Listening to Our Grandmother’s Stories: The Bloomfield Academy for Chickasaw Females, 1852-1949

$40.00 each


An award-winning contribution to the history of Indian women and women’s education.


This moving and informative book is a significant contribution to the history of Indian women and women’s education, deserving of its North American Indian Prose Award and of the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.

Listening to Our Grandmother’s Stories reveals the fascinating history of Bloomfield Academy, founded in 1852 by the Chickasaw Nation in conjunction with missionaries. It remained open for nearly a century, offering Chickasaw girls one of the finest educations in the West. After being forcibly relocated to Indian Territory, the Chickasaws viewed education as instrumental to their survival in a rapidly changing world. Bloomfield became their way to prepare emerging generations of Chickasaw girls for new challenges and opportunities.

Amanda J. Cobb became interested in Bloomfield Academy because of her grandmother, Ida Mae Pratt Cobb, an alumna from the 1920s. Drawing on letters, reports, interviews with students, and school programs, Cobb recounts the academy’s success story. Cobb has compiled an exhaustive photo section that gives the reader a direct view into this school and this era.

In stark contrast to the federally run off-reservation boarding schools in operation at the time, Bloomfield represents a rare instance of tribal control in education. For the Chickasaw Nation, Bloomfield—a tool of assimilation—became an important method of self-preservation.

Cobb is an associate professor of American studies at the University of New Mexico and is the editor of American Indian Quarterly. She is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation.



Author: Amanda J. Cobb

Illustrations: Black and white photos

Binding Availability: Paperback

Published: 2000

Tribes/Ethnic Groups: Chickasaw