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Ioway Cultural Institute : Online Bookstore

The Ioway Bookstore (wawagaxe = "book") is a convenient way for tribal members and others to learn about and order books on the Iowa Tribe. Only books and other materials I can personally recommended for their accuracy and usefulness are listed here.

The Ioway Bookstore is an Associate of, the biggest online bookstore in the world. I have ordered perhaps a dozen books from them through the Internet, and recommend it highly. Not only do you get your book delivered right to your door, usually in a few days, you get a discount off the usual bookstore price too! They handle all the billing and shipping in a very secure and professional manner.

The Indians of Iowa

By Lance M. Foster (University of Iowa Press, 2009)

Quoting from the University of Iowa Press website:

“For the past several decades I have received many questions from people seeking information on the tribes who lived in Iowa. Until now there has been no single source to answer those questions. Lance Foster’s work will be the source of first reference. It should be on the shelf of every library in the state.”—Jerome Thompson, state curator and interim administrator, State Historical Society of Iowa

“A landmark overview of American Indians in Iowa and a valuable ‘must-have’ source for school, university, and city libraries as well as professional anthropologists and historians, The Indians of Iowa combines Lance Foster’s skills as an indigenous scholar, research specialist, straightforward writer, and artist par excellence.”—David Mayer Gradwohl, professor emeritus and founding director, Iowa State University Archaeological Laboratory

Many different Indian tribes have lived in Iowa, each existing as an independent nation with its own history, culture, language, and traditions. Some were residents before recorded time; some lived in Iowa for relatively short periods but played memorable roles in the state’s history; others visited Iowa mostly during hunting trips or times of war. Stimulating and informative, Lance Foster’s The Indians of Iowa is the only book for the general reader that covers the archaeology, history, and culture of all the different native nations that have called Iowa home from prehistory to the present.

Foster begins with a history of Lewis and Clark’s travels along the Missouri River adjacent to western Iowa. Next, he focuses on the tribes most connected to Iowa from prehistoric times to the present day: the Ioway, Meskwaki, Sauk, Omaha and Ponca, Otoe and Missouria, Pawnee and Arikara, Potawatomi, Illinois Confederacy, Santee and Yankton Sioux, and Winnebago. In between each tribal account, “closer look” essays provide details on Indian women in Iowa, traditional ways of life, Indian history and spirituality, languages and place-names, archaeology, arts and crafts, and houses and landscapes. Finally, Foster brings readers into the present with chapters called “Going to a Powwow,” “Do You Have Indian Blood?” and “Indians in Iowa Today.” The book ends with information about visiting Native American museums, historic sites, and communities in Iowa as well as tribal contacts and a selection of published and online resources.

The story of the Indians of Iowa is long and complicated. Illustrated with maps and stunning original art, Lance Foster’s absorbing, accessible overview of Iowa’s Indian tribes celebrates the rich native legacy of the Hawkeye State. It is essential reading for students, teachers, and everyone who calls Iowa home.

Lance Foster received a B.A. in anthropology and Native American studies from the University of Montana as well as an M.A. in anthropology and an M.L.A. in landscape architecture from Iowa State University; he is an alumnus of the Institute of American Indian Arts. He has been director in the Native Rights, Land and Culture division for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; a historical landscape architect for the National Park Service; and an archaeologist for the U.S. Forest Service. A member of the Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, he currently teaches at the University of Montana–Helena College of Technology.

Purchase The Indians of Iowa at the University of Iowa Press website for $16.95 for the paperback or $10.95 for the ebook.

Lost Nation: The Ioway

By Tammy and Kelly Rundle (Fourth Wall Films, 2008)

Quoting from film's official website:

In the twilight of Native American dominion, two Ioway leaders travel to Washington, D. C. in 1824 to meet with Superintendent of Indian Affairs, William Clark. Both sign a treaty ceding a large portion of tribal land for settlement.

White Cloud sees cooperation as the only way for his people to survive, while Great Walker regrets the loss of land where his ancestors are buried. More territory is lost, and the Ioway people are divided, with some regarding one leader as a traitor, and the other as a patriot. After the tribe is removed, the 36 million acres they once called home is named “Iowa”. Then, they are forgotten.

“Lost Nation: The Ioway” tells the dramatic true tale of two leaders’ struggle to save their people from inevitable American conquest, and the Ioway’s current fight to reclaim and maintain their unique history and culture.

Kelly and Tammy Rundle, the award winning and critically acclaimed filmmakers of "Villisca: Living with a Mystery," began shooting "Lost Nation" in July 2005.

