A riveting account of working as a nurse at the U.S. Public Health Service Indian hospital in Rosebud, South Dakota in the 1970s.

from author NANCY PALKER


Nominated for a Midwest Independent Publishers Association medal for excellence in memoir writing.

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It's 1973. Join a young woman from Connecticut who accepts her first nursing job with the U.S. Public Health Service and finds herself immersed in a culture very different from her own on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.

Nancy Palker relives the days of unrest on the Dakota reservation punctuated by kidnapping, death threats, and shootouts between the FBI and members of the American Indian Movement. Meet unforgettable characters--the patient who jumps out of a hospital window; the man who drives cars without motors; the pilot who lands a plane at night without lights; the nurse who jiggles an electrical plug to power the hospital. Find out what happens when the budget and supplies run out in the Indian Health Services Hospital. Witness miracles of survival as well as poignant tragedies. Learn along with her about the rich Lakota Sioux traditions, hear the drums and flutes. Celebrate lasting friendships and the resilience of the human spirit.


Merrilyn C., Amazon Review

I had the opportunity to visit Rosebud during the author's work there in the '70's. The book provides history and current information on this Indian Reservation and its people. The author's ability to bring the magic and tragic alive through her writing is most commendable. You feel like you are right there with her throughout the book. All legislators need to read this. Nice job, Nancy.

John G., Amazon Review

This was a wonderful book that described a young nurse's first assignment after graduation caring for the Lakota Sioux native Americans in the early seventies. The author describes a very difficult assignment working with very limited staff and with limited supplies in a very impoverished environment. The story was captivating and inspiring. Nursing long before the current high technology practiced today. Life long friends were made and the experience clearly impacted the author enough to be able to tell the story with the goal of trying to effect change in the health care and lives of these wonderful people. I highly recommend this inspiring book. Of note is the proceeds of the book will be for the benefit of the Lakota Sioux.

Jane C., Amazon Review

Nancy Palker's nursing account while working on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation reflects both an historical view and a current and compelling plea for change. Her author's voice is authentic, professional and empathetic towards those whose voices are routinely dismissed. The author's lists of resources present rich and varied avenues for advocacy. Kudos to Nancy for paying forward her proceeds to a sorely neglected group of Americans! Read and embrace her journey!

Deuce, Amazon Review

As a young, newly-qualified nurse, Nancy Palker worked at an understaffed, ill-equipped hospital in an unfamiliar culture. Her memoir gives us a window into the stark realities of US life as experienced by Native Americans. Broken treaties and discrimination are almost overshadowed by the appalling neglect contemporary US culture directs toward indigenous people. After relating stories of calamitous medical adventures and painting an intriguing look at life on the rez in the 1970s, Palker revisits the reservation and the hospital to see what’s changed, talking with Natives she knew and their families. The final section of the book is filled with resources to expand your knowledge and to support tribal needs. Many tribal families can’t count on basic shelter and utilities, and government promises to provide continue to fall short. An excellent book for enjoyment and edification!

Author talk for Gaithersburg Friends of the Library (private event)
Apr 20, 2019, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Gaithersburg Library,
18330 Montgomery Village Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20879, USA
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