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Hiawatha (fourteenth century–?), Onondaga warrior and orator, was spokesman for Deganawidah in the campaign for the formation of the League of the Hau-De-No-Sau-Nee, or People of the Longhouse. In the absence of contemporary sources, our current information is based on oral traditions handed down by the elders, some of which were recorded and published only in the late nineteenth century. Oral tradition is transmitted through storytelling, ritual reenactments, and sacred symbols carved on wooden sticks or embroidered on wampum belts. The so-called myths are of historical importance because they reflect the traditional values of the past and are called on to resolve present issues....

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Mourning Dove (1884?–1936), the first traditional Native American woman novelist, was born Christine Quintasket in a canoe crossing the Kootenay River near Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho, the daughter of Joseph Quintasket and Lucy Stuikin, tribal leaders and farmers. Although her parents were prominent members of the Okanogan and Colville tribes of the Interior Salish, they were poor. Christine realized that education might be her only means of advancement. During the 1890s she studied at Goodwin Catholic Mission near Kettle Falls, Washington, and in 1900 at a government school at Fort Spokane. Several years later, she joined the staff at Fort Shaw School near Great Falls, Montana. There she married Hector McLeod in 1909, a member of the Flathead band, but they soon separated....

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Marilyn Elizabeth Perry

Uncas (1606?–1682?), Mohegan sachem, known as Wonkas or “the Fox,” was born in the New England area, the son of Oweneco, a Mohegan sachem and great hunter, and Meekump. His birth date cannot be determined with any accuracy, and estimates range from 1588 to 1606. It was believed that when Uncas was a child the Mohegans moved to the Connecticut River valley in the vicinity of the Pequot because of a diminishing food supply. Uncas claimed he had descended from a long line of sachems of the Pequot, Narragansett, and Long Island nations....