American Indian Women Auto-biographies
This bibliography is intended to be a comprehensive list of auto-biographical writings of American Indian women
who were born in the first half of the twentieth century. This bibliography was the primary basis for the text in the book
The Spirit of Indian Women
, co-edited by Judith and Michael Fitzgerald and published by World Wisdom in 2005, and expands and updates work originally done
by Gretchen Bataille and Kathleen Mullen Sands. The editors and World Wisdom hope that readers will
of any listings that have been omitted, including newly published books.
Adams, Winona, ed. "An Indian Girl's Story of a Trading Expedition to the Southwest about 1841." Frontier 10 (May 1930): 338-51, 367. The book is the story of the daughter of a Nez Perce woman and a Mohawk and white father. This story of her trip to the mouth of the Colorado River was copied down by her husband about 1875.
Allen, Elsie (Pomo). Pomo Basketmaking: A Supreme Art for the Weaver. Healdsburg, CA: Naturegraph Publishers, 1972. Chapter One, "The Life of Elsie Allen, Pomo Basketweaver," is the story of Elsie's life experiences. She was born on September 22, 1899. Most of the book describes the art of gathering materials and making baskets.
Anahareo [Gertrude Motte] (Mohawk). Devil in Deerskins: My Life with Grey Owl. Toronto: New Press, 1972. Anahero is a Mohawk woman who married Grey Owl and shared much of her life with him. Grey Owl was Archie Belamey, an Englishman who passed as an Indian and worked actively for wildlife conservation projects.
Anauta (Eskimo). Land of Good Shadows: The Life Story of Anauta, an Eskimo Woman. Edited by Heluiz Chandler Washburne. New York: John Day Co., 1940. This autobiography of a Baffin Island Eskimo relates her experiences through youth, marriage, and widowhood, focusing primarily on her relationship to white society and her regret at the loss of traditional lifeways. Text includes an Eskimo alphabet and glossary. Anauta is also the author of Children of the Blizzard, stories about Eskimo children, and Wild Like the Fox, a narrative based on her mother's childhood.
Arnaktauyak, Germaine, illustrator. Stories from Pangnirtung. Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers, 1976. This is a collection of stories about changes in the Baffin Island area that includes several stories by men. There are two pieces by women, Katsoo Eevic and Koodloo Pitsualak, who tell about their childhood experiences.
Ashley, Yvonne (Navajo). "`That's the Way We Were Raised': An Oral Interview with Ada Damon." Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 2, no. 21 (Summer 1977): 59-62. Ada Damon is the author’s great aunt who was born in 1900 south of Shiprock, New Mexico. She tells of weaving, trading on the reservation, her experiences attending boarding school and raising her adopted children.
Autobiographies of Three Pomo Women. Edited by Elizabeth Colson. Berkeley: Archaeological Research Facility, Department of Anthropology, University of California, 1974. These three narratives are primarily concerned with the conflict of traditional and white ways in the lives of women growing up during the early twentieth century. Collected in the 1940s, the life stories reveal regret at the passing of old ways while recognizing the inevitability of the effects of white culture.
Bennett, Kay (Navajo). Kaibah: Recollections of a Navajo Girlhood. Los Angeles: Western Lore Press, 1964. Covering the period 1928 to 1935, this narrative details the New Mexico childhood and girlhood of the author, including family relationships, work and play experiences, and ceremonial life. The book includes illustrations by the author.
Bighead, Kate (Cheyenne). "She Watched Custer's Last Battle: The Story of Kate Bighead." Interpreted by Thomas Bailey Marquis. Hardin, MT: Custer Battlefield Museum (?), 1933. Kate Bighead first recounts the battle of the Washita. Later in her young adulthood, she witnessed the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the ensuing separation of the tribes who took part in the battle, and the final surrender of the Cheyenne people a year later. Her first-person account of the Little Bighorn battle focuses on the Cheyenne tribe as the heroes of the encounter with the Custer forces. She captures in detail the chaos, heat, dust, smoke, and noise of the battle. Little of her personal life is revealed in the short narrative, and no interpretive material is supplied by editor Marquis, a scholar of the Little Bighorn event.
