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this week ~ Indigenous Peoples’ Day
october 9, 2015

Decide first what is authentic, then go after it with all your heart.
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Louise Erdrich recently received the 2015 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction
~ a life-time achievement award that recognizes her 3 decades of literary accolades. Over the course of her career, she has written poetry, short stories, memoirs, 14 novels + a children’s series she illustrated herself. The bestselling Chippewa novelist is doing her part to promote fellow Native American authors. Louise is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookseller + cultural hub based in Minneapolis.

Today, there are 567 federally recognized tribes in the US ~ bands, nations + pueblos that have survived war, resettlement + assimilation. For Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we’re sharing quotes + stories from women whose ancestors were among America’s first people. These heroes have helped sustain incredibly diverse Native cultures + traditions by amplifying Native voices. And, translating them for the world.


the {literal} trailblazer


"I have traveled a long way with you to see the great waters, and that now that monstrous fish was also to be seen, I thought it very hard that I could not be permitted to see either."
source it! Sacagawea

~ a Lemhi Shoshone chief's daughter who was kidnapped by raiders + sold to a French-Canadian trapper

~ a guide + interpreter for early white explorers in the American West

~ a young mother whose 2 children were adopted by William Clark after her death from typhoid at age 25

She’s been on the US’s dollar coin since 1999. There are more statues of her than any other American woman. Seven tribes have myths about her. But, we have practically no direct accounts of anything she said.

Sacagawea was the only woman in the 1804 Corps of Discovery that included
33 men + 1 dog. Why was she invited on Lewis + Clark’s storied tour of the American West? The Shoshone woman + her 8-week-old son were a symbol. They signaled the peaceful intent of the group’s mission to the indigenous peoples along their 8000-mile route from Missouri to the Pacific + back.

But, Sacagawea’s role in the expedition quickly became more than symbolic. She also served as an interpreter, a forager for edible plants and a guide through Yellowstone mountain passes. Her courage + knowledge earned respect from the crew. The above quote ~ recorded by both Lewis + Clark ~ expresses her determination to accompany the men on a trip out to the ocean to see a beached whale. And, she did.

Sacagawea was born in the 18th century, but she didn’t achieve icon-status until the 20th. See more about how her fame was restored by US suffragists looking for a folk hero...


Ingrid Washinawatok
the warrior for peace

Ingrid Washinawatok_newsletter.jpg

"Ultimately, the wealth of the world comes
from the earth."

source it! Ingrid Washinawatok

~ a member of the Menominee tribe {the “wild rice people”}

~ a writer, filmmaker + internationally known activist

~ a delegate for the UN’s Commission on Human Rights + chair of Native Americans
in Philanthropy

Ingrid Washinawatok’s Menominee name, O’Peqtaw-Metamoh, meant “Flying Eagle Woman.” The eagle was a traditional symbol of war, and Ingrid was fearless when it came to fighting for a cause. During her short life, she championed many of them ~ indigenous sovereignty, women’s rights, environmentalism. Ingrid’s approach? Creating global networks of support for local tribal communities.

Her work brought her from Wisconsin to New York City where she co-chaired the Indigenous Women’s Network and headed up the Fund for the Four Directions to preserve + promote Native languages + cultures. It was a mission she ultimately gave her life for. In 1999, she joined a humanitarian delegation to South America. While helping the U’wa tribe organize its own school system to carry on indigenous traditions, Ingrid was kidnapped and executed by guerillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia. Her killers never went to trial, but the Menominee Nation honored her with a full warrior’s funeral.

Today, Ingrid’s husband Ali El-Issa still runs a Fund in honor of Flying Eagle Woman. Discover how Ingrid’s legacy continues to sustain indigenous female leaders from around the world who are leading peace + development efforts in their communities...

Ingrid Washinawatok

Jessica Metcalfe
the Native-made fashionista

Jessica Metcalfe_newsletter.jpg

"Vital to any critique is a plan to move forward."
source it! Jessica Metcalfe

~ a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa

~ a Dartmouth alum who earned her PhD in American Indian Studies at
University of Arizona

~ a fashion scholar turned fashion entrepreneur who runs an international business from her tiny North-Dakota hometown {population 29}

Dr. Jessica Metcalfe was headed for a career as a prof when her focus on Native American fashion outgrew academic audiences. She started a blog to share the stories of Native designers + critique misappropriations of American Indian culture in the mainstream fashion industry. Soon, the blogger realized that if she wanted people to “buy Native” instead of “knock-off tribal trends,” she had to create a platform to showcase + support indigenous artists.

In 2012, Jessica launched Beyond Buckskin Boutique ~ the first Native-owned online marketplace for Native-made fashion, jewelry + accessories. BBB’s roster features more than 40 designers whose work spans from traditional fringe + quillwork to avant-garde screen-printed dresses + beaded sunglasses. This year, BBB is part of Creative Startups’ Class of 2015 + a finalist for Martha Stewart’s American Made Awards!

The BBB founder still makes education a priority. She made headlines when she turned a controversial “Dreamcatchin’ powwow” thrown by Paul Frank Industries {think: sock monkey in full headdress} into a teachable moment. Jessica’s public letter not only solicited an apology, it sparked a collaboration ~ a Paul Frank Presents collection designed with 4 BBB artists. Hear more of Jessica’s tips on how to rock mocs + enjoy authentic American designs without buying into stereotypes...

Jessica Metcalfe

native voices
Enjoy an acclaimed book by an indigenous author. Any order you make through Quotabelle helps us add more inspiring voices to our archive.
coming soon…
market place

Plague Doves Novel P S
Radiant Curve Poems Stories Tracks
Round House Novel Louise Erdrich
Indigenous Peoples History ReVisioning American
Every Day Good Reflections Contemporary

Quotabelle news   who said it?

Last weekend, the National Women’s Hall of Fame held an induction ceremony in historic Seneca Falls, New York ~ the site of the first US women’s rights convention that gave rise to the Declaration of Sentiments.

NWHF added a new "terrific 10" to the 266 sheroes it has honored over the past 46 years. Among the 2015 inductees...a former NOW president who founded the Feminist Majority, a champion ice skater turned surgeon, an attorney who established the National Women’s Law Center + a microbiology pioneer.

Cheers to NWHF chief exec Jill Tietjen {her Quotabelle profile here} and her team for shining much-deserved light on history-making women.

"The combination of song, poetry, and prayer is a natural form of expression for many Navajo people. To know stories, remember stories, and retell them well is to have been 'raised right.'" 
"Walking, I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen.
You are the result of the love of thousands." 
"I didn't have the faith in myself to speak up, and what caused me to have the faith in myself to speak up was that my desire to do something and contribute was stronger than my own fear." 

from our #citeseers
Congrats to the National Women’s Hall of Fame’s class of 2015 {including these 2 quoteurs}...

If you don't fall down, you aren't trying hard enough. To me, the only sin is mediocrity.

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