Disturbing the Sleeping Buffalo
23 Unexpected Stories that Awaken Montana's Past

by Sally Thompson

published by Farcountry Press

  • If Lewis and Clark returned to Montana today, they would find the landscape reassuringly familiar. The same would hold true for past generations of Kootenai, Salish, Crow, Gros Ventre, Assiniboine, and Blackfeet. Even after thousands of years, some ancestors could still find their way to Sun River country, an ancient oasis of water and wildlife where the mountains and prairies meet.

    The past still lingers along old trails, and among the people who live here today. Some, such as anthropologist and storyteller Sally Thompson, are better equipped to notice the traces of history lurking in place names and written in cairns, carved in tree bark, etched into prairie boulders, or resting among well-knapped spear points.

    In Disturbing the Sleeping Buffalo, Thompson unearths new information and startling insights into Montana's untold history in twenty-three true stories. Along the way, she shares the challenges of groundbreaking research and the joys of finding hidden treasures. These stories connect past and present, bringing into focus a common heritage among many peoples in an uncommon land.

312 pages, 6 x 9 inches, 85 b/w photos, 26 illustrations, 15 map(s), index, 32 softcovers per case

ISBN 10: 1-56037-839-5
ISBN 13: 9781560378396

May 2024





Disturbing the Sleeping Buffalo
23 Unexpected Stories that Awaken Montana's Past

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Anthropologist Sally Thompson's long career in the Rocky Mountains and American Southwest has spanned more than four decades. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado in 1980, the same year she moved to Missoula. She has worked as an archaeologist, ethnohistorian, and tribal consultant and collaborator, and also filmmaker. She has published a monograph and numerous articles in professional journals as well as in Montana, the Magazine of Western History. Her 2015 book, People Before the Park, published by the Montana Historical Society, was a collaboration with the Kootenai Culture Committee and the Pikunni Traditionalist Association of the Blackfeet Tribe.

Praise for Disturbing the Sleeping Buffalo: 23 Unexpected Stories that Awaken Montana's Past

Sally Thompson's dramatic stories show us a Montana too few know. Similar to her popular People Before the Park, the tales in Disturbing the Sleeping Buffalo reverse perspective on regional history by respectfully sharing Native American accounts. Whether describing a neglected Crow chief or a native child buried in Missoula, Thompson is a gifted storyteller who uncovers the revelatory power of the past. This is a must-have book for anyone interested in Montana and Western American history.
Ken Egan Jr., author of Montana 1864 and Montana 1889

These stories are planting seeds from which people will benefit. They bring a sense of belonging, wholeness, and connection for greater insight into the emotional history we carry.
Leon Rattler, Blackfeet elder, Brave Dog Society

Vivid, untold stories. Back country adventures. Explorations of Montana's buried histories. Sally Thompson offers surprise and delight in this collection of trails untrodden in Indian Country and beyond. If you like discovering hidden treasures, you will love this book!
Annick Smith, author of Homestead, Big Bluestem: A Journey into the Tallgrass, and In This We are Native: Memoirs and Journeys; co-editor of The Last Best Place: A Montana Anthology

FARCOUNTRY PRESS  ·  P.O. BOX 5630  ·  HELENA, MT  ·  59604  ·  1-800-821-3874  ·  406-422-1263