut short by cancer five years later. “As It Was in the Beginning” first appeared in The Moccasin Maker, published posthumously in 1913 by The Ryerson Press. Reprinted from a facsimile edition published by the University of Arizona Press in 1987.

Basil Johnston (1929– ) was born on the Parry Island Indian Reserve, now Wasauksing First Nation. At the age of ten he was taken from his home and placed in a Catholic residential school. He completed his bachelor’s degree at Loyola College of Montreal in 1954, later earned a teaching certificate, and taught secondary school for nine years. In 1969 he joined the Ethnology Department of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, where he was asked to start a native studies program. As a bilingual storyteller and author, Johnston has written many books on Ojibway history and culture, most recently Honour Earth Mother and The Manitous: The Spiritual World of the Ojibway, as well as the autobiographical narratives Crazy Dave and Indian School Days. He was born a Catholic, but, in the wake of his residential school experiences, he has drifted toward Ojibway traditions. “Secular Revenge” first appeared in 1978 in Johnston’s Moose Meat and Wild Rice, which was reprinted in the United States as Ojibway Tales. Used by permission of McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

Joseph Little (1949– ) was born and raised on the Mescalero Apache Reservation and in the Catholic faith. He left home at the age of fourteen to study for the priesthood at a Franciscan seminary in California, but after six years he abandoned his vocation and returned home. Finishing his bachelor’s degree in English at the University of New Mexico (UNM), he then entered UNM’s Indian Law Program and received his JD degree in 1975. Little has devoted his career to defending and addressing Native American rights and concerns, both in private practice and through various positions within the U.S. Department of the Interior. “Whispers from a Dead World” first appeared inThe Man to Send Rain Clouds: Contemporary Stories by American Indians, edited by Kenneth Rosen and published by Viking Press in 1974. Reprinted by permission of Joseph Little.

Durango Mendoza (1945– ) was born at Claremore Indian Hospital to a Creek mother (Bird clan). He was raised by her and his Creek stepfather, and as a child attended Thlewarle, the historic Creek Baptist church. In 1967 he finished a BA in creative writing at the University of Missouri, then studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for three years. He also began working with children and families and found social work to be deeply connected to human creativity in a person’s desire to change and grow. In 1992 he earned a Master of Interdisciplinary Arts Education from Columbia College in Chicago. He is now a retired public service administrator, married and the father of four children. Mendoza’s stories have been published in various anthologies and he has exhibited his artwork widely. “Summer Water and Shirley” originally appeared in Prairie Schooner, volume 40. Copyright 1966 by the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright © renewed 1994 by the University of Nebraska Press.

N. Scott Momaday (1934– ) is a Kiowa writer, artist, and professor of English and American literature. He spent his childhood on reservations in the Southwest and was educated at the University of New Mexico and Stanford University. Having held faculty appointments at several universities, he recently retired after twenty-five years at the University of Arizona. He is the author of many books, including In the Bear’s House and Circle of Wonder: A Native American Christmas Story, both of which he also illustrated, and The Way to Rainy Mountain, illustrated by his father. He is a member of the Kiowa Gourd Dance Society and the founder and chairman of The Buffalo Trust, a nonprofit organization “dedicated to the preservation of the sacred in Native American culture, and its transmission to Native American youth.” “The Priest of the Sun” is excerpted from Momaday’s House Made of Dawn, published in 1968 by Harper & Row. Copyright © 1966, 1967, 1968 by N. Scott Momaday. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Irvin Morris (1958– ) is a Navajo writer from Tohatchi, New Mexico; his clans are Tobaahi and Totsonii. He attended the Institute of American Indian Arts, finished his bachelor’s degree at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and received an MFA from Cornell University. Having taught at several universities, he is now a faculty member in the Division of Communications, Fine Arts, and Humanities at the main campus of Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona. Morris is the author of From the Glittering World: A Navajo Story and has just completed a collection of stories tentatively titled Rain Horses. “August” originally appeared in Desire and Time: New Work from the Institute of American Indian Arts, published in 1990. Reprinted by permission of Irvin Morris.

John M. Oskison (1874–1947) was born to a mixed-blood Cherokee mother and an English immigrant father and grew up on their cattle ranch near the Cherokee Nation capital of Tahlequah. He left Indian Territory at the age of nineteen to attend Stanford University, earning a bachelor’s degree, and then spent a year at Harvard University doing graduate work in English. Embarking on a career in journalism, he worked as a reporter and editor at several prominent East Coast periodicals and, during World War I, as an officer in the American Expeditionary Force. In the second half of his life, Oskison increasingly turned his attention to literary work, writing three novels, two fictionalized biographies, and many short stories and essays. “The Problem of Old Harjo” first appeared in the April 1907 issue of Southern Workman. Reprinted from The Singing Spirit: Early Short Stories by North American Indians, edited by Bernd C. Peyer and published by the University of Arizona Press in 1989.

