A Master Storyteller – Debra Shiveley Welch


Hi all!

We have a treat today! Debra Shiveley Welch is a good friend and a fantastic author.   Cedar Woman, on sale right now for only .99 cents, is a story from the heart, dealing with a culture that is often misunderstood and misinterpreted.  Debra has several other books she has written, one of them being Son of my Soul, a book about the adoption of her precious son Chris.  Chris was born with a cleft palate and needed several surgeries.  It is because of this that Debra supports Operation Smiles and a percentage of all earnings goes to support this wonderful organization.  You can learn more about Operation Smile at www.operationsmile.org.


Here is a bit about Debra and how this awesome book came to pass:

Cedar Woman

Amazon purchase link: http://dld.bz/dqdhv

About the Author

When Tankse (elder sister) approached me about writing a novel from a Native American woman’s point of view, I had serious reservations. Too often we, as Native people, are romanticized or stereotyped into the same tired versions of what people think we are, the “forgotten people” or “forgotten race”, because so many fall for the stereotypes of us often portrayed in Hollywood movies, sports team mascots, and history books, not realizing that we are still here. We are over 500 culturally and linguistically distinct nations strong. We are still here – and still dancing.

So when asked if I was okay with her writing the book, and if I would act as a consultant, I had to pray to decide if such a project should go forward and if I felt worthy of adding my voice to such a project. Finally I talked over my fears with Debra, my brother and “Spiritual Advisor” Joe Red Bear, ultimately deciding to participate.

In Cedar Woman, Debra has bypassed a lot of the usual hype and BS often associated with Native culture, producing an honest, clear eyed look at who we really are, albeit through a fictional character. She deliberately decided to not show the darker side of our culture: something I appreciate!

I especially love how thorough she was in researching the subject matter, and I deeply admire her dedication to giving a more realistic look into our culture, including much of our Lakota language and several of our favorite recipes!

While I realize that, unless you have lived as a Native, either on or off the rez, you will never completely understand what it is to be Native. I think that Debra has a pretty good handle on who and what we as Native people are really about. And, thankfully, she did not rely on just my voice alone. The resulting story is one I am proud to say I was a part of, and I am proud to call her my “Sister By Choice”.

Hecetu welo, mitakuye oyapi.
I have spoken, it is so. I am finished.

Mitakuye oyasin, all my relations.
Julie Spotted Eagle Horse Martineau


From the author:

Cedar Woman is a project I have wanted to work on for several years.  Written with the help of my adopted sister, Julie Spotted Eagle Horse Martineau, it is a book which I have thoroughly enjoyed writing.

I asked my sister to act as a consultant.  I did so because I didn’t want to write about the sacred things which are not supposed to be written about and I wanted to write about those which I could with utmost authenticity.  I also wanted to make sure that I represented the Lakota people with the deepest respect and honor.

Within Cedar Woman you will find many words of the Lakota Sioux.  Pronunciation and meaning is included the first time each word is used.  There are three dialects in the Lakota language and no standardized spelling.   I have chosen the spelling and pronunciation of these words in keeping with the dialect of my sister, Julie Spotted Eagle Horse Martineau, who is of the Lakota Plains Native Americans.

Powwow is described in detail, as well as the various forms of regalia, etiquette, music, and as with any ethnic festival – the food!

My son and I have attended the Muddy River Powwow for many years, and in doing so, have come to know and love our adopted family;  they have brought us much joy.  This book was written to honor them.

I hope you enjoy Cedar Woman.

Toksa Ake Wakan Tanka Nici Un – Walk With God

Because of her talents, Cedar Woman won the Best Native American Fiction award for 2011 and is a number one best seller on Amazon.  You can visit Debra on her website at http://www.debrashiveleywelch.com/ for more information on this and all her other creative projects.  Thank you for joining us today and make sure to check out this wonderful book!!  Remember, every book sold supports Operation Smile!


K.R. and T.L.


2 thoughts on “A Master Storyteller – Debra Shiveley Welch

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