Standing Tall

The Lifeway of Kathryn Jones Harrison

Kristine Olson
Foreword by Senator Mark O. Hatfield

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  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2005
  • Subject Listing: Native American and Indigenous Studies; Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir
  • Bibliographic information: 288 pp., 50 illus., 5.5 x 8.5 in.
  • Published with: Oregon Historical Society Press
  • Contents

How does a woman survive a concerted campaign to deny her humanity, by the government at the national level and by her foster parents and spouse at the most intimate level? Standing Tall, the biography of Oregon tribal leader Kathryn Jones Harrison, recounts the Grand Rondes' resurgence from the ashes of disastrous federal policies designed to terminate their very existence. The tribe's revival paralleled - and was propelled by - Harrison's determination to overcome daunting personal odds.

Harrison's life story puts a human face on the suffering wrought by twentieth-century U.S. Indian policy. Historic and contemporary photographs enliven the text and depict the trauma of forced assimilation. Former Senator Mark Hatfield's foreword places Harrison in the annals of Native leaders, where her generosity of spirit shines through as she seeks to contribute to the communities that threatened to engulf her tribe's homeland.

The Grand Rondes have achieved national renown as the "little tribe that could," and at the forefront for over two decades stood four-foot eleven-inch Kathryn Harrison. Her pragmatic and farsighted leadership through the burgeoning casino economy and the demands of cultural repatriation resonated throughout Indian Country to Capitol Hill and New York's American Museum of Natural History. Yet the company of everyday women - ancestors, lifelong and newfound friends, and tribal colleagues - was what sustained her. Harrison's story models the survival skills of adaptability, endurance, patience, and sheer grit coupled with the courage to stand up to confront crusading power.
Kristine Olson is retired from her position as United States Attorney and has served as a legal consultant for several tribal governments concerning cultural resource protection and the development of tribal courts. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

"Kristine Olson presents the reader with an important model for young, aspiring women in the twenty-first century. They would do well to learn from Kathryn Harrison's leadership style."
-Senator Mark O. Hatfield

"Fascinating, well-written, engaging, and inspiring."
-Sally McBeth, author of Essie's Story: The Life and Legacy of a Shoshone Teacher

"A significant contribution that covers a very important subject - how individual Indians have helped shape their destiny and federal policy."
-Robert Anderson, Native American Law Center, University of Washington

Foreword by Senator Mark O. Hatfield
Part One: Ancestors to Adulthood, 1843-1945
1. Survival
2. Harry Jones, Valedictorian
3. Kakwa Anqati (As It Was in the Past)
4. Orphaned
5. Homeless
6. Chemawa Revisited
Part Two: Searching for Home, 1946-1981
7. Cast Adrift and "Terminated"
8. Self-Determination
9. Siletz (and Self) Restoration
Part Three: Leader as Elder, 1982-2005
10. Grand Ronde Re-Recognized
11. Land!
12. Mourning
13. Women Elders as the People's Heartbeat
14. Gambling Winnings and Life's Losses
15. Chairwoman
16. Curses of Wealth and Blessings of a Meteorite
17. Looking Toward our Ancestors
18. Embracing Elderhood
Appendix One: Chronology
Appendix Two: Nine Myths about Indian Gaming
About the Author