A groundbreaking exploration of the remarkable women in Native American communities. Too often ignored or underemphasized in favor of their male warrior counterparts, Native American women have played a more central role in guiding their nations than has ever been understood. Many Native communities were, in fact, organized around women's labor, the sanctity of mothers, and the wisdom of female elders. In this well-researched and deeply felt account of the Ojibwe of Lake Superior and the Mississippi River, Brenda J. Child details the ways in which women have shaped Native American life from the days of early trade with Europeans through the reservation era and beyond.