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Where are the Native American tribes now?

The distribution of Western land mandated by the Homestead Acts resulted in a breakup of the cultural nucleus of Native Americans, and the accustomed lifestyle of many European immigrant homesteaders.The US Government’s theory was that if the land could be broken into small parcels every separate family would be more productive, and enjoy the benefits of ownership.

Montana homesteaders

Montana homesteaders

In fact for the immigrant homesteaders this produced a breakup of the type of community centered way of living they had followed for generations in Europe, which was to live in small towns and work the surrounding fields of the towns together.

Salish People

Salish Native Americans

 

 

Native Americans, the People, were wide-ranging hunters who also lived in large communities, but were forced to accept 640 acre plots for farming, to which they were unaccustomed.

The Salish were “reserved” a large part of the Bitterroot Valley, only to be later moved out of this land and replaced by homesteaders. They were then were moved to the Flathead Valley north of Missoula, where tribal members received 80 acre allotments, and forfeited the huge “reserved” federal lands in the Bitterroot Valley, which had been their ancestral home for centuries. The new “reserved” Flathead Valley land also was eventually privatized by homesteaders, some of whom coveted  even the small plots of  land the tribal members had individually acquired. Towns and merchant stores were built, and some of the Salish were encouraged to buy on credit. If they could not pay up they had to trade.They signed over their land allotments.

Where are the Native American tribes now? Today the Salish & Kootenai tribe’s reservation covers a large part of the lower Flathead Valley, but much of this land has become private agricultural property and homes. Only 23% of the population of Lake County, Montana is Native American.

The history of the West is tumultuous. It is difficult to comprehend the changes that took place in those years from 1862 to 1930. I was raised at the head of the Bitterroot Valley, part of that ancestral home of the Flathead Nation. Nearby my house, on the outskirts of Missoula, is a place where The People pitched their tepees. I was told that they had came down to the Valley from the surrounding mountains to spend the winter, and to dig for bitterroot. Those days are gone forever.

Have outside events radically changed your life? How does that compare to the radical changes in the West? I would love to hear your comments.

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Mirna: A Life of Her Own is FREE on Amazon

Mirna will be FREE on Friday and Saturday, December 5th to 6th.

For those of you who missed it first time around Mirna: A Life of Her Own is FREE at Amazon Kindle  from Friday December 5th through Saturday December 6th.

This is the story of a young woman who flees Indiana to Montana at the turn of the 20th century to escape her intolerable family situation. The progression of her forming relationship there and finally having to confront a family member highlights the determination young women homesteaders had to have to survive on the prairie.

A full description of Mirna and a excerpt can be read at at this link- MIRNA: A Life of Her Own 

To download the FREE EBOOK CLICK HERE- MIRNA.

If you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon offers a free app for PCs and Smart Phones

 

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Suffragette and Journalist

Jeanette Rankin HatWomen’s suffrage came earlier to Montana than most states. Perhaps it was in some measure the influence of single women homesteaders who independently took up the offer of free land authorized by the Homestead Act of 1909. After all if a single woman laid claim to land, planned and worked hard to succeed, and “proved up” her own land, why shouldn’t she be allowed to vote? Jeannette Pickering Rankin – A former schoolteacher born near Missoula Montana, was the first woman member of the US Congress, elected in 1916 and again in 1940. After being elected in 1916 she said, “I may be the first woman member of Congress but I won’t be the last.” She also said “I want to be remembered as the only woman who ever voted to give women the right to vote.”

Young and old single women voted with their feet when they came out West. Some were well educated, and even from well to do families. It was the challenge of making a place of their own that drove many of them. In my short story Sophie Writes from Montana a young, attractive, quick-witted newspaperwoman becomes intrigued with the idea of homesteading. Despite the entreaties of her lawyer suitor, she gives up her job, her home, and the social and cultural amenities she has in Chicago.

Here is an example of a woman journalist who had a “can do” attitude just like Sophie, and could do the job as well as any man..