Bourguignon, Erika (Ojibwa). "A Life History of an Ojibwa Young Woman." Primary Records in Culture and Personality, vol. 1, no. 10. Madison, WI: Microcard Foundation, 1956. Bourguignon records the life story, collected in 1946, of a Lac de Flambeau woman. This is a literal transcription of conversations in which the personal names have been changed.
Campbell, Maria (Metis). Halfbreed. Toronto, Canada: McClelland and Stewart, 1973. Reprinted Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982. This contemporary autobiography includes historical background on Metis in central Canada but concentrates primarily on the history of the author's family. Extreme poverty and a sense of isolation from both Indians and whites are detailed through anecdotes that range from serious to comic to bitter.
Carius, Helen Slwooko (Eskimo). Sevukakmet: Ways of Life on St. Lawrence Island. Anchorage: Alaska Pacific University Press, 1979. The author is an Eskimo woman born on St. Lawrence Island who writes about the history and traditions of her people, how those lifeways were changed by the traders and missionaries, and how her own life was shaped by her ancestral traditions. After twenty years of living in the mainland United States the author returned to St. Lawrence Island work for the Anchorage schools.
Chona, Maria (Papago). Papago Woman. Edited by Ruth M. Underhill. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1979. Lyrically narrated, with detailed descriptions, dialogue and interpretation, this story of a Papago woman, born in 1845, incorporates song, ceremony, and curing rituals as well as day-to-day events. As the daughter of a chief, Maria Chona is privy to, and carefully observant of, all aspects of tribal life in her youth. Married to a medicine man who takes her to tribal fiestas and ceremonies, she is constantly in the center of tribal activity.
Crying Wind (Kickapoo). Crying Wind. Chicago: Moody Press, 1977. This autobiography, written in fictional style, traces Crying Wind’s life through childhood and youth in a traditional household racked by poverty and dissension. Disillusioned with her life, she seeks solace in the peyote ritual but quickly rejects that for conventional Christianity.
Cuero, Delfina (Diegueno). The Autobiography of Delfina Cuero: A Diegueno Indian. Edited by
Shipek. Los Angeles: Dawson's Book Shop, 1968. The narrator, now living in Mexico, records the destruction of her tribe's self-sufficiency, its culture, and religion when they were forced from their Southern California home by farmers. The narrative includes recollections, the puberty ceremony, and other remembrances passed down from her grandparents concerning childbirth, healing, and storytelling.
(Menominee), and R. E. Simon, Jr. Speaking Out. Chicago: Children's Press, 1970. This autobiography of a contemporary Menominee woman of Wisconsin focuses on her activism in the restoration of Menominee tribal rights.
Deernose, Agnes Yellowtail (Absaroke). They Call Me Agnes: A Crow Narrative Based on the Life of Agnes Yellowtail Deernose. Edited by Voget, Fred and Mee, Mary.
Press, 2001. The narrative of Agnes Yellowtail Deernose provides a warm, personal view of Crow Indian family life and culture from the early reservation period through the twentieth century.
Dominguez, Chona (Cahuilla). "Bygone Days." Cahuilla Texts. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, Language Science Monographs 6 (1970): 148-52. This brief life history of a California Indian woman is a case history used to illustrate an ethnographic and linguistic study of the Cahuilla Indians.
Filomena, Isidora [Princess Solano] (Churucto). My Years with Chief Solano, Translated by Nellie Van de Grift. Edited by Hubert Howe Bancroft. Touring Topics 22 (February 1930): 39, 52. Isidora Filomena, in this short memoir, writes about her marriage to an important chief of the Suisun Indians and how she interceded for peace and decent treatment of enemies and observed traditional life.
Forbes, Jack D., ed. Nevada Indians Speak. Reno: University of Nevada, 1954. A collection of short narratives by several Indian women who represent a fairly broad spectrum of tribal experiences including first encounters with whites and the struggle to retain traditional ways.
Freeman, Minnie Avdla (Inuit). Life among the Qallunaat. Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers, 1978. The author was born at Cape Horn in 1936 and tells of her life and childhood in the North and her exposure to whites (Qallunaat), schools, Christianity, and the world outside her close-knit Inuit family.
Green, Rayna (Cherokee). "Diary of a Native American Feminist." MS 11 (JulyAugust 1982), 17072, 211-13. Director of the Native American Science Resources Center at Dartmouth College, Rayna Green, shares a journal of her experiences with Native American women from 1977 to 1981.
