Weaving American Indian Life into Fiction

Saturday, March 12, from 11:00 to 1:00 Paty Jager and I will be at …And Books, Too! and present how we have incorporated American Indian life into fiction.


I will share about two Native American ladies who have either taught or inspired me and how they influenced my writing. One was my mentor. The other I’ve never met as she died years before my birth.

I will also share what Natives like and don’t like when referred to by non-Natives in both fiction and non-fiction. Spupaleena, my character doll, will be available for viewing.

I have lived on the Colville Reservation now for almost three decades. I’ve gleaned cultural knowledge in that time from family and friends, weaving my experiences into four published books. All my fiction includes culture, language and legends.

Within the twelve tries of the Colville Reservation, Paty and I share a tie to one, the Nez Perce. I was able to meet up with Paty a while back and give her a tour of Nespelem and where the tribal agency sits. Nespelem is a town in Okanogan County, Washington that boasts a population of 236 residents. The name Nespelem is derived from a local Salish term meaning “large flat meadow.”


Paty has written a series of mysteries that not only include the Nez Perce of southern Idaho, but the Nez Perce of the Chief Joseph band that came to rest on with the Colvilles. She will be sharing her knowledge of how she tied American Indian life into her books.

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  1. You and Paty will be a great program! Your blog reminded me that I promised to send someone my handout from WWW conference where we shared stories. I’m thinking it was Velda or Arletta. Guess I’ll send it to both! Have a great event. (PS love the covers on both of your books).

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Thank you, Jane! I think Arletta was in the audience at WWW.

  2. Alice Trego says:

    This sounds like an amazing event, Carmen! I hope it’s a success for both you and Paty. I would love to hear your discussion, but I’m many miles away. I also have interest in the American Indian life, specifically the Blackfeet. I make sure I incorporate what’s true about their culture in my writing at all times. I want to help educate my readers about this seldom-heard-about and noble people…

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Thank you, Alice. I’m excited about it. I’m glad you write with credibility. It’s important to tell the truth, not one side.

  3. Carmen, this event is meant for you! It’s wonderful that you are able to write about American Indian life and culture. I’m so proud of you, my friend.

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Thank you, Mary! This is what I’ve been wanting to do for so long. And with encouraging friends like you, I now have the courage to speak!

  4. Dear Carmen,
    How I wish I could be there but I’m researching in Cochise County, AZ I wonder if you have posted (essay,blog) as I also missed your presentation at our WWW conference last Fall…..

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Arletta, I will post some of my talk next week for you! Thank’s for your interest and best wishes in Arizona. I love research, digging up all those nuggets.