Chronicles the childhood of EdNah New Rider Weber as she is moved from her Pawnee home to live with her father on a Navajo reservation and then is again uprooted and placed in the Phoenix Indian School.
Her name was Seepeetza when she was at home with her family. But now that she’s living at the Indian residential school her name is Martha Stone, and everything else about her life has changed as well. Told in the honest voice of a sixth grader, this is the story of a young Native girl forced to live in a world governed by strict nuns, arbitrary rules, and a policy against talking in her own dialect, even with her family. Seepeetza finds bright spots, but most of all she looks forward to summers and holidays at home. This autobiographical novel is written in the form of Seepeetza’s diary.
Forced to use only people’s English names and not speak to his siblings at school, Shin-chi holds fast to the canoe given to him by his father, hopeful that things will then improve for his family and the tribe he loves.
In alternating passages, two Mohawk sisters describe their lives at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, established in 1879 to educate Native Americans, as they try to assimilate into white culture and one of them is falsely accused of stealing.