Medicine Women

Medicine Women

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The Story of the First Native American Nursing School

by Jim Kristofic

After the Indian wars, many Americans still believed that the only good Indian was a dead Indian. But at Ganado Mission in the Navajo country of northern Arizona, a group of missionaries and doctors—who cared less about saving souls and more about saving lives—chose a different way and persuaded the local parents and medicine men to allow them to educate their daughters as nurses. The young women struggled to step into the world of modern medicine, but they knew they might become nurses who could build a bridge between the old ways and the new.

In this detailed history, Jim Kristofic traces the story of Ganado Mission on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Kristofic's personal connection with the community creates a nuanced historical understanding that blends engaging narrative with careful scholarship to share the stories of the people and their commitment to this place.

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