About Native American culture and history
When I was a small girl, my cousin, eight years older than I, told me that we were part Cherokee. She said it like it was the coolest thing ever. So, for years, I went around thinking I was part Cherokee. Our Native American heritage was passed down through my motherís mother. However, when my grandmother died, I learned at her funeral, through her sisters, that we werenít part Cherokee. We came from a tribe that lived around the Great Lakes area. My great aunts had gone to Illinois to try to find records of an ancestor, their grandmother, I believe, but to no avail.
I remember asking my grandmother, just shortly before her death, about being part Native American. There was so much stigma and shame associated with it when she was a girl that she refused to talk about it, even eighty years later! But, when I look at pictures of her father, I can definitely see his Native American features.
Years later, I joined "Ancestry" and began mapping out my lineage. Much to my surprise, I discovered I am part Iroquois on my father's side. When Pierre Michaud (our patriarch) came from France to settle in New Quebec in the late 1600s, one of his descendents married into the Iroquois Nation.
So, I have been interested in Native American cultures, folklore, history, and art all of my life. There are stories to tell, secrets to pass on, wisdom to share. Even though my writing is fiction, I want to honor those native cultures and wisdom by being as accurate as I can in portraying them. So far, I have written stories that include the Lakota Sioux and the Kiowa tribes. One of my frustrations has been trying to find Kiowa words. The few I've found are authentic.