Article abstract: Elizabeth Cook-Lynn is an author, poet, scholar, educator, and journal editor.
Born Elizabeth Irving, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn grew up on the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota, a scenic landscape of grasslands, rolling hills, and bluffs near the eastern shore of the Missouri River. She comes from a distinguished Dakota Indian family that includes linguists, writers, and tribal political leaders.
The federal government's past policies of forceful assimilation of Native Americans separated many tribal people from their cultural roots. However, from her traditional Dakota family and reservation community, Cook-Lynn absorbed and retained important elements of her indigenous heritage, such as the language and old stories. As she grew up, she was angered by the lack of Native American content in the materials she read in school and made the cause of indigenous cultural survival and expression her life's work.
In 1952, Cook-Lynn received a bachelor's degree in English and journalism from South Dakota State College (now a university). After nineteen years devoted to marriage, child rearing, and her work as a journalist, editor, and teacher, she obtained a master's degree in education from the University of South Dakota in 1971. From 1972 until her retirement with emeritus status in 1993, he served as an associate professor of English and Native American studies at Eastern Washington University. Meanwhile,...
(The entire section is 530 words.)