Mill Creek resident Mary Kay Voss and Cowlitz tribe member Dr. Robin LaDue released their co-written book “Totems of September” on September 29, 2013, a historical fiction of personal stories that "examine the events of September 11, 2001 and the aftermath from a non-political viewpoint."
According to Voss it took ten years to complete the book and get it published, “It has been a long and challenging process to get this book finished. When a white buffalo calf was born about a year ago, we saw it as a sign that we needed to get this book finished and published. To many Native people the white buffalo calf is a symbol of renewal and moving forward.”
The book is historical fiction based on personal experience according to Voss, “Although the characters are fictitious, many are based on people who have passed in and through Ladue’s life. Many of the stories are based on fact, although at the time we started writing the book, not all of the events were public knowledge.”
Dr. Ladue is of Taidnapam descent and an enrolled member of the Cowlitz tribe. She started this book in 2002 after a trip to Devil’s Tower, a famous geological feature in the Black Hills of northwestern Wyoming. “The beauty and wonder of a place that has so much native culture and beauty is surpassed only by the solidity and permanence of this tower, compared to the magnificent man-made towers of New York susceptible to human violence and terror,” said Voss.
The Amazon.com book description states:
“This beautifully descriptive book is a unique compilation of personal stories that examine the events of September 11, 2001 and the aftermath from a non political viewpoint. The use of Native American story telling tradition of circles on circles and lives on lives, is interspersed with culture of the Northwest and Plains tribes through the use of animal legends, stories, and imagery.”
“The stand-alone stories of three memorable characters, dating from the early 1900s to 2006; their lineage and their families are woven together through the threads of history, human connections, hope and redemption. Geronimo Barse’ and Billy Hawk’s tenacity, warmth, humor and love, shine through their painful experiences in the Indian boarding schools, WWII, and the loss of so many loved ones.”
“Lola LeFleur and all the LeFleur women before her and to follow, fight desperately to change their perceived destiny. The warmth and healing of the Ranch, and the stability of Devils Tower in a world of terror, are integral factors in the healing of so many shattered lives.
“In the end, this book is a story of hope, redemption, and the possibilities to be found in the future.“
“One reviewer describes it as her first choice in ‘feel good books’ ranking it with ‘The Help’ and ‘Water for Elephants.'"
The book is now available on eBooks (Kindle, Nook and Kobo), through Amazon.com, by request at University Bookstore, or call Mary Kay Voss @ 425-337-7084.
10% of all profits will go to the Catching the Dream fund, which gives college grants to Native Americans.
You can read more about the book and the authors at their website, totemsofseptember.com.