"We hope the film will help to restore this chapter of Iowa's rich heritage to public consciousness," Producer Tammy Rundle said. "We can't change events from long ago, but we think viewers will relate to the courage and perseverance of the Ioway as they struggled with forces that changed their lives forever."

"I grew up with a strong interest in the stories and ways of indigenous people," said Director Kelly Rundle, "Ioway history has been scattered to the four winds and this project provides an opportunity to draw key elements together in an accessible and interactive media project."

The documentary brings together commentary from historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, Ioway Elders, along with new footage of historic sites, historical photographs and documents, art from the Smithsonian and other National museums, music, legends, dances, powwows, and reenactments.

The dramatic saga of Iowa’s early inhabitants will unfold in a 57-minute film that will be available on DVD homevideo, and through public television broadcasts. The DVD will feature an alternative soundtrack in the nearly extinct Ioway language, known as Báxoje (bah-kho’-jay), with English subtitles.

Purchase Lost Nation: The Ioway at the Fourth Wall Films website.

The Ioway in Missouri

By Greg Olson (University of Missouri Press, 2008)

Quoting from the University of Missouri Press website on this new work by Greg Olson, who is Curator of Exhibits and Special Projects at the Missouri State Archives in Jefferson City:

"Although their ancestors came from the Great Lakes region and they now live in several Midwestern states, the Ioway (Baxoje) people claim a rich history in Missouri dating back to the eighteenth century. Living alongside white settlers while retaining their traditional way of life, the tribe eventually had to make difficult choices in order to survive—choices that included unlikely alliances, resistance, and even violence.

"This is the first book on the Ioway to appear in thirty years and the first to focus on their role in Missouri’s colonial and early statehood periods. Greg Olson tells how the Ioway were attracted to the rich land between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers as a place in which they could peacefully reside. But it was here that they ended up facing the greatest challenges to their survival as a people, with leaders like White Cloud and Great Walker rising to meet those demands.

"Olson draws on interviews with contemporary tribal members to convey an understanding of Ioway beliefs, practices, and history, and he incorporates reports of Indian agents and speeches of past Ioway leaders to illuminate the changes that took place in the tribe’s traditional ways of life. He tells of their oral tradition and creation stories, their farming and hunting practices, and their alliances with neighboring Indians, incoming settlers, and the United States government. And in describing these alliances, he shows that the Ioway did not always agree among themselves on the direction they should take as they navigated the crosscurrents of a changing world—and how attempts of some Ioway leaders to accommodate to the White Path did not prevent their descent into poverty and despair or their ultimate removal from their lands.

"As modern Ioway people in Kansas and Oklahoma work to recover the history of their Lost Nation—and as local historians recognize their important place in Missouri history—Olson’s book offers a balanced account of the profound effects on the Ioway of other tribes, explorers, and settlers who began to move into their homelands after the Louisiana Purchase. Written for a general audience, this is a useful, accessible introduction to the changing fortunes of the Ioway people in the era of exploration, colonialism, and statehood."

Click here to Order The Ioway in Missouri from the University of Missouri Press. (Paperback: $14.95)

The Ioway Indians

By Martha Royce Blaine (University of Oklahoma Press, 1995) [The first edition was hardback and published in 1979; this second edition is paperback and published in 1995, with a valuable NEW section about the modern Ioway] -- Illustrations and maps; 364 pages. Paperback.

"This account is the first extensive ethnohistory of the Ioway Indians, whose influence -- out of all proportion to their numbers -- stemmed partly from the strategic location of their homeland between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.

Beginning with archaeological sites in northeast Iowa, Martha Royce Blaine traces Ioway history from ancient to modern times. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, French, Spanish, and English traders vied for the tribe's favor and for permission to cross their lands. The Ioways fought in the French and Indian War in New York, the War of 1812, and the Civil War, but ultimately their influence waned as they slowly lost control of their sovereignty and territory. By the end of the nineteenth century, the Ioways were separated in reservations in Nebraska, Kansas, and Indian Territory [Oklahoma]. A new preface by the author carries the story to modern times and discusses the present status of and issues concerning the Oklahoma and the Kansas and Nebraska Ioways." [From the book cover]

Every Iowa tribal member should have a copy of this book, as well as anyone else interested in Iowa history!

