How American is Miss America? For Susan Supernaw, a Muscogee
(Creek) and Munsee Native American, the question wasn't just
academic. Throughout a childhood clouded by poverty, alcoholism,
abuse, and a physical disability, Supernaw sought escape in school
and dance and the Native American Church. She became a presidential
scholar, won a scholarship to college, and was crowned Miss
Oklahoma in 1971. Supernaw might not have won the Miss America
pageant that year, but she did call attention to the Native peoples
living largely invisible lives throughout their own American land.
And she did at long last earn her Native American name. Chronicling
a quest to escape poverty and find meaning, Supernaw's story is
revealing, humorous, and deeply moving. Muscogee Daughter is the
story of finding a Native American identity among the distractions
and difficulties of American life and of discerning an identity
among competing notions of what it is to be a woman, a Native
American, and a citizen of the world.