Highwalking, Belle (
). Belle Highwalking: The Narrative of a Northern Cheyenne Woman. Edited by Katherine M. Weist. Billings: Montana Council for Indian Education, 1979. Born in 1892, Belle Highwalking recorded her life in Cheyenne for her grandchildren. She tells of childhood, marriage, and includes prayers, ceremonies, and stories.
Hopkins, Sarah Winnemucca (Paiute). Life among the Paiutes: Their Wrongs and Claims. Edited by Mrs. Horace Mann. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1883. The daughter of Chief Winnemucca, Sarah Winnemucca (born in 1844) spent a good deal of her life fighting unsuccessfully for better treatment for her people. Because of her status and her skill in English, she was privy to important tribal events, and she reports them with detailed description, including dramatic dialogue. As an adult, she taught school and later married a white man and moved to the East, giving up tribal ways for an acculturated life.
Hungry Wolf, Beverly (Blackfoot). The Ways of My Grandmothers. New York: William Morrow and Co., 1980. A member of the Blood group of the Blackfoot tribe of Canada, Beverly Hungry Wolf records the myths, legends, household practices, and customs handed down to her from her female relatives and the elder women of her tribe. Although the emphasis in her work is on traditional ways, she also focuses on her own life story as it was shaped and influenced by the women of her tribe. An educated contemporary woman, she deliberately fosters traditional ways in her daily life and advocates the preservation of traditions for the benefit of future generations..
Johnson, Broderick H., ed. Stories of Traditional Navajo Life and Culture by Twenty-two Navajo Men and Women. Tsaile, Arizona: Navajo Community College Press, 1977. Included in this collection of narratives by elderly Navajo people are four female life histories: Myrtle Begay, Mrs. Bob Martin, Jeanette Blake, and Molly Richardson. Their accounts of traditional life on the reservation include legends, Navajo customs, and philosophy, with an emphasis on childhood and boarding school recollections.
Kegg, Maude (Ojibwa). Gabekanaansing/At the End of the Trail: Memories of Chippewa Childhood in Minnesota, with Text in Ojibwa and English. Edited by John Nichols. Occasional Publications in Anthropology, Linguistic Series, no. 4 (1978),
. This narration of childhood experiences is published bilingually in English and Ojibwa with a brief introduction and linguistic study by the editor. The narrative itself focuses on the personal and family life of a woman born in 1904 whose childhood was dominated by traditional customs in Minnesota. The text is dramatized by extensive dialogue and often made immediate by the use of the present tense in describing particular experiences, such as rice gathering and sugar making.
. Gii-Ikwezensiwiyaan/When I Was a Little Girl. Edited by John Nicols. Onamia, MN, 1976. This brief childhood memoir (a private printing of seven of the tales from Gabekanaansing) is published in both Ojibwa and English. The author recalls such traditional tasks as snow-shoe crafting, sap collecting and berry picking in Minnesota.
Keys, Lucy L. [Wahnenauhi] (Cherokee). "The Wahnenauhi Manuscript: Historical Sketches of the Cherokees." Edited by Jack Frederick Kilpatrick. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 196, Anthropological Papers, no. 77, 1966, pp. 179-213. The author is a nineteenth-century mixed-blood woman whose narrative gives a history of her people, beginning with myths and describing the forced move to Oklahoma. Due to her wealthy mixed blood planter class, she is well informed about her tribal history and customs and fiercely loyal to them.
Kroeber, A. L. Ethnology of the Gros Venture. Washington, D.C.: American Museum of Natural History, 1908, pp. 216-21. Reprinted
: ANTS Press, 1978. This narrative is about the legendary woman Watches-All and her battle with the Piegans, her capture, and eventual escape.
. Handbook of the Indians of California. Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 78 (1925): 63-66. This handbook includes a short report on the stages a woman goes through to become a shaman in the anonymous personal narrative of a Yurok woman who experiences the process of purification, fasting, dreaming, dancing, and prayer to achieve curing power.
Landes, Ruth. The Ojibwa Woman. New York: Columbia University Press, 1938, pp. 227-47. Reprinted 1977. This work contains three life histories of Ojibwa women as well as a comprehensive ethnographic study of the role of women in Ojibwa life which includes case studies relating to youth, marriage, and occupations.
