Women Elders' Life Stories of the Omaha Tribe


Women Elders' Life Stories of the Omaha Tribe

Macy, Nebraska, 2004-2005

Wynne L. Summers

168 pages
26 photos, 1 map


January 2010


$35.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
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January 2010


$35.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Eleanor Baxter, Alice Saunsoci, and Hawate (Wenona Caramony) are female elders of the Omaha Tribe in Macy, in the northeast corner of Nebraska. All three grew up on the Omaha reservation, moved away in later life, and held careers outside the reservation. Yet all returned to their community, bringing the skills they learned in the “white world” and the knowledge they gained as children from their own elders to contribute to the well-being of the Omaha people.

Eleanor Baxter was formerly the Omaha tribal chair, the first woman to serve in this capacity, and continues to be politically active; Alice Saunsoci is a language teacher at the Nebraska Indian Community College; and Hawate assists the Omaha community as an educator and language teacher. With a balanced focus on traditional culture and modern success, each of these three women guides the tribe in her own way toward a better understanding of what it means to be Omaha.
In this poetic account, Wynne L. Summers presents these women’s lives in their own voices, giving agency to their experiences both on and off the reservation.

Author Bio

Wynne L. Summers is an assistant professor of English at Southern Utah University.


"[Women Elders' Life Stories of the Omaha Tribe] is an honest, elegant contribution to American Indian scholarship. . . . This is the way to conduct research in Indian Country."—Patty Loew, Annals of Iowa

"Wynne Summers has made a significant contribution in bringing these women's voices to a wide audience. . . . Their poignant stories describe poverty and racism; they describe the social and cultural norms of Native ways as they straddled marginal and mainstream worlds; and they all describe the redemptive qualities of returning home to Macy."—Karen M. Morin, Great Plains Quarterly

"[Women Elders' Life Stories of the Omaha Tribe is] a very poignant and honest collection of accounts from local Indian women of the Omaha Tribe."—D. Holt, Mosaic

"These three elders tell stories of strength and survival  that deserve to be heard by a new generation facing both similar and new challenges."—Jon Reyhner, H-Net Reviews

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



Omaha Language Pronunciation Guide

Chapter One: Finding the Sacred

Chapter Two: Language as Landscape

Chapter Three: Eleanor Baxter: Tribal Chair and Political Activist

Chapter Four: Alice Saunsoci: Language Bearer and Teacher

Chapter Five: Hawate/Wenona Caramony: Preserver of Community and Language Advocate


Works Cited

Also of Interest