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How Marten Got His Spots and Other Kootenai Indian Stories

Kootenai Children's Book Offers Native Insight

front cover: How Marten Got His Spots

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are sharing more of the wisdom of their people in the children’s book How Marten Got His Spots and Other Kootenai Indian Stories.

This is the fourth in the Indian Reading Series, a series of children’s cultural books cooperatively developed by Indian people. The first four books in the series were copublished by Salish Kootenai College Press and the Montana Historical Society Press.

"With this latest edition we have a delightful collection of Native American teaching stories illustrated by tribal members," Martha Kohl, former editor of the Montana Historical Society Press, said.

The book includes the stories: "Coyote and Trout," "Little Weasel’s Dream," and "Tepee Making." The stories deal with important lessons including obedience, sharing and greed, the importance of listening to elders, and learning to build tepees.

"This collection makes a great gift for those who want young people to understand and be sensitive to the cultures of those who first inhabited this land we now call Montana," Kohl said.

The other books in the series are Coyote Stories of the Montana Salish Indians, Mary Quequesah’s Love Story: A Pend d’Oreille Indian TaleOwl’s Eyes and Seeking a Spirit, How the Morning and Evening Stars Came to Be and Other Assiniboine Indian Stories, How the Summer Season Came and Other Assiniboine Indian Stories, and The Turtle Who Went to War and Other Sioux Stories.

How Marten Got His Spots is available at bookstores for $8.95, or can be ordered directly from the Society plus shipping by calling 1-800-243-9900.

The Montana Historical Society Museum Store is also offering a 15 percent discount to customers who order all four books.

"The four books together make a great gift that helps you pass on a love of Montana history and heritage," Society Museum Store Manager Richard Boyd said.

To order the complete set and receive the discount persons must call the Society toll-free number 1-800-243-9900.