Lee, Bobbie (Metis). Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel. Edited by Don Barnett and Rich Sterling. Richmond, B.C., Canada: LSM Information Center, 1975. This narrative covers the first twenty years of a quarter-blood Metis woman reared in the Vancouver, B.C., area. After living in Toronto, she returns to British Columbia and becomes involved in the Red Power movement and Indian politics.
Leevier, Mrs. Annette (Ojibwa). Psychic Experiences of an Indian Princess. Los Angeles: Austin Publishers, 1920. This autobiography of the daughter of Chief Tommyhawk tells of her experiences as a medium and healer.
Lindsey, Lilah Denton (Creek). "Memories of the Indian Territory Mission Field." Chronicles of Oklahoma 36 (Summer 1958): 181-98. This memoir of a one-quarter Creek woman discusses her life at the mission school and her experiences as a teacher in the
Lone Dog, Louise (Mohawk-Delaware). Strange Journey: The Vision Life of a Psychic Indian Woman. Edited by Vinson Brown. Healdsburg, CA: Naturegraph Co., 1964. Strange Journey is a book centered on native spiritualism and the author’s pursuit of a written treatment of psychic experience which is not connected to traditional Mohawk or Delaware tribal traditions.
Lowry, Annie (Paiute). Karnee: A Paiute Narrative. Edited by Lalla Scott. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1966. The narrative is a composite of personal narrative supplemented by material from anthropological works, legends, and tales, but all sources are well integrated into the narrative. The focus is on the affinities toward two cultures and the decision whether or not to adapt.
Manitowabi, Edna (Ojibwa). An Indian Girl in the City. Buffalo, NY: Friends of Malatesta, c. 1971. (Reprinted from "An Ojibwa Girl in the City," This Magazine Is about Schools 4, no. 4 (1970): 8-24.) The autobiography traces the events in the life of a young Ojibwa woman whose life is severely disrupted when she is uprooted from the reservation to attend boarding school. In time, the author comes to terms with her Indian identity and becomes involved in native language study and the revitalization of traditions.
Michelson, Truman. "The Autobiography of a Fox Indian Woman," Bureau of American Ethnology Fortieth Annual Report (1925): 291-349. This nineteenth-century narrative concentrates on the author's role as a woman in a traditional culture including descriptions of her instruction in traditional skills, behavior, and virtue as well as her participation in puberty ceremonies, marriage, and childbirth.
. "Narrative of an Arapaho Woman." American Anthropologist 35 October-December 1933): 595-610. Through various recollections, the female narrator records the events surrounding and her personal responses to four marriages. Out of respect for the male members of her family, she does not use excessive detail.
. "The Narrative of a Southern Cheyenne Woman," Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 87 (1932): 1-13. This short narrative develops a portrait of an independent, confident, yet innocent and dutiful daughter much loved by her family.
Modesto, Ruby (Cahuilla), and Guy Mount. Not for Innocent Ears. Angelus Oaks, CA: Sweetlight Books, 1980. This collection of materials on Cahuilla curing practices contains a brief autobiographical narrative from medicine woman Ruth Modesto as well as her versions of several folktales. However, the work is heavily interpreted by Guy Mount with the intention of advocating a "spiritual" understanding of holistic medicine.
Mountain Wolf Woman (Winnebago). Mountain Wolf Woman, Sister of Crashing Thunder: The Autobiography of a Winnebago Indian. Edited by Nancy Oestreich Lurie. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1961. This narrative spans a period of traditional Winnebago life from thriving hunting and ceremonial practices to the period of dispersal and government intervention.
Nunez, Bonita Wa Wa Calachaw (Luiseno). Spirit Woman. Edited by Stan Steiner. New York: Harper and Row, 1980. This work discusses a series of episodes in the life of a California Indian woman born in 1888, who was raised by a prominent New York family. Considered a child prodigy, she became an active spokeswoman for Indian causes.
Owens, Narcissa (Cherokee). Memoirs of Narcissa Owens. 1907; reprinted
, 1980. This narrative was written by a scholarly Victorian woman whose grandfather was the last hereditary Cherokee war chief. There are descriptions of the history of her tribe, family genealogy, and vignettes of important Cherokee leaders.
