A Woman to Know: Mourning Dove (Christine Quintasket)

Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. — Christine

(portrait via Washington State University Library)

Christine's Native American name was Humishuma. But while attending the Sacred Heart School in Kettle Falls, Washington, she was forced to give up her Native American language and take Christine Quintasket as her Christian name.

Christine preserved her grandmother's tribal legends in two books. Coyote Stories recounted stories from her childhood on the Flathead Reservation, and the incredibly-popular Cowegea was one of the first best-selling novels written by a Native American author — and the first of the then-burgeoning Western genre to follow a female protagonist.

But she didn't write as Christine Quintasket. Instead, she adopted a secret pseudonym for her writing: Mourning Dove, a name inspired by her time at the Sacred Heart School.

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