Children of the Sun: Stories By and About Indian Kids
By: Adolf and Beverly Hungry Wolf
CSKT E 98 .C5 C44 1987

While it is not strictly Salish or Kootenai, this book was an enjoyable read. It discusses the shared and distinct experiences of Native children from infancy to early adulthood. The writers wanted to share narratives from past generations to educate today’s youth about the ways their ancestors grew up.

Stories cover every aspect of childhood, including early childbirth customs, religious initiations, and courtship patterns. Since the authors are Canadian Blackfoot, this group is most represented, but stories are included from tribes all over North America.

The only Salish-specific narrative was a short history of Mary Ann Coombs, a Bitterroot Salish woman who became an adult in the late 19th century. She relates how she was “guided” by a respected elderly woman to learn the ways of an honorable Salish woman. From this woman, Mary Ann learned customs such as how to act around men, how to gather and prepare food, how to wash, and how to have strong children. She would use this training for the rest of her life.

Few stories in the collection are more than a couple pages long, which make the book a great choice for both adults and children looking to understand more about childhood life in the late 1800’s – early 1900’s.

Originally posted February 2014