Peggy Hull photoPeggy Hull – Henrietta “Peggy” Deuell, a Kansas farm girl, left home at an early age to become a journalist. After her marriage to a fellow journalist, Peggy Hull covered General Pershing’s pursuit of Pancho Villa in Mexico, and survived submarine-infested waters to report from the Western Front during World War I — without any official recognition or assistance from the United States government, which frowned on the idea of female war correspondents. With help from General Perusing, Hull became the first officially accredited female war correspondent and promptly accompanied American soldiers to Siberia during the Russian revolution. In Shanghai during the Japanese invasion of the city, Hull stayed to cover the action, and would continue covering the war in the Pacific after the United States entered the Second World War. She was known for featuring the “ordinary” man in her stories. In 1944, an American G. I. wrote to her, saying “You will never realize what those yarns of yours . . . did to this gang. . . . You made them know they weren’t forgotten.”- History of American Journalism, Univ of Kansas, 1907

Sophie Writes From Montana, and Nora Take Her Chances join Mirna in my  A Life of Her Own series of women homesteader short stories. Soon they will be followed by Lizzie and Mrs. Andersson. Each person’s story is presented in a different style according to her character. All are about women who have the courage to be different.  As we prepare for the holidays and the New Year perhaps their stories will inspire you to take up that challenge as well. .

Sophie Writes from Montana, Mirna: A Life of Her Own and my full-length novel Lila are all available in Kindle EBOOK editionLila can also be ordered in as an EBOOK and in PRINT edition for those who much prefer turning a book’s pages

Mirna will be FREE on Friday and Saturday, December 5th to 6th.

Lila’s Clarion review and other reviews can be read here.

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Suffragette and Journalist

Jeanette Rankin HatWomen’s suffrage came earlier to Montana than most states. Perhaps it was in some measure the influence of single women homesteaders who independently took up the offer of free land authorized by the Homestead Act of 1909. After all if a single woman laid claim to land, planned and worked hard to succeed, and “proved up” her own land, why shouldn’t she be allowed to vote? Jeannette Pickering Rankin – A former schoolteacher born near Missoula Montana, was the first woman member of the US Congress, elected in 1916 and again in 1940. After being elected in 1916 she said, “I may be the first woman member of Congress but I won’t be the last.” She also said “I want to be remembered as the only woman who ever voted to give women the right to vote.”

Young and old single women voted with their feet when they came out West. Some were well educated, and even from well to do families. It was the challenge of making a place of their own that drove many of them. In my short story Sophie Writes from Montana a young, attractive, quick-witted newspaperwoman becomes intrigued with the idea of homesteading. Despite the entreaties of her lawyer suitor, she gives up her job, her home, and the social and cultural amenities she has in Chicago.

Here is an example of a woman journalist who had a “can do” attitude just like Sophie, and could do the job as well as any man..

Peggy Hull photoPeggy Hull – Henrietta “Peggy” Deuell, a Kansas farm girl, left home at an early age to become a journalist. After her marriage to a fellow journalist, Peggy Hull covered General Pershing’s pursuit of Pancho Villa in Mexico, and survived submarine-infested waters to report from the Western Front during World War I — without any official recognition or assistance from the United States government, which frowned on the idea of female war correspondents. With help from General Perusing, Hull became the first officially accredited female war correspondent and promptly accompanied American soldiers to Siberia during the Russian revolution. In Shanghai during the Japanese invasion of the city, Hull stayed to cover the action, and would continue covering the war in the Pacific after the United States entered the Second World War. She was known for featuring the “ordinary” man in her stories. In 1944, an American G. I. wrote to her, saying “You will never realize what those yarns of yours . . . did to this gang. . . . You made them know they weren’t forgotten.”- History of American Journalism, Univ of Kansas, 1907

Sophie Writes From Montana, and Nora Take Her Chances join Mirna in my  A Life of Her Own series of women homesteader short stories. Soon they will be followed by Lizzie and Mrs. Andersson. Each person’s story is presented in a different style according to her character. All are about women who have the courage to be different.  As we prepare for the holidays and the New Year perhaps their stories will inspire you to take up that challenge as well. .

