No Turning Back: A True Account of a Hopi Indian Girl's Struggle to Bridge the Gap Between the World of Her People and the World of the White Man

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UNM Press, 1964 - Biography & Autobiography - 180 pages
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For high school and adult readers this autobiography of Polingaysi Qoyawayma (Elizabeth Q. White) relates a Hopi Indian woman's struggle to adjust to an alien culture and to develop teaching methods to bridge the gap between Indians and the white world. Information on Hopi legends and ceremonies introduce the reader to the Hopi way of life. Born in 1892 at Old Orabai, Arizona, Polingaysi's early childhood coincided with changes in the old ways of Hopi life and growing influence of white missionaries and traders. She saw education as a way to better her condition and that of her family and left the pueblo to attend a government school and the Sherman Institute. She was befriended by and worked for white teachers and Mennonite missionaires, developing her gift for singing and trained for mission work. She discovered an interest in and ability for teaching and became the first Hopi to teach in Hopi schools. She developed innovative teaching methods using familiar stories and experiences to teach English and persisted despite opposition from white teaching staffs. She established funding efforts for college scholarships for Hopi students and after retirement from the career described in the book, became a prize-winning potter. (LFL)

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