No Turning Back - A Book Review

No Turning Back: A Hopi Woman's Struggle to Live in Two Worlds, 1964 , by Polingaysi Qoyawayma is an autobiographical story of a Hopi girl at the turn of the 19th century. Qoyawayma recounts growing up as the white man settled the southwest bringing Christianity and modern ideas and technology to the "pagan" tribes of the region.

She tells of going away to boarding schools and traveling the country with the Mennonites, singing the gospel and preaching to her people, telling them of their ignorance and squalor. Polingaysi was frustrated that her people would not listen to her, an independent, educated, woman spreading the lord's message.

After some years of struggle with herself, Qoyawayma becomes a teacher of Indian children, Navajo and Hopi and also begings to value Hopi culture once again. She eventually garners recognition for her innovative teaching techniques, and becomes a great living resource for teachers after she retires.

A little bogged down with excessive tangenting details at times, this book also provides examples of a person's internal struggles and the American government's former policies of deculturation and Americanization.

*Available at finer libraries and independent book dealers everywhere, in addtion to those other places that don't need your support as much.