Pitseolak (Eskimo). Pitseolak: Pictures Out of My Life. Edited by Dorothy Eber. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1972. Written bilingually in both Eskimo and English, this narrative relates the story of an Eskimo artist and includes drawings that relate to her telling of childhood events, her marriage and childbearing experiences, and the effect of new ways on her life and traditions in her arctic society.
Potts, Marie (Maidu). The Northern Maidu. Happy Camp: Naturegraph, 1977. An elderly Maidu traditionalist writes of her own experiences and the life and history of her people.
Pretty-shield (Crow). Pretty-shield, Medicine Woman of the Crows. By Frank B. Linderman. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1972. (Originally published as Red Mother, 1932.) Born in the 1850s, Pretty-shield is reluctant to discuss reservation times, expressing confusion and regret over the deterioration of traditional ways. Although there is no detailed discussion of her role as medicine woman, she is from an important Crow family and gives detailed descriptions of events in her childhood and early maturity.
Price, Anna [Her Eyes Grey] (Apache). "Personal Narrative of Anna Price." In Western Apache Raiding and Warfare, edited by Keith H. Basso, pp. 29-39. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1971. This narrative relates the war and raiding activities of Price's father, an influential chief of the White Mountain Apache tribe, during their conflicts with Mexican and Navajo enemies.
Qoyawagma, Polingaysi [Elizabeth Q. White] (Hopi). No Turning Back: A True Account of a Hopi Girl's Struggle to Bridge the Gap between the World of Her People and the World of the White Man. Edited by Vada F. Carlson. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1964. This full-length personal narrative by a Hopi woman born at the end of the nineteenth century focuses on the conflicts and difficulties she faced due to her choice in early youth to live in the white world. The narrative includes legend, ceremony, and ritual, but the emphasis is on the individual process of acculturation while still preserving effective ties to tribal traditions and values.
Sanapia (Comanche). Sanapia, Comanche Medicine Woman. Edited by David E. Jones. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972. A twentieth-century autobiography by a woman deeply affected by peyote culture and Christianity, this story is both a personal and cultural history with inclusion of detailed ethnographic material which she hopes to pass on to influential members of her tribe. The intention of the author is to address information and personal narratives to her own tribe sets this text apart from others, most of which are aimed at white audiences.
Sekaquaptewa, Helen (Hopi). Me and Mine: The Life Story of Helen Sekaquaptewa. Edited by Louise Udall. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1969. This narrative moves from Helen Sekaquaptewa's childhood in a traditional tribal family, through her schooling and marriage, to an acceptance of white influence without hostility toward traditions or loss of Indian identity or attachment to the land. She dwells most on traditional ceremony, boarding school experiences, family life, farming and ranching.
Shaw, Anna Moore (Pima). A Pima Past. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1974. This personal narrative and cultural memoir is written in fictional third-person style when discussing family history and first person in telling the author’s own story from youth through her education, marriage, and eventual return to the reservation. The author places heavy emphasis on the positive effects of Christianity and expresses regret over lost traditions but desires to function effectively in the white world. She returns to the reservation to regain contact with the land, but especially to engage in community service and church work.
Simpson, Richard, ed. Ooti: A Maidu Legacy. Millbrae, CA: Celestial Arts, 1977. This short book is a record of Maidu life as told by Lizzie Enos, an eighty-seven-year-old woman from northern California. She tells of the mythology of the people and of the importance of the ooti, the acorn, to Maidu culture. There are numerous photographs that show the gathering, grinding, and preparation of acorns.
Speare, Jean E. ed. The Days of Augusta
. Vancouver: J. J. Douglas Ltd., 1973. Born in 1888 at Soda Creek in British Columbia as Mary Augusta Tappage, this Canadian Indian lost her Indian status when she married a white. The book includes memories, poems, and pictures.
St. Pierre, Mark and Long Soldier, Tilda. Walking in the Sacred Manner: Healers, Dreamers, and Pipe Carriers--Medicine Women of the Plains. New York: Touchstone, 1995. This book is an exploration of the myths and culture of the Plains Indians based on extensive first-person interviews with Plains Indian women. It is an authentic record of the participation of women in the sacred traditions of Northern Plains tribes, including Lakota, Cheyenne, Crow, and Assiniboine.
