CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 18. . . .May 2, 2008
In her introduction to Great Women From Our First Nations, Kelly Fournel writes of the difficulties she faced in selecting the women about whom to write:
Five of the 10 women profiled in the book are Canadian, and five are American; additionally, Fournel attempted to bring some historical balance to the collection by including the stories of Pauline Johnson-Takahionwake and Thocmetony (Sarah) Winnemucca, both of whom attained renown during the 19th century, the former for performance of her poetry and the latter for lectures and political activism on behalf of her people. As well, a variety of careers have been represented: Maria Tallchief (ballerina and ex-wife of George Balanchine) and Susan Aglukark (singer) both represent the arts; Suzanne Rochon-Burnett and Mary Kim Titla each achieved notice as journalists; Wilma Mankiller, Winona LaDuke, and Sandra Lovelace Nicholas have all had notable careers as community and political activists; and Lorna Williams has worked hard at the development of programs to foster the retention of Native language and culture in British Columbia. Indisputably, all of these women have faced tremendous odds, and all have demonstrated strength and resilience. Their ability to achieve and often to be "the first" Native American or Canadian to achieve a particular goal makes their stories worth knowing.
Recommended with reservations.
Joanne Peters is a teacher-librarian at Kelvin High School in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.