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Essie's Story

Essie's Story

The Life and Legacy of a Shoshone Teacher

by Esther Burnett Horne

“This collaboration between a Shoshone teacher and a white anthropologist presents the classic tensions inherent in European and Native American views of culture. And Horne’s story materializes as one of a lifetime spent educating—not acculturating—young Native Americans. . . . In this fascinating life story, Horne sees Sacajawea as a personal metaphor, by which she makes sense of her own life as a Native American in a nation that reveres the written word over oral tradition.”—Booklist. “An invaluable life account from one of our most cherished elders. Esther Horne and Sally McBeth have created an enduring and delightful book about Indian life. Essie’s Story adds rich perspective to our national mythos.”—Louise Erdrich.

This is the spirited story of Esther Burnett Horne, an accomplished and inspiring educator in Indian boarding schools. Born in 1909, Horne grew up attending Haskell Indian Institute in Lawrence, Kansas, and often visited relatives on the Shoshone Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Motivated by teachers like Ella Deloria and Ruth Muskrat Bronson, Horne devoted her life to teaching other Indian children. She began teaching at Wahpeton Indian School in Wahpeton, North Dakota, in 1930 and has remained active in education to the present day.

Esther Horne and Sally McBeth developed their life history in a truly collaborative manner. McBeth carefully documents both Horne’s personal history and the creation of this work. What emerges is an engaging and informative narrative about education and identity.

Sally McBeth is an associate professor of anthropology and multicultural studies at the University of Northern Colorado. She is the author of Ethnic Identity and the Boarding School Experience.

336 pp ~ illustrated — ©1998



Item #

8080-327-324 softcover $13.95 $11.85 $2.10 Buy
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ISBN: 080327324X
CATEGORY: Biography/Autobio
August 1999
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