Stanley, Mrs. Andrew (Apache). "Personal Narrative of Mrs. Andrew Stanley." In Western Apache Raiding and Warfare, edited by Keith H. Basso, pp. 205-19. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1971. The author records her daring escape from Fort Apache in the Arizona territory in the late nineteenth century and the hardships of her journey to rejoin her people in a renegade Apache band.
Stewart, Irene (Navajo). A Voice in Her Tribe: A Navaho Woman's Own Story. Edited by Doris Ostrander Dawdy and Mary Shepardson. Socorro, NM: Ballena Press Anthropological Papers No. 17, 1980. This oral memoir includes versions of traditional Navajo stories, discussions of tribal politics, Navajo social behavior, as well as incidents from the life of the author. In her later years, she became active in the Chinle chapter of the Navajo Tribal Council as secretary and arbiter of disputes.
Ticasuk [Emily Ivanoff Brown] (Eskimo). The Roots of Ticasuk: An Eskimo Woman's Family Story. Anchorage: Alaska Northwest Publishing, 1981. The narrator is the surviving daughter in the Eskimo line of a leader of legendary fame. Taken from oral tradition and recollections of other people, the narrative is actually a dramatized genealogy, primarily anecdotal and episodic and includes some ethnographic material.
Velarde, Pablita (Santa Clara Pueblo). Old Father the Story Teller. Globe, AZ: D. S. King, 1960. A major painter of pueblo life, whose murals can be seen in public buildings in New Mexico, Velarde relates stories and legends heard from her grandfather and great grandfather, and weaves them into a narrative of her family history.
Waheenee [Maxi'diwiac, Buffalo-Bird Woman] (Hidatsa). Waheenee: An Indian Girl's Story, Told by Herself. Told to Gilbert L. Wilson. St. Paul, MN: Webb Publishing, 1921. Reprinted in North Dakota History 38 (Winter-Spring 1971): 7-176. Also published as an Occasional Publication no. 4, Bismarck: State Historical Society of North of North Dakota, 1981. Also reprinted
, 1981. Originally told in 1921, this essentially nineteenth-century narrative by Maxi’diwiac is characterized by an attitude of regret at the passing of the old ways and the necessity for modern Indians to accommodate to white ways.
Wanatee, Adeline (Mesquakie). "Education, the Family, and the Schools." In The Worlds Between Two Rivers: Perspectives on American Indians in Iowa, edited by Gretchen M. Bataille, David M. Gradwohl, and Charles L. P. Silet, pp. 100-103. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1978. Wanatee writes of the super-imposition of white culture on Mesquakie education and is concerned about Indian students losing both their native language and their culture through white education.
Waseskuk, Bertha (Mesquakie). "Mesquakie HistoryAs We Know It." In The Worlds between Two Rivers: Perspectives on American Indians in Iowa, edited by Gretchen M. Bataille, David M. Gradwohl, and Charles L. P. Silet, pp. 54-61. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1978. Bertha Waseskuk writes a history from the point of view of a Mesquakie woman who lived on the Settlement near Tama, Iowa and is based on accounts by Mesquakie historians.
Wilson, Gilbert Livingston. Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians: An Indian Interpretation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Studies in the Social Sciences no. 9, 1917. Maxi'diwiac is the principal informant. Her account is described as an Indian woman's interpretation of economics. Focusing on Maxi'diwiac's sense of her people's relationship to the land and practices of raising crops, this collection of material includes creation stories, legends, and day-to-day agriculture practices.
Willis, Jane (Cree). Genieish: An Indian Girlhood. Toronto: New Press, 1973. Born in 1940, this is a story of a mixed-blood Cree girl in
who was raised by her Indian grandparents.
Winnie, Lucille (Seneca-Cayuga). Sah-Gan-De-Oh: The Chief's Daughter. New York: Vantage Press, 1969. A twentieth-century woman who has lived on reservations in Oklahoma, Montana, and Kansas, Winnie is a representative of modern acculturation and its effect on Indian women. She accepts white domination and blames her own people, particularly tribal politics, for poverty and other reservation problems.
Yoimut (Chunut). "Yoimut's Story, the Last Chunut." In Handbook of the Yohut Indians by F. F. Latta, pp. 223-76. Bakersfield, CA: Kern County Museum, 1949. This narrative by the last full-blood Chunut woman, who died in 1933, concentrates heavily on descriptions of childhood recollections, discussions of family life, and relationships to white settlers in northern California. The subject, who is fluent in Spanish and English as well as in four dialects of her native language, includes ceremonial songs and translations.
