Cover image for Honor the grandmothers : Dakota and Lakota women tell their stories
Honor the grandmothers : Dakota and Lakota women tell their stories
Penman, Sarah, 1950-
Publication Information:
St. Paul, MN : Minnesota Historical Society Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
147 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Celane Not Help Him -- Stella Pretty Sounding Flute -- Cecilia Hernandez Montgomery -- Iola Columbus.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E99.D1 H75 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In this poignant collection of oral histories, four Indian elders recount their life stories in their own quiet but uncompromising words. Growing up and living in Minnesota and the Dakotas, Stella Pretty Sounding Flute and Iola Columbus (Dakota)and Celane Not Help Him and Cecelia Hernandez Montgomery (Lakota) share recollections of early family life interrupted by years at government boarding schools designed to eradicate tribal culture. Recounting their complex lives, the grandmothers reveal how they survived difficult circumstances to become activists in Indian politics, reconciling urban with reservation life and Christianity with native spirituality. Particularly memorable is one grandmother's detailed family account of the tragic events and consequences of the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890. Defying stereotypes, these clear and forthright voices are unforgettable. As the traditional teachers and bearers of culture, the grandmothers also share their concern for future generations.

Author Notes

Author Sarah Penman, originally from Scotland, now makes her home in Minneapolis. She has produced video and radio documentaries, including an Emmy-nominated video, Nokomis--Voices of Anishinabe Grandmothers. She has also written articles for The Circle, Minnesota's largest Native American newspaper. Her photographs are widely exhibited.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Honor the Grandmothers: Dakota and Lakota Women Tell Their Stories, editor Sarah Penman, a journalist who reports on the experiences of Native Americans, preserves four oral histories that contribute to our understanding of Indian life past and present. According to tradition, it is the responsibility of Dakota and Lakota grandmothers to teach tribal history. During the course of their long lives, the four womenÄCelane Not Help Him, Stella Pretty Sounding Flute, Cecilia Hernandez Montgomery and Iola ColumbusÄwitnessed tremendous change in the circumstances of their peoples (e.g., Celane Not Help Him recalls the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890), which Penman presents with grace and respect. (Jan. 5) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The four oral histories presented in this attractive volume pay homage to elder women who quietly serve as community and political activists within the Lakota-Dakota Nation. The book tells their stories of service in the grandmother's traditional role of cultural carrierDimbuing children with respect for the language, medicinal lore, and spiritual beliefs of the people. Thoughtfully edited by photographer/reporter Penman, these accounts were originally broadcast as a 1993 radio documentary. The result is an excellent companion to Mary Brave Bird's American Book Award-winning Ohitika Woman (Harperperennial, 1994. reprint). Recommended for most public and academic libraries.DNancy Turner, New Mexico State Univ. Lib., Las Cruces (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Celane Not Help Himp. 11
Stella Pretty Sounding Flutep. 47
Cecilia Hernandez Montgomeryp. 77
Iola Columbusp. 113
Acknowledgmentsp. 147