*Generally when we think of Native American women and their contributions to history and society, Pocahontas and Sacajawea come to mind. That is, until this groundbreaking book by Cherokee/Seminole heritage author KB Schaller, M.Ed., 100+ Native American Women Who Changed The World. Warriors, educators, an aerospace pioneer, a Catholic saint…100+ Native American Women Who Changed the World is a stellar collection of historical and contemporary women of indigenous heritage who have contributed to the survival and success of their families, communities – and the United States of America. This book is destined to be in classrooms throughout the country.
The author is a member of the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), guest blogger on Native issues, a columnist, historical researcher and illustrator for Indian Life newspaper.
Her biographical collection 100+ Native American Women Who Changed the World is a winner of a 2014 International Book award, Women’s Issues category, and a 2014 Gold Medal winner in the Florida Authors and Publishers Association President’s Book Awards, Biography category. These distinctions make her eminently qualified to write this well-researched book. Schaller is also the author of two novels, Gray Rainbow Journey, winner, National Best Books Award, and the sequel, Journey by the Sackcloth Moon.
First, why a need for this book? Because, as so many other people have been, Indian women have been marginalized and under-appreciated. Schaller gives women, and particular Native American women, their just due. Some feel that this book is long overdue, as Carole Di Tosti, PhD, specifically states: “This collection of 100+ Native American women movers and shakers has long been overdue.”
In further regard to the aforementioned Pocahantas, if not for Schaller’s well researched book, I would not have known that this colonial figure and peacemaker’s descendents through her son, Thomas, include Edith Wilson (wife of President Woodrow Wilson), Nancy Reagan (wife of President Ronald Reagan), and several other high profile personalities. This is another reason why this splendid book is essential reading material in our schools and classrooms across the country.
This book has spurred my interest in doing some research in my own family tree, resulting in the revelation that my niece, Tahshawna MedicineCrow, is of the Sioux heritage and Lakota tribe, which are part of a confederation of seven related Sioux tribes. I recall fondly taking a bus with her and her father, my brother, Jerome from Denver to Chicago several years ago. We got to know each other well on this bus trip and I trust that we will stay in touch with each other.
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This article was written by Dennis Moore an Associate Editor with the East County Magazine in San Diego and the book review editor for SDWriteway, an online newsletter for writers in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine, as well as a freelance contributor to EURweb based out of Los Angeles. He is also the author of a book about Chicago politics; “The City That Works: Power, Politics and Corruption in Chicago.” Mr. Moore can be contacted at [email protected] or you can follow him on Twitter at: @DennisMoore8.