Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past

Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past

by Diane Wilson
     
 

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A child of a typical 1950s suburb unearths her mother's hidden heritage, launching a rich and magical exploration of her own identity and her family's powerful Native American past.See more details below

Overview

A child of a typical 1950s suburb unearths her mother's hidden heritage, launching a rich and magical exploration of her own identity and her family's powerful Native American past.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This moving narrative recounts Wilson's attempt to trace her Dakota heritage, sparked by her usually reticent mother's story of having been left for two years at a mission boarding school on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Though her own family stories have been forgotten or repressed, Wilson relies on carefully researched historical accounts and her own imagination to depict how her Native American ancestors survived the Dakota War of 1862. Rosalie, the wife of a French-Canadian and a mother of seven, exemplifies the anguish of her family members forced to defend themselves from Dakota relatives bent on killing whites and their "half-blood" children. When the conflict ended, upwards of two thousand Dakota people, mainly women and children, gave themselves over to the U.S. government, marching over 150 miles through Minnesota to reach a camp where more than 130 would perish from exposure to cold and disease. In the most moving passages, Wilson returns to participate in a commemorative march in her ancestors' footsteps. Though she can get mired in explaining various familial ties, Wilson convincingly asserts that "our daily lives are only the tip of the mountain that rises above hundreds of years of generations whose experience, acknowledged or not, has everything to do with the people we become." 18 b&w photos. (Aug. 1) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Participation in the first-ever Dakota Commemorative March in 2002, honoring the Dakota elders, women, and children who were forced to walk 150 miles from the Lower Sioux reservation to a prison camp at Fort Snelling, MN, after the 1862 war, is the basis for this family memoir. Wilson and her younger brother walk with 40 other people and share discussions of their family history with the strangers they meet. While the walk covers the opening and closing sections of the story, the center contains historical details of Wilson's bonds with the Dakota. The book emphasizes how Native American people use family relationships to acknowledge ties to their ancestors. This compilation is ideal for genealogists and Native American collections. Lovely writing, solid research, and moving content make this a worthwhile addition to collections in larger regional public and academic libraries. Joyce Sparrow, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas Cty., Pinellas Park, FL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780873516990
Publisher:
Minnesota Historical Society Press
Publication date:
07/01/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
1,232,337
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Diane Wilson is a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Shafer, Minnesota.

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