Searching for My Destiny

Front Cover
George Blue Spruce Jr. is recognized as the first American Indian dentist in the United States. His life story reaches back to the ancient Pueblo culture cherished by his grandparents and parents and extends to state-of-the-art dentistry and the current needs of the American Indian people. ˙ Blue Spruce?s journey begins on the Santa Fe Indian School campus with his parents? determination that their children would excel academically and obtain college degrees. After graduating from dental school, Dr. Blue Spruce planned to return to the pueblos to treat his people. As it turned out, his destiny reached far beyond: from the wilds of Montana to New York City to San Francisco to South America and back to the United States. In Washington DC, he presented the needs of American Indians to Congress and lunched with the president. ˙ Throughout his journey Dr. Blue Spruce has traveled between two cultures, succeeding in mainstream society while keeping Pueblo tradition in his heart. Facing prejudice and conquering adversity, he reached the zenith of his career as director of the Phoenix Regional Indian Health Service and achieving the rank of assistant surgeon general of the United States.
 

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Contents

1 Those Who Came before Me
1
2 Those Who Paved My Way
14
3 Campus Brats Cousins and the Lessons of Life
27
4 Formal Education Hard Knocks and Rewards
44
5 Creighton Years
61
Doctor Blue Spruce
79
7 Lieutenant Blue Spruce USN
91
8 Indian Health Service Dentist
107
12 Off to South America
163
13 Back in the States
176
14 Special Assistant Bureau of Health Manpower Education
188
The Money Man
203
16 King of the Hill
219
Director of the Program Closest to My Heart
232
18 Assistant Surgeon General
245
19 Come Follow Me
264

9 From the Wilds of Montana to New York City
122
10 Merchant Marines
135
11 Back to School
149
20 To Those Who Hold Our Future
280
Index
287
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About the author (2009)

George Blue Spruce Jr. is the founder of the Society of American Indian Dentists and serves as the assistant dean at the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health. He is a popular speaker dedicated to inspiring and motivating future Indian health professionals and promoting health care and education for American Indians. He lives in Arizona. ˙ Deanne Durrett is a freelance writer and the author of numerous books, including Unsung Heroes of World War II: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers, available in a Bison Books edition. For more information about the book, visit˙http://www.deannedurrett.com.

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