Michael Jamison's series of eight articles, titled "Northern Lights," didn't begin as an overview of the revolution that is taking place on reservations across the West. Jamison originally planned to profile seven women who head tribal business development centers in Montana. But as he dug deeper, he "kept finding new women doing new things."
One was Wilma Mankiller, the first woman to become principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. During her first tribal meeting as chief, Mankiller was constantly interrupted by a male council member. Before the second meeting, she had all the microphone controls rerouted to a master switch at her seat. The next time he interrupted, she shut off his microphone.
Each of the women profiled has her own unique story, but a common purpose drives them all. As Sue Masten, president of the National Congress of American Indians, said: "We've started to look around and we're saying, 'We're not surviving, our children are at risk and we have to act now.' "
You can read the series at www.missoulian.com/specials/northernlights/.
- Andrew Sipocz on The great salmon compromise
- Kyle Klain on Enough is enough at the Glen Canyon Recreation Area
- Mary Sojourner on Rants from the Hill: Desert Insomnia
- Mary Sojourner on Solace at the end of Homer Spit
- Jennafer Waggoner-Yellowhorse on Why are Hopi rangers impounding sheep at Black Mesa?