Mary Brave Bird grew up fatherless in a one-room cabin, without running water or electricity, on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Rebelling against the aimless drinking, punishing missionary school, narrow strictures for women, and violence and hopeless of reservation life, she joined the new movement of tribal pride sweeping Native American communities in the sixties and seventies. Mary eventually married Leonard Crow Dog, the American Indian Movement's chief medicine man, who revived the sacred but outlawed Ghost Dance.
This is a unique document, unparalleled in American Indian literature, a story of death, of determination against all odds, of the cruelties perpetuated against American Indians, and of the Native American struggle for rights. In Lakota Woman Brave Bird recounts her difficult upbringing and the path of her fascinating life. It is a life intertwined with signal events; Mary took part in the Trail of Broken Treaties, the cross-country protest caravan that ended in Washington D.C. with the takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building, as well as the occupation of Wounded Knee. A deeply moving account of one woman's triumphant struggle to survive in a hostile world.