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The Book

Sky Woman Lives in Me

A photo of an elderly Native American woman on exhibit in a museum captures the attention of a child. Forty years later, this child, now an adult, finds the photo again and learns the old woman is a relative. She begins to research her past—only to discover the pain endured by her relatives as they resisted a governmental campaign to eradicate Native American cultures, languages, and communities in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

In Sky Woman Lives in Me, author Roberta Capasso explores the way generations of Native American children were forcibly taken from their families and subjected to the federal government’s Indian boarding school experiment in order to assimilate them. As a direct descendant of a woman victimized by this experiment, the author tells with raw emotion and diligent archival research the story of the historical and emotional bonds between her deceased relatives and herself. Like a detective cracking a murder mystery, discrepancies between the Carlisle Indian School’s accounts and a great-grandmother’s real life story are exposed, with fascinating and fortuitous twists and turns along the way.

This story of her great-great-grandmother Elizabeth and her great-grandmother Sophia must be told to everyone. Becoming a voice for Oneida Turtle Clan as a descendant of Sky Woman, in the Oneida Creation Story, the author hopes to spread truth and knowledge to all cultures in a captivating narrative of a tragic period in United States History.