Robert L. Perea (1946– ) was born in Wheatland, Wyoming, of Oglala Sioux and Mexican American heritage. He is a Vietnam veteran and received a master’s degree in education from the University of New Mexico. Having taught at Phoenix Indian High School for seven years, he is now a professor of philosophy at the Signal Peak campus of Central Arizona College, adjacent to the Gila River Indian Community. Perea was raised Catholic, spent his young adult years as a confirmed agnostic, and now practices Lakota religious traditions. He is the author ofStacey’s Story, a novella. “Miracle at Chimayo” was first anthologized in Earth Power Coming: Short Fiction in Native American Literature, edited by Simon J. Ortiz and published by Navajo Community College Press in 1983. Reprinted by permission of Robert L. Perea.

Dawn Karima Pettigrew (1970– ) is a Creek/Cherokee journalist, poet, and fiction writer. She received a BA from Harvard University and an MFA from Ohio State University and is writer-in-residence at Western Carolina University, where she teaches native studies, literature, and creative writing. Her journalism appears regularly in News from Indian CountryIndian Life, and Whispering Wind; a second novel, The Marriage of Saints, is forthcoming. She lives on the Qualla Boundary Reservation and is a devout Baptist Christian, a member of Wright’s Creek Baptist Church and of the Qualla community’s Native Voices choir, which sings Christian hymns in the Cherokee language. “Manna and Quail” is excerpted from Pettigrew’s The Way We Make Sense, published in 2002 by Aunt Lute Books. Copyright © 2002 by Dawn Karima Pettigrew. Reprinted by permission of Aunt Lute Books.

Alexander Posey (1873–1908) was born on a Tulladega Hills homestead to a Creek mother and a Scotch-Irish father who had been raised in the Creek Nation. He attended the Creek national boarding school at Eufaula and spent three years at Bacone Indian University in Muskogee, where he began writing poetry. After leaving Bacone he became active in Creek Nation politics, and in 1902 he purchased the weekly Indian Journal, launching a career in journalism. That fall he began publishing letters to the editor attributed to Fus Fixico, Posey’s literary alter ego; these were satirical pieces commenting on current events and written in the dialect English common among conservative Creeks. “Letter to the Editor” (Fus Fixico letter no. 47) was originally published in the Eufaula Tribune and other Indian Territory newspapers in late May of 1904. Reprinted from The Fus Fixico Letters by Alexander Posey, edited by Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr. and Carol A. Petty Hunter, by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. © 1993 by the University of Nebraska Press.

Carter Revard (1931– ) was born in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and grew up on the Osage Reservation among his Osage and Ponca relatives, attending a one-room school in the Buck Creek Rural District and working in hayfields and wheatfields and training greyhounds. In 1952 he graduated from the University of Tulsa and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University. After earning a Ph.D. from Yale University, he taught English and American Indian literature at Amherst College and at Washington University in St. Louis until his retirement in 1997. Revard’s literary publications include three collections of poetry, Ponca War Dancers, An Eagle Nation, and How the Songs Come DownFamily Matters, Tribal Affairs, a collection of essays; and Winning the Dust Bowl, a mixed-genre autobiography. His religion is Osage, with respect for other religions including Christianity. “Report to the Nation: Claiming Europe” is excerpted from a longer piece of the same title that first appeared in American Indian Quarterly, volume 6. Reprinted by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. © 1982.

Sam Sandoval (1973– ) is a Salish/Navajo multimedia artist who lives on the Flathead Indian Reservation of northwest Montana. He attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and Salish-Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana. His short documentary Before Yellowstone, filmed in Interior Salishan with English subtitles, traces the Salish and Pend O’reille presence in the area prior to non-native settlement; it is now being used at Yellowstone National Park. He has reviewed movies for Char-Koosta News, an official publication of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian Reservation, and has written two unpublished novels. Like many Salish, Sandoval was raised in the Catholic faith, though today he finds inspiration in science fiction and other imaginative sacraments of popular culture. “Killing Time” originally appeared in Not the Last Word: New Work from the Institute of American Indian Arts, published in 1997. Reprinted by permission of Sam Sandoval.

Vickie Sears (1941–1999) was born in California and spent much of her childhood in the foster care system, including seven years in a Seattle orphanage. She received an MSW degree from the University of Washington and worked as a psychotherapist, writer, and disability advocate. She was taught Catholicism by her mother and Cherokee ways by her Eastern Band father and his family; as a young adult, she explored many of the world’s religions before returning to native spiritual practices. Sears was known for her work as a healer and, at the time of her death from diabetes, had been clean and sober for over twenty-five years. Her fiction and poetry and her essays on social work practice have been widely read. “Katie’s Flight” was published in 1990 in Sears’s Simple Songs: Stories. Reprinted by permission of Firebrand Books.