Young, Lucy (Wailaki). "Out of the Past: A True Indian Story." Edited by Edith V. A. Murphey. California Historical Society Quarterly 20 (December 1941): 349-64. The narrative is a brief record of a Wailaki woman writing in her nineties about her first encounter with whites in her childhood. The story is one of acculturation in her adulthood, through her marriages to two white men.
Zitkala-Sa [Gertrude Bonnin] (Sioux). “Impressions of an Indian Childhood." Atlantic Monthly 85 (January 1900): 37-47.
. "The School Days of an Indian Girl." Atlantic Monthly 85 (February 1900): 185-94.
. "An Indian Teacher among Indians." Atlantic Monthly 85 (March 1900): 381-86.
. "Why I Am a Pagan." Atlantic Monthly 90 (December 1902): 802-3. This collection of stories about Sioux Indians in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries focuses on personal experiences.
Zuni, Lina (Zuni). "An Autobiography." In Zuni Texts by Ruth L. Bunzel, pp. 74-96. New York: G. E. Stechert and Co., 1933, Publications of the American Ethnological Society. At the age of seventy, Lina Zuni’s autobiography was recorded by Ruth Bunzel as part of her fieldwork on Zuni culture and language in 1926-27.
Arizona State Museum, Tucson. Doris Duke Oral History Project. This collection includes oral histories taken among Apaches, Navajos, Pimas, Mojaves, Hualapais, and Yavapais during the 1960s, including women. The narrative is told by Nellie Quail, born in 1882 to a Yavapai family, though her grandfather was Apache. She narrates recollections of her parents, including her father's capture and forced residence at San Carlos, Arizona, where Nellie was born. The interviews include family history; migrations in central Arizona, puberty, marriage, and childbirth customs. There are also discussions of boarding school experiences, origin myths and animal legends, dress and food customs, and a discussion of her refusal to become Christianized.
. Ella Rumley Collection. This collection is a series of interviews done in the 1960s with urban Papago Indians living in the Tucson area. Among them are a number of transcripts of short interviews with women and autobiographical material is restricted to brief family and personal histories.
Ella Deloria Research Project. Ed. Agnes Picotte. There is a brief autobiography of Ella Deloria on file at the Institute of American Indian Studies at the University of South Dakota . The original papers may be found through the Dakota Indian Foundation in Chamberlain, South Dakota.
Ethnological Documents Collection of the Department and Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, BANC FILM 2216 (Originals: CU-23.1), University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. The following narratives were collected under a State Employment Relief Administration program that employed Indians to interview older Indians and only those on relief were eligible. There is an emphasis on traditional life and customs in an autobiographical context.
. Item 87-A. Autobiography of Mary Cornwell, a ninety-one-year-old Bishop Paiute woman, as told to F. J. Essene in 1935.
. Item 91. Autobiographies from Rose Wayland, Jennie Cashbaugh, and Mattie Bulpitt, all Bishop Paiute women, compiled by F. S. Hulse in 1935.
. Item 93. Autobiography of Mary Rooker, a seventy-three-year-old Independence Paiute, as told to F. S. Hulse in 1935.
Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul. Chippewa and Dakota Indians: A Subject Catalog of Books, Pamphlets, Periodical Articles, and Manuscripts, 1969. While there are no full-length autobiographies in the archive, there are short personal narratives by women and some family histories.
Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln . Autobiography of Susan Bordeaux Bettelyoun, a Story of the Ogallala and Brule Sioux. Edited by Walter Mahlen Herbert. MS185, series 2, box 1, folders 1 and 2, 366 pages. The manuscript records the history of the Bordeaux family, Fort Laramie, Crazy Horse, the Battle of Ash Hollow, the fur trade, the Crow Butte legend, and Sioux history from 1840 to 1877. The narrator gives a fairly full account of her youth and adulthood as a teacher at Fort Laramie on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation. Though a mixed-blood, she identifies strongly with her mother's Sioux traditions. The autobiography was told to Josephine Waggoner.
Western History Collections Library, University of Oklahoma. Indian Pioneer Papers. This 112-volume set of manuscripts and materials collected from WPA interviews during the 1930s contains some personal narratives by Indian women and was edited by Grant Foreman.