The Indian Country, 1800: A Brilliant Plan for Living
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Edward Goodbird's Story

The story underscores the close relationship people maintained with spiritual creatures.

Edward Goodbird (1870–1938) was in his mid-40s when he recounted the story of his birth for his friend Gilbert Wilson. He told Wilson that his grandfather named him out of respect for his spirit helper, a bird that sent thunder.

“My grandfather’s gods were the birds that send the thunder,” he recalled. To show his gratitude, the old man named the boy Tsa ka ka sa ki—Good bird. “My name thus became a kind of prayer,” he later recalled. “Whenever it was spoken it reminded the bird spirits that I was named for them….”

Click to Read Edward Goodbird's Story

Edward Goodbird. "Portrait of Edward Goodbird" in Goodbird the Indian, his story, told by himself to Gilbert L. Wilson, 1914.

Newberry Library