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I was listening to the Nebraska Educational Television (NET) podcast from the Lincoln City Library. They were interviewing, Joe Starita a professor at the University of Nebraska Lincoln campus, about his new book “A Warrior of the People”. I was so intrigued I rushed over to Audible and bought the book in audiobook format.
In the 1800s women were considered unfit to be physicians. Also in the 1800s prejudice of Native Americans was extreme. Can you image what Susan La Flesche, the daughter of an Omaha Tribal Chief, had to overcome to graduate from medical school and become the United States’ first Native American female physician?
Starita covered her life from the Tribal Lands in Nebraska to private schools on the East coast then back to Nebraska to care for her tribe. She was actually born in a Tepee. She had to fight not only ethnic and gender prejudice but language, financial hurdles and all her life the government bureaucracy. The Omaha was a progressive tribe that valued the thoughts and opinions of women. Professor Starita has studied the Omaha and written extensively about them. Susan’s siblings were also trail blazers. Her sister Susette (Bright Eyes) was a famous spokeswoman for the Indian Civil Rights and her brother was the county’s first Native American ethnographer. Susan was the physician for the Omaha tribe but also found time to marry and have children. Susan spoke four languages: English, French, Omaha and Ponca. La Flesche died at age 50 of bone cancer.
The book is well written and meticulously researched. I found the story of La Flesche fascinating. Her courage and determination to help her tribe was inspiring. I found the section about her life on the East coast and medical school most interesting. I enjoy reading about people that broke barriers and overcame enormous odds to achieve their goals. I have come across some interesting author interviews about books that I heard about nowhere else except on the NET book review podcast.
Carrington MacDuffie did an excellent job narrating the book. MacDuffie is a singer/songwriter, voice over artist and a multi-award winning audiobook narrator.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Really interesting story. So enjoyable. Definitely will recommend and look for more like this book.