Sophie Writes from Montana, Mirna: A Life of Her Own and my full-length novel Lila are all available in Kindle EBOOK editionLila can also be ordered in as an EBOOK and in PRINT edition for those who much prefer turning a book’s pages

Mirna will be FREE on Friday and Saturday, December 5th to 6th.

Lila’s Clarion review and other reviews can be read here.

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All about Lila’s Reviews

 LILA  is available as FREE EBOOK from Thurs 11/6 to Saturday 11/8. LILA is also available IN PRINT format.

When I put my work out for review there is always trepidation. Naturally I hope it will be favorable. I had to read the following a few times. “Did they actually say it was good?!”

…about Lila’s Reviews 

 “ . . . a compelling and complex story . . . focuses on the titular heroine, Lila, and her life in the Dakotas and Montana . . . many lovely descriptions and these are crafted with skill . . . communicates the harshness of the life of German Russian immigrants to the Plains . . . shows how following one’s internal compass can provide a path of empowerment . . . relationships described are depicted carefully and with detail . . . offers subtle messages and lessons about human relationships and the importance of nurturing and nourishment for the human spirit”

“. . .  engaging and absorbing . . . unfold(s) with clarity and complexity . . . develops characters with strong but subtle personalities . . . quirks and minor points of their personalities are intriguing and compelling . . . the writing is inflected with sensitivity . . . the use of simile, imagery, and metaphor delightful.”

“Lila is one of the most “fleshed-out” characters I have encountered. I truly cared for her and hoped that life would work out for her. Her struggles, internal and external, are worthy of our attention. The plot is . . . is enthralling. . . . the character of Lila is exquisitely portrayed, as are all of the main characters . . . you capture the complexities and changes of real people.”

I hope you will read Lila, currently available for free for a limited time on Kindle. The following link to my site has the link to the free download – http://maeschick.com/books/page_id1152/

I would appreciate your honest reviews on my Kindle site. The more the better. Please give it your review and your comments on this Amazon page:

http://www.amazon.com/Lila-Trials-Triumph-Mae-Schick/dp/1499500815/ref=la_B00NJ2HTX2_1_1_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415382578&sr=1-1

  MIRNA: A Life of Her Own is available as FREE EBOOK Thurs 11/6 to Saturday 11/8.

LILA  is available as FREE EBOOK from Thurs 11/6 to Saturday 11/8. LILA is also available IN PRINT format.

If you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon offers a free app for PCs and Smart Phones

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Lila- A Story of Courage, Self-Reliance and Relationships

LILA Front Cover OnlyAvailable in print from Amazon  Soon to be an ebook.

Book Description

The wild 1920’s roar away in major cities. Yet, on an isolated Dakota prairie homestead, nineteen year old Lila milks her cows, fights with her sister Iris, bakes kuchen, and takes care of the younger siblings.  She is unaware that her prescribed life soon is going to change. The charming but untamed Fischer rides onto the farm and into her life shortly before events on the farm turn volatile and menacing. Almost simultaneously Lila is introduced to both romance and violence as she begins a journey filled with adventure, new companions, and hardships. She endures abandonment and rejection, and escapes danger. She discovers self-reliance, loses it then regains it on the path to self-discovery.

Lila faces many changes even before she takes Fischer as her husband, and moves with him to Missoula Montana in the 1920’s. Fischer is vibrant and charming, while level-headed Lila plans life as if it is a recipe to create in her aromatic kitchen. Lila’s circumstances become more complicated, and yet she works to keep things stable until she must come up against her own belief system, and make life-altering decisions.

I hope you find inspiration and encouragement in this story as you face your own challenges.      Mae Schick

Here is an Excerpt from my Blog Pages

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