A forgotten story told
This book wasn’t the topic Thomasma focused on. He wanted to tell the children about a lesser known Native American woman he called Naya Nuki, which is Shoshoni for girl who ran.
“Naya Nuki” is a book about an American Indian girl’s struggles to get back to her mother after she was kidnapped and sold into slavery.
Trying to convey the mind of a 19th-century Native girl is exactly where a white man should fear to tread. We're talking about someone from a different gender, a different culture, and a different century. What are the odds that Thomasma got Naya Nuki right?
On the other hand, the book Naya Nuki has received nothing but four- and five-star reviews on Amazon.com, so it can't be too bad. It would be interesting to see what Native educators think of it.
Meanwhile, Thomasma is making Naya Nuki's story into a movie? Is this another potential role for Vanessa Hudgens? I shudder to think about it.
For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Books.
Below: "Jackson Hole author Ken Thomasma visits Monroe Intermediate School students Tuesday morning to tell them about his book 'Naya Nuki,' which is about a Native American girl who escapes slavery. He showed the children a beaver skin and buffalo robe." (Star photo by Stephanie Thompson)