Always a People
Now in Paperback

Always a People

Oral Histories of Contemporary Woodland Indians
Collected by Rita Kohn and W. Lynwood Montell
Oil Portraits by Evelyn J. Ritter
Distribution: World
Publication date: 5/27/2008
Format: paper 320 pages, 36 color photos
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-22001-1
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Forty individuals, from 17 different tribes, representing 11 nations, tell their stories in Always a People. Like other Native Americans, the Woodland Nations have tenaciously clung to their sense of community despite 150 years of government policies aimed at destroying their culture. As descendants of people who shaped the history of the North American continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, the narrators reveal a close affinity to the land from which most of them have been forcibly removed. The 11 nations represented in this volume are Miami, Potawatomi, Delaware, Shawnee, Peoria, Oneida, Ottawa, Winnebago, Sac and Fox, Chippewa, and Kickapoo.

While all of the tribes have their own particular history, there are shared patterns of experience. All see themselves as people who do not fit the stereotypes often associated with "Native Americans." They speak of the urgency for making room for multiple voices drawn from many traditions.

Author Bio

Rita Kohn is Adjunct Professor of Journalism at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis and a senior writer for NUVO. She is co-editor of Long Journey Home: Oral Histories of Contemporary Delaware Indians (IUP, 2007). She lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

W. Lynwood Montell is Emeritus Professor of Modern Languages and Intercultural Studies at Western Kentucky University. He is the author of 19 books, including most recently
Grassroots Music in the Upper Cumberland. He lives in Oakland, Kentucky.


"To tribes such as the Hopi, Navajo, and Havasupai, who now face the threat of loss of culture and language, this volume serves not only as a roadmap to survival, but a testimony to the value of those things held sacred by all people—a common identity, a common language, and a cultural continuity." —Navajo Hopi Observer

"What a priceless treasure this book is!" —American Indian Libraries Newsletter

"The makers of this book, the portrait painter and the interviewers, have done something original, beautiful, and useful." —James Alexander Thom, Herald Tribune

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Michael Shinkle and Linda Shinkle
Preface by Rita Kohn and W. Lynwood Montell
About the Portraits
Introduction by R. David Edmunds

Portraits and Oral Histories
Philip V. Alexis
Lucy Sadie Parks Blalock
Sharon Burkybile
Frank Bush
George J. "Buck" Captain
Rae Daugherty
Victoria Daugherty
Charles Dawes
Leroy Dolson
Emma Greenfeather Donaldson
Leroy Ellis
Henryetta Ellis
Guy Willis Froman
Keller George
Don E. Giles
Don Greenfeather
Patricia A. Hrabik
Lewis B. Ketchum
Floyd E. Leonard
Tom Maulson
Louis E. Myers
Joanna J. Nichol
Michael Pace
Helen Rameriz
Dan Rapp
Chris Schenkel
Francis M. Shoemaker
Lora Marks Siders
Billie Smith
David Lee Smith
Nicky Glenn Smith
Lawrence Frank Snake
Richard Snake
Edward Leonard Thompson
Grace Thorpe
Beulah Timothy
Tom Topash
Wap Shing (John Mohringer)
Raymond O. White, Jr.
Curtis Zunigha

Afterword by Michelle Mannering