I'll Go and Do More is the story of Annie Dodge Wauneka (1918–97), one of the best-known Navajos of all time. A daughter of the popular Navajo leader Chee Dodge, Wauneka spent most of her early years herding sheep and raising nine children. After her father's death, she entered politics and was often the only woman on the Navajo Tribal Council during the quarter century that she served. Wauneka became a forceful and articulate advocate for Indian health care, education, and other issues, working both on the reservation and in the halls of Congress to improve the lives of the Navajos. Carolyn Niethammer draws on interviews with family and friends, speeches, and correspondence to offer an arresting and readable portrait of this complex Navajo woman. Wauneka's professional and personal triumphs and challenges—her temper was legendary—are rendered vividly, enabling readers to better appreciate the enduring accomplishments of the Navajos' Legendary Mother.
“Niethammer has done an excellent job with this well-written biography. Using both written and oral sources, she presents a fascinating portrait of Annie, accompanied by enough stories and anecdotes to make her subject come alive to the reader.”—Journal of Arizona History
“Wauneka's life is elegantly captured in this aptly titled narrative.”—Choice
Niethammer's biography is an important entry in the American Indian Lives series, presenting YAs with the life of a strong female role model and contemporary activist. Annie Dodge Wauneka (1918—1997) was the daughter of the influential Navajo leader Chee Dodge and carried on his advocacy of tribal policies after his death. She successfully ran a ranch and raised nine children. Wauneka was elected to the Navajo Tribal Council and served for 27 years, fighting for Indian health care, battling against the use of peyote and alcohol, and working tirelessly for the education of her people. She spent much time in Washington lobbying for Indian rights. She was known for her forceful tongue and her fiery temper. During her long and productive life Wauneka received many honors, including the Medal of Freedom from Lyndon Johnson in 1963, and an honorary doctorate from the University of New Mexico in 1973. Niethammer mixes interviews, letters, and speeches into a vivid picture of one of the Navajo Nation's most influential leaders. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2001, Univ. of Nebraska Press, 281p. illus. notes. bibliog. index., Ages 15 to adult.
New Mexico Historical Review
- Sherry L. Smith
“A very satisfying book, skillfully blending Navajo tribal history with Wauneka's story simultaneously providing insight into both twentieth-century tribal politics and the personality of a remarkable individual.”—Sherry L. Smith, New MexicoHistorical Review
“I highly recommend reading I’ll Go and Do More; especially for American Indian women who have goals and aspirations of becoming a leader in their community. Dr. Annie Wauneka was a special and unique individual who lived ahead of her time.”—Peterson Zah, former Chairman and President of the Navajo Nation