Cold River Spirits: The Legacy of an Athabascan-Irish Family from Alaska's Yukon River

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Epicenter Press, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 191 pages
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This is an inspirational and deeply moving story of a proud Alaska Indian family struggling to survive in two worlds. Sam and Louise Harper and their ten children make a soul-grinding transition into a modern white-dominated society where they face bigotry, poverty, and illness. Yet, Louise remains in touch with centuries-old traditions of healing, honoring nature's spirits, and a belief that the spirits of all Athabascans one day will return to the headquarters of the Yukon River. COLD RIVER SPIRITS is an exhilarating story of survival told with humor and grace. Jan Harper-Haines explores her family's powerful conflicts and contrasts with help from her grandmother, who well knew the ancient spirit world, and from her mother, the first Alaska Native to graduate from the University of Alaska.

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Flora Jane Harper is a beautiful amazing intelligent young lady
who learns fast and teaches her self and her struggling indian
family that education is the most important thing in the whole
!!! She shows them all by example how to leave the poverty
they are suffering in and go to boarding schools and on to bigger
and better lives. She is the one and only first american Indian women
to graduate out of the University of Alaska!!! She becomes a teacher
and marries a very fine man and has lovely children and her siblings
also seem to go on and thrive despite the hardships they endured
as children. This is an amazing story of family love and courage and
believing in one self and the determination to succeed against all odds
and Flora Jane Harper deserves far more recognition than she gets!
She deserves National attention for what she achieved in a very harsh
and cold land against a time where there was alot of racism towards
her and her family. Flora Jane Harper is a HERO!!!

About the author (2000)

Born in Sitka, Alaska, of Koyukon Athabascan and French-Dutch descent, Jan Harper-Haines began gathering stories about her Athbascan mother and grandmother in 1990. The author earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Alaska, where her mother, Flora Jane Harper, was the first Native graduate in 1935. She lives in the San Francisco area, where she continues to write.

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