As some of you may already know, I like writing historical fiction.

Reflecting on people who have come and gone and the lives they led, what they must have thought or gone through, I can't believe these people should simply disappear without anyone remembering them. There has to be some portion about every person that deserves a story, even if it's a small or simple one.

That said, I would like to embrace my own heritage of Native American (I'm Cherokee) and bring out small snippets of stories – some historical fiction, some written from threads of truths – by using Native American tribes which have either completely disappeared over the years or are relatively unknown tribes.

This is going to be a one-year experiment for me, so I'm going to try choosing obsolete tribes alphabetically; each story will be short - only 4 parts – one part released each Wednesday. In the introduction of each story, I'll share some information about each tribe.

Ready to see me through this little experiment?

The first tribe I've chosen is the Aáninem tribe, an Algonquin-speaking people who originally sprouted from the Arapaho. The Aáninem people were generally known for being good-natured folks; they were hunters of buffalo as well as vegetable farmers who lived between the Missouri and Saskatchewan Rivers. (If we look on a map today, this would be the region east of the Canadian Rocky Mountains all the way into St. Louis, Missouri, where it empties into the Mississippi River.) The Aáninem separated from the Arapaho, from the research I've seen, maybe as early as the 1700s, but they did eventually rejoin the Arapaho some time later. (If you're interested in the details, feel free to ask and I'll direct you to the websites which guided my research.) This was, roughly, about the same time the Aáninem began to acquire horses.

One of the interesting things about this tribe is the confusion with their tribal name; they called themselves the Aáninem, the Blackfoot referred to them as Atsina, and then there came the French-Canadian trappers, who misunderstood Native sign language and referred to the people as Gros Ventre (French for Big Belly People).

Including the Assiniboine and Nakoda, the current population of this federally-recognized tribe now number somewhere around 3,600 in the Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort Belknap Reservation, located in Montana.

As with any of my work, I invite my readers to add to or correct my writing; although historical fiction is based, of course, on factual information, it does allow creative wiggle-room. Hopefully my stories will mirror creativity with accurate information.

The first part of my story will be posted on Wattpad this coming Wednesday, March 4th … it would tickle me to no end if you would head on over and join me, drop a line of encouragement, or just stop by and say hi! 

Robyn