This is the spirited story of Esther Burnett Horne, an accomplished and inspiring educator in Indian boarding schools. Born in 1909, Horne attended Haskell Indian Institute in Lawrence, Kansas , and often visited relatives on the Wind River Shoshone Reservation in Wyoming. Horne devoted her life to educating other Indian children.
Essie and I developed her life history in a truly collaborative manner. What emerges is an engaging and informative narrative about education and identity. Sadly, shortly after our book was published, Essie died of cancer on June 6, 1999. She was almost 90 years old. At her request, I played my bagpipes at her funerals in Naytahwaush, MN and Wahpeton, ND. I miss her every day.
I never saw my flawed (1983) dissertation, Ethnic Identity and the Boarding School Experience (1983) as memorable, but 13 years after its publication, Native American [Creek] scholar Tsianina Lomawaima dubbed it "seminal" noting that I had "mine(d) the analytical and emotional richness of boarding school life" (Journal of American Indian Education 35 (3) [special issue on boarding school education]). Lomawaima kindly says: "To the best of our knowledge, the first scholar who incorporated American Indian peoples' personal narratives of boarding school life in a description and analysis of the institution was Sally McBeth, in her seminal book, Ethnic Identity and the Boarding School Experience (1983). Prior to McBeth's work, many academicians had assumed that they knew what boarding schools meant to Indian people, and that it was a simple, uncomplicated story of federal attack and Indian cultural disintegration."
Professional Reports (Peer-Reviewed)
2008 Ute Ethnobotany Project Summary Report. Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests, Grand Junction
Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management, and Museum of the American West.
2008 Native People of Rocky Mountain National Park: 11,000 Years of Culture and History. National Park Service (with Robert Brunswig)
2007 Native American Oral History and Cultural Interpretation in Rocky Mountain National Park. Peer-Reviewed Final Report for the National Park Service, Rocky Mountain National Park.
Selected Articles and Encyclopedia Entries
2015 "The Bear Is Our Protector: Metaphor and Mediation in the Northern Ute (Nuche) Bear Dance" in Mediating Indianness, edited by Cathy Covell Waegner, Michigan State University Press, East Lansing (2015).
2005 "Sacagawea: The Making of an American Cultural Icon," In Preserving Western History. Andrew Gulliford, ed. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. pp. 200-213.
2004 "Emerging Themes of Indigenous Cultural Interpretation of Rocky Mountain National Park," In Ancient and Historic Lifeways in North America's Rocky Mountains: Proceedings of the 2003 Rocky Mountain Anthropology Conference, Estes Park, CO. Robert Brunswig and William Butler, eds. UNC Anthropology Department: CD ROM format.
2003 "Memory, History, and Contested Pasts: Re-imagining Sacagawea/Sacajawea." American Indian Culture and Research Journal 27: 1 (2003): 01-32.
1999 “Sacagawea” entry for American National Biography. John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., 24 vols. New York: Oxford University Press (in conjunction with the American Council of Learned Societies). Volume 19; pp. 172-173.
1996 "Sacagawea" entry for The Encyclopedia of North American Indians; Native American History, Culture, and Life from Paleo-Indians to the Present. Frederick E. Hoxie. ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. pp. 562-563.
1996 “‘I Know Who I Am’; The Collaborative Life History of a Shoshone Indian Woman.” In Unrelated Kin: Race and Gender in Women’s Personal Narratives. G. Etter-Lewis and M. Foster, eds. New York: Routledge. pp. 71-85. Co-authored with Esther Burnett Horne.
1993 "Myths of Objectivity and the Collaborative Process in Life History Research." In When They Read What We Write: The Politics of Ethnography. Caroline Brettell, ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood (Bergin and Garvey). pp. 144-162.
1989 "Collaboration." In Day In, Day Out; Women's Lives in North Dakota.
B. Benson, E. Hampsten, K. Sweeney, eds. Grand Forks: University of
North Dakota. pp. 64-67.
1985 "Sacajawea: Legendary, Historical, and Contemporary Perspectives." In Woman's Place: Selected Proceedings of the University of South Dakota's First Annual Women's Research Conference, 1985, pp. 57-63.
1984 "The Primer and the Hoe." Natural History Magazine 93 (8): 4-12.
Reprinted in Social Issues Resource Series, Vol. 3, Article 17, 1984.
Reprinted in Cultural Pluralism in the Schools: Readings, B.J. Boseker,
ed. Lexington, MA: Ginn, 1986, pp. 21-24.
1983 "Indian Boarding Schools and Ethnic Identity: An Example from the Southern Plains Tribes
of Oklahoma." Plains Anthropologist 28:119-
1982 "'I'm confident when I'm with Indians': Oklahoma Women Remember
Boarding School." Plainswoman 6 (4): 8-11.