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Member Since: May, 2001


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I am Salish Indian, a writer, a college student, and a grandmother! I have now nine grandchildren, seven grandsons and two granddaughters ranging in age from one to seventeen. They love their grandmother, however, they know I don't bake no cookies!

Background Information

My name is Claywoman, I am an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootanai Tribes of the Flathead Nation. I list this first because it defines who and what I am. It took me forty-nine years to discover who I am and Iím proud of that journey.I was adopted during a wave of assimilation of the Native American.


Indian women were encouraged to give up their children to Ďgive them a better life.í I was raised a rather rich and very spoiled child who attended private schools, vacationed in Canada every summer, and whoís family owned a rather large boat we used to go out on Puget Sound every summer to dance with the whales.My parents were French, German, English and Welsh, while I was always the dark-eyed, dark-haired child that didnít fit in well in family photos. I dreamt as a child of being an Indian princess stolen from her heart-broken family.I waited until both of my adoptive parents died to find my birth family. 


When I did, I found seven brothers and sisters and my birth mother. I also found who I was and where I belong. I exist in California, however, my heart lives in Montana on my reservation.Last November, my last sibling found the family. He was also adopted away from the family and finally found us. He too met our birth mother and she realized who he was just before her death. The first time all of the brothers and sisters were together was at her funeral, it was a bittersweet moment.


When I finish my studies, I plan to teach Native American history on the college level, I also intend to someday write a book about being an adoptee and finding my heritage and what its meant to me. Iíve lived an interesting life, full of joys and sorrows, laughter and tears. I hope I can show my grandchildren what being Indian is like and give them a sense of belonging to a unique culture with pride in who they are.

Birth Place
Polson, MT USA

A graduating Senior from CSUS in December 2003.

I've been accepted to the Master's program in History at CSUS in January of 2004

Winner of an Indian Scholarship in 2002

President of the ITSA Club (Inter-Tribal Student Alliance) 2000-2002

I work for Matt Miller in's help department, so if you have questions, just contact help!

Additional Information

I am a published author with an online publishing house. One is a book of Native American poetry and the other is the first in a series of children's stories based on a little hermit Crab called Herman. The poetry book has poems dealing with my views of ecology and my tribal traditions, my feelings on being adopted and the journey to find myself, and it ends with two poems about city life. This is a powerful book with beautiful photographs by Theresa Jodray, a woman I met online, someone who I consider a friend. Herman the Hermit Crab & Friends is a book for children of all ages. His stories have held both my children and now my grandchildren enraptured for hours. Herman is a half-grown hermit crab with lots of friends, both in the ocean and on land. In his first adventure, he learns its okay to be small and a hermit crab, size doesn't matter, heart does. This is a read-aloud series of books and brings out the actor in the reader! In the telling and relating of the stories, you make it your own and you may find yourself looking for Hermie almost everywhere. In his next adventure, he goes to the moon with Neil Armstrong!

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