James Treat (1962– ) is an enrolled citizen, on his mother’s side, of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma. He was born in Anadarko, where his father pastored the Redstone Kiowa, First Apache, and Wichita Mission churches of the Washita Baptist Parish, and he was raised in off-reservation communities in northeastern Kansas and western South Dakota. His graduate degrees in religious studies were completed at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Having held faculty appointments at the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Oklahoma, he is now an associate professor of American Indian studies at the University of Illinois. Treat is the author of Around the Sacred Fire: Native Religious Activism in the Red Power Era and the editor ofNative and Christian: Indigenous Voices on Religious Identity in the United States and Canada and For This Land: Writings on Religion in America by Vine Deloria, Jr. “Inscribing the Wound World: Human Fiction on the Spaceman’s Religion” appears here for the first time.

John Trudell (1947– ) was born in Omaha and raised on and around the Santee Sioux Reservation. He is a Vietnam veteran, having served in the U.S. Navy from 1963 to 1967. In 1969 he participated in the occupation of Alcatraz Island and emerged as the spokesperson for Indians of All Tribes. After the occupation ended in 1971, he worked with the American Indian Movement, serving as national chairman for six years. In 1979 his mother-in-law, wife, and three children were killed in a mysterious house fire just twelve hours after he burned an American flag in a demonstration on the steps of the FBI headquarters building. Two months later he met musician Jackson Browne, who helped him channel his personal devastation into artistic expression. Trudell has recorded ten albums and is the subject of a feature-length documentary, Trudell, released in 2004. The epigraph is excerpted from “Hanging from the Cross,” the final track on Trudell’s Bone Days, released by Daemon Records in 2001. Lyrics used by permission of John Trudell.

Laurie Weahkee (1965– ) is Diné, Cochiti, and Zuni; her maternal family is from Hogback, New Mexico, while her paternal family is from Cochiti and Zuni Pueblos. Having earned a BA degree in writing from the University of New Mexico, she has been a community organizer for over fifteen years, working in native and Chicano communities on land, water, and sacred site issues. She currently serves as executive director of SAGE Council, the Sacred Alliance for Grassroots Equality, in Albuquerque, which has been at the forefront of the struggle to protect Petroglyph National Monument from local politicians and developers. As an infant Weahkee was baptized Catholic, but today she reveres native traditional ways, though she is not affiliated with any particular religious community. “Talking Circle” originally appeared inVoices at Dawn: New Work from the Institute of American Indian Arts, published in 1996. Reprinted by permission of Laurie Weahkee.

James Welch (1940–2003) was born on the Blackfeet Reservation, his father’s home, and grew up there and on the Fort Belknap Reservation, the home of his Gros Ventre mother. He attended several colleges and held various odd jobs, eventually completing his BA at the University of Montana. He then enrolled in the MFA program but soon left to devote himself to writing full-time. His first book was a collection of poems, Riding the Earthboy 40, which was followed by five novels, including Winter in the Blood and The Heartsong of Charging Elk. He also coauthored Killing Custer: The Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Fate of the Plains Indian, the companion volume to the PBS documentary “Last Stand at Little Bighorn.” Welch served on the Parole Board of the Montana Prisons System and on the board of directors of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History at the Newberry Library. “Earl Yellow Calf” is reprinted from The Indian Lawyer. Copyright © 1990 by James Welch. Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Melanie Yazzie (1966– ) is Navajo of the Salt and Bitter Water clans. The eldest child of professional educators, she grew up on the Navajo Reservation in northeastern Arizona. She completed a BA in printmaking at Arizona State University in 1990 and an MFA in printmaking at the University of Colorado in 1993. She taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts for six years, and since 1999 has been an assistant professor in the School of Art at the University of Arizona. Represented by the Glenn Green Galleries in Santa Fe, she has exhibited or lectured on her prints, sculptures, and mixed-media works in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, and South Africa, as well as throughout the United States. Yazzie was raised to respect all religions, and once received a children’s Bible for perfect attendance at Sunday school, but she and most of her family follow Navajo traditional ways. “These Are My Hands” is a relief print, 11 x 15 in. Copyright © 1996 by Melanie Yazzie.

Zitkala-Sa (1876–1938) was born Gertrude Simmons at the Yankton Sioux Agency and raised there by her Nakota mother and white stepfather. She attended a Quaker boarding school and Earlham College, both in Indiana, then taught briefly at Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. By the turn of the century she was writing stories and essays and publishing them under the Lakota name Zitkala-Sa. In 1902, she married Raymond Bonnin and spent the next fourteen years on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah before moving to Washington, D.C. Her narrative writings were collected in two books, Old Indian Legends (1901) and American Indian Stories (1921), but her literary output waned as she became increasingly active in national Indian politics. She was elected secretary-treasurer of the Society of American Indians in 1916 and later founded her own advocacy organization, the National Council of American Indians. “The Soft-Hearted Sioux” first appeared in the October 1901 issue of Harper’s Monthly. Reprinted from American Indian Stories, facsimile edition published by the University of Nebraska Press in 1985.

Advertisements