“‘Wantin' to Wear th' Breeches and Boss
th' Hull Shebang'”
Reservations and Romance in Mourning
As a literary reformer, Mourning Dove reconfigured many of the political debates taken up by Native women journalists in her novel, Cogewea. That Mourning Dove was an activist is clear from her role in tribal politics. Among other activities, she worked to increase Native employment in the Biles-Coleman Company on the Colville reservation, lectured the Omak Commercial Club on fishing rights, protested the misuse of tribal funds, served on the Colville Council, and founded a Native American women's organization, the Eagle Feather's Club, organized after the non-Native General Federation of Women's Clubs (Miller, “Mourning Dove” 161–179; “Introduction” xxv–xxvi). 1 Through her controversial editor, Lucullus V. McWhorter, she would have been aware of the political debates of such organizations as the Society of American Indians, as well.
At the same time McWhorter was working with Mourning Dove on her manuscript he was writing to prominent Pan-Indian leaders Carlos Montezuma (Apache), Charles E. Daganett (Peoria), and Arthur Parker, who were all involved in the Society of American Indians. The catalogue of McWhorter's papers details his correspondence with these figures from at least 1909 through the 1920s (Ault, 37, 45, 47, 49, 58). The American Indian Magazine itself featured McWhorter in its 1917 edition (MacLean, 154–159). Mourning Dove may even have met such figures as Carlos Montezuma, stationed at the
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Publication information: Book title: Reforming Fictions:Native, African, and Jewish American Women's Literature and Journalism in the Progressive Era. Contributors: Carol J. Batker - Author. Publisher: Columbia University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 37.
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