Click here to Order The Ioway Indians (Paperback: $19.95)

Madame Dorion

By Jerome Peltier (Ye Galleon Press, 1980) -- Illustrations; 46 pages. Both a hardcover and a paperback version are available; photograph is of the hardback version.

Did you know there was once an Ioway woman who was just as courageous as Sacajawea? Just about everyone has heard of Sacajawea, the Shoshone Indian woman who guided Lewis and Clark in their explorations of the Louisiana Purchase in 1804-06. Now read about Madame Marie Dorion (1783?-1850), an Ioway Indian woman who traveled with the Astorian exploration party from 1811-1814 seeking an overland route across the Plains and Rockies to the Pacific. Madame Dorion was an amazing woman who traveled with two small children, through incredible hardships, surpassing the men in her character and fortitude. The party met several disasters, including the death of her husband, but Madame Dorion survived them all. She decided to stay in Oregon and never returned to the Iowa tribe.

A true story of a remarkable Ioway heroine!

Click here to Order Madame Dorion (hardback: 9.95 + special surcharge .85 = $10.80)

Click here to Order Madame Dorion (paperback: 5.95 + special surcharge 1.85 = $7.80)

Notice: Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery of this book as it requires a special order.

The Many Hands of My Relations: French and Indians on the Lower Missouri

By Tanis C. Thorne (University of Missouri Press, 1996) -- Maps, illustrations; 312 pages.

From the University of Missouri Press:

"The Many Hands of My Relations is a study of kinship networks among French Creoles and Central Siouan tribes and the influence of those networks on social, political, and economic development along the lower Missouri River from the late prehistoric period to the removal era in the 1870s. The book's primary focus is on the economic relations and intermarriages between French fur traders and native people of the Central Siouan tribes and the consequences for intergroup relationships as three imperial powers (France, then Spain, and then the United States) vied for political control and commercial supremacy.

Arguing that cultural and biological hybridization is an underappreciated aspect of the historical development of this region, Tanis Thorne focuses much of her analysis on French-Indian mixed-bloods of the lower Missouri River region. She examines their economic roles as intermediaries in the fur and liquor trade, their attempts to form communities, and their political loyalties and cultural orientations. Of special importance is Thorne's examination of the French-Indian borderlands people, not as isolated individuals, but as members of family networks set in a social and historical context. The study concludes with an assessment of how persons of mixed ancestry influenced tribal politics in the era of white settlement and Indian removal.

This significant work helps dispel stereotypes regarding "half-breeds" and shows how kinship between culturally different groups served as a means of accommodation and coexistence in America's multiethnic panorama. Filling a major gap in the literature on the fur trade, The Many Hands of My Relations also yields important new insights into the history of native peoples of the Midwest and their relations with European newcomers."

Tanis C. Thorne is Adjunct Assistant Professor of History at the University of California in Irvine.

Click Here to Order Many Hands of My Relations (hardback: 39.95)

American Indian Portrait Postcards

This book of postcards reproduces 24 prints from the McKenney and Hall Portrait Gallery. It includes the following Iowas:

Click Here to Order American Indian Portrait Postcards: 24 Lithographs-McKenney and Hall (Paperback: 4.95)

The North American Indian Portfolios : From the Library of Congress (Tiny Folios)

by James Gilreath (Abbeville Press, Inc., 1993) -- Reprint edition. Illustrations; 272 pages.


This miniature book contains over 200 full color reproductions of many of the best-known frontier paintings from Bodmer's America, Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio, and McKenney & Hall's History of the Indian Tribes of North America.

Click Here to Order The North American Indian Portfolios : From the Library of Congress (Tiny Folios) (Paperback: $9.56)

Native Americans: A Portrait; The Art and Travels of Charles Bird King, George Catlin, and Karl Bodmer

By Robert J. Moore (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1997) -- Illustrations; 279 pages.

From the author:  

"Native Americans: A Portrait is the story of three artists who took advantage of a moment in time to record the lifeways and cultures of the Indian tribes of North America. George Catlin, Karl Bodmer and Charles Bird King illustrated American Indian people in the 1820s and 1830s, before devastating change came to many tribes. The paintings and engravings in this book show Indian people just before the overland migrations of the 1840s and 50s changed their way of life forever. In addition to the works of art which are handsomely reproduced in this volume, why not come along on a chugging steamboat up the Missouri River to meet some unforgettable American Indian people and the chroniclers of a now-vanished world?"

Click Here to Order Native Americans : A Portrait : The Art and Travels of Charles Bird King, George Catlin, and Karl Bodmer (Hardback: $42.00)

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