A Stranger in Her Native Land: Alice Fletcher and the American Indians

Joan Mark, Author University of Nebraska Press $20 (452p) ISBN 978-0-8032-8156-1
Written from a feminist viewpoint, this intriguing, scholarly biography recounts the life of Alice Fletcher, a 19th century anthropologist who championed the rights of American Indians. In 1881 at age 43, Fletcher gave up her career as a public lecturer and traveled west to the Dakota Territory where she observed the Sioux. From there she went to Nebraska to live with the Omaha, and then on to Idaho where she camped with the Nez Perce. Among the remarkable woman's political accomplishments was a congressional bill providing for individual land allotments to reservation Indians. Using Fletcher's personal journals and letters, Mark ( Four Anthropologists ) draws intelligent conclusions about Fletcher's character: her need for a family, a home and a cause, all of which she discovered among the Indians. ``Living with my Indian friends I found I was a stranger in my native land,'' Fletcher wrote. ``I learned to hear the echoes of a time when every living thing even the sky had a voice. That voice devoutly heard by the ancient people of America I desired to make audible to others.'' Illustrations not seen by PW. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Hardcover - 428 pages - 978-0-8032-3128-3
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