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Debra Shiveley Welch
Cedar Woman
Date: Jan 1, 2011 11:03:21 AM PST
Author: Debra Shiveley Welch

Cedar Woman is finally out after two years of intensive research, and a lot of fun in the writing. Launching a book is like raising a child in many ways: you have great hopes, are very proud, and worry about how it will survive out there in the big, wide world.

Paramount in my creating Cedar Woman was the wish to, not only write a book that my readers will enjoy reading again and again, but the desire to represent The People, the Lakota Sioux, with all respect, and with absolute truth to the best of my ability; to show that their customs, beliefs and desires are universal in many ways, and deserve the respect any people deserve. To be able to write about these things intelligently, and with honor, I had to immerse myself into their culture as much as possible.

I traveled to powwows, where Native Americans of different tribes gather to celebrate their culture, dance and beliefs, with my sister, Julie Spotted Eagle Horse, or Spot as her friends call her. Stepping into the arena to dance was very intimidating. I don’t like being the center of attention, yet there I was, dancing unfamiliar steps, while at the same time, trying to show deep respect. It was a good time, and I learned a lot. I made many new friends with whom I remain in touch, experienced new foods, admired endless adorable babies, and witnessed the devotion the dancers have, not only for the dance they have chosen, but their regalia as well, which includes patterns and beading handed down for generations.

With Julie’s help, I also learned a lot of the Lakota language. I’ve always loved listening to and learning new languages, and speak some Spanish and read a little French. Now I was learning yet another, word-by-word, and enjoying the flavor of the words of the Lakota Plains Native American, or NdN as The People prefer.

Still, the heart of Cedar Woman is about Lena Cedar Woman Young Bear, her trials and sorrows, her triumphs and joys, and her ability to stand up to tragedy, move forward, and change the lives and fortunes of the people she loves.

It is, at heart, a romance: Cedar Woman’s love for her parents, her mentor, her career and her half-side – her true love. I believe that I have instilled some sweetness, along with the strength that Cedar Woman possesses, and I know that I have proven that Mitakuye Oyasin: We Are All Related.
Debra Shiveley Welch
Last modified by Debra Shiveley Welch on Jan 1 2011 11:04AM

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