The author Gerry Robinson. Courtesy photo

Native Sun News Today: Gerry Robinson publishes new book about early Cheyenne history

LAME DEER, Montana -- On Monday, January 13, 2020, Gerry Robinson, Northern Cheyenne tribal member received a warm welcome home at Chief Dull Knife College (CDKC), Lame Deer where he held a book signing for his recently published book, The Cheyenne Story: An Interpretation of Courage.

The book of historical fiction, first of which Robinson plans as a trilogy, features the Northern Cheyenne experience from the first days after the Battle of the Little Big Horn until they were forced to Oklahoma. Future books Robinson said will focus on the early experience of the Northern Cheyenne returning to Montana and then Fort Keogh and Fort Robinson.

“This is an important contribution to our tribal history,” said Mina Seminole, CDKC Cultural Researcher. “It is so important to tell our own stories. It is very exciting, and we are proud of him. Maybe this will encourage others of us to write more. This is a real accomplishment for a Cheyenne to do this. There are other books, but they were told to white authors.””

The protagonist is William Rowland, Robinson’s great-grandfather, a white man who arrived in Montana in 1849, who played a key role as interpreter during those dark days. Also featured is Chief Little Wolf, a famous Northern Cheyenne historically largely credited with bringing a small band of Northern Cheyenne back to Montana in the 1880’s, an arduous trek chronicled in many books, features stories and even a movie. Another group under the leadership of Chief Dull Knife was not as successful, many massacred at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, the remembrance of that observed on January 9th.

As a child in a family of twelve, Robinson grew up in the Ashland area of the reservation, where he then heard many stories of the oral tradition from tribal elders, which fascinated him, inspiring his current effort.

“I came to writing late in life. The sale of a landscaping business gave me more time to spend on it,” he explained. “I had heard so many stories, but it was a jumble of information that sometimes did not seem cohesive.”


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Note: Thumbnail photo of Northern Cheyenne monument near Fort Robinson, Nebraska, by Conspiracy of Cartographers

Copyright permission Native Sun News Today

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