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Madonna Swan A Lakota Woman's Story
By: Mark St. Pierre
Mark St. Pierre skillfully weaves together his interviews with Madonna Swan-Abdalla to capture the indomitable spirit of a Lakota woman as she celebrates the joys and endures the sufferings of her remarkable life on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Born in 1928, Madonna Swan's life on the reservation was appallingly difficult. Stricken with tuberculosis at age sixteen, she survived to marry, have a family, go to college, and teach in the reservation Head Start program. A symbol of courage for all women, Indian and non-Indian alike, Madonna Swan-Abdalla was named North American Indian Woman of the Year in 1983.
"Through her accounting, Madonna's self-actualization and her fortitude and determination shine brightly. Her life story highlights themes of cultural continuity and adaptability and portrays native women as the producers of their own destiny. . .It presents an authenticity that is useful for teaching classes on native women, and it adds a comparative mode to the published lives of mainly Oglala women which heretofore have formed the basis of most books on Lakota/Dakota women." -- Beatrice Medicine, American Indian Culture and Research Journal.
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