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Medicine Women: The Story of the First Native American Nursing School

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Winner of the 2019 Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association
Winner of the 2020 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for History-Arizona

After the Indian wars, many Americans still believed that the only good Indian was a dead Indian. But at Ganado Mission in the Navajo country of northern Arizona, a group of missionaries and doctors—who cared less about saving souls and more about saving lives—chose a different way and persuaded the local parents and medicine men to allow them to educate their daughters as nurses. The young women struggled to step into the world of modern medicine, but they knew they might become nurses who could build a bridge between the old ways and the new.

In this detailed history, Jim Kristofic traces the story of Ganado Mission on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Kristofic's personal connection with the community creates a nuanced historical understanding that blends engaging narrative with careful scholarship to share the stories of the people and their commitment to this place.

ISBN-13: 9780826360670

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: University of New Mexico Press

Publication Date: 04-15-2019

Pages: 416

Product Dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Jim Kristofic grew up on the Navajo Reservation in northeastern Arizona. His award-winning books The Hero Twins: A Navajo-English Story of the Monster Slayers and Navajos Wear Nikes: A Reservation Life, are both published by UNM Press. He lives in Taos, New Mexico.

Table of Contents

Foreword. Ghosts in the Graveyard

Prologue. The Last Night
Chapter One. Peace Time on Bad Soil
Chapter Two. The Red House Man
Chapter Three. Greenhorn Clergymen
Chapter Four. Like Real Men
Chapter Five. Mechanical Tendencies of Mind
Chapter Six. The House with the Pointed Top
Chapter Seven. The Walking Doctor
Chapter Eight. Into a Large Place
Chapter Nine. Water from the Rock
Chapter Ten. These Dark-Minded Indians
Chapter Eleven. A Miracle in Five Million Pounds of Gray Stone
Chapter Twelve. Practicing Medicine in the Desert
Chapter Thirteen. Red Women in White
Chapter Fourteen. The Flying Lady
Chapter Fifteen. The Indian Child Is Not Capable
Chapter Sixteen. Fast Slipping Away
Chapter Seventeen. No Longer Feel Suspicion
Chapter Eighteen. Both Feet out of the Grave
Chapter Nineteen. We Can Begin Yesterday Afternoon
Chapter Twenty. A Nest of Stars
Chapter Twenty-One. An Oasis in the Desert
Chapter Twenty-Two. Teenagers First, Navajos Second, Indians Incidentally
Chapter Twenty-Three. Adventurous, Challenging, and Enchanting
Chapter Twenty-Four. English Only
Chapter Twenty-Five. The Waste Places
Chapter Twenty-Six. Work with Them Day to Day
Chapter Twenty-Seven. When She Leaves It the Task Is Done
Chapter Twenty-Eight. A Slave Camp
Chapter Twenty-Nine. A Flower of Our Civilization
Chapter Thirty. Out into the Country
Chapter Thirty-One. This Situation Has Run the Length of Its Course
Chapter Thirty-Two. The Ganado Mission High School
Chapter Thirty-Three. They Had No Other Choice
Chapter Thirty-Four. We Have Reached a Critical Point
Chapter Thirty-Five. A Colorful Eroded Desert Place
Epilogue. Chusk'eh Daa'—At the Bank's Edge

Appendix. School of Nursing Graduates