The Queen of My Self

On Thanksgiving, we always tell the story about how the native people
helped the pilgrims to survive and ultimately thrive in the new world.
This is well and good, but there are so many other inspiring stories
that could be told about the many purposeful, powerful Native American
women who influenced the formation of this country.

I recently came across Woman Spirit, a fascinating web page by Julia White, of Cherokee and Sioux heritage. She writes:

 “From the beginning of time, Native women have been a driving force in
their cultures. When the explorers came to the shores of North America,
they provided valuable information and services, which still carries
their mark today. Sadly, little has been written about these women, and
little is known.”

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, this week I will share in
my own words some information that I gleaned about exceptional native
Sheros thanks to Julia White’s research

Nanye-Hi (Nancy Ward)

Nancy Ward was a young woman, newly married, when her husband was shot and killed in a battle against the Creeks. She picked up her fallen lover’s gun and fought with ferocious grief. Her actions inspired the Cherokee to victory. Her strength and character were reward by her people who honored her by naming her a Beloved Woman, a position reserved for brave and wise women who have served the people well.

As a Beloved Woman, Nancy had great influence in the tribal councils. She and her sister Beloved Women were the final arbitrators of any and all disputes and held the awesome power of making life and death decisions the affected her people. Her first official act as a Beloved Woman was to save the life of a white woman who had been condemned to die.

Nancy believed that her people should pursue a peaceful co-existence with the whites. She was a successful negotiator and mediator, which earned her the respect of both the white government and the Cherokee. A true politician, she was always on the move working to divert and resolve conflict between the tribe and the settlers and she was the driving force behind many peace agreements.

Queen Nancy was instrumental in negotiating the very first treaty between the white government and the Cherokee, known as the Treaty of Hopewell, and was present at its signing. But over the years, she became disillusioned as she watched her work for peace unravel as treaty after treaty was broken.

She eventually left her home territory as the land was sold off the whites. She moved to Tennessee where she operated a successful inn until her death.

Nancy Ward left a legacy of courage, honor and dedicated peace making. She is held in high honor by both the Cherokee and the American Nations, as evidenced by the fact that a Tennessee chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is named for her!

Tomorrow Native Sheros – Part 4

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to

Queen Mama Donna offers upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.

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