Tell Me, Grandmother is at once the biography of Goes-in-Lodge, a traditional Arapaho woman of the nineteenth century, and the autobiography of her descendant, Virginia Sutter, a modern Arapaho woman with a PhD in public administration. Sutter adeptly weaves her own story with that of Goes-in-Lodge -- who, in addition to being Sutter's great-grandmother, was first wife of Sharpnose, the last chief of the Northern Arapaho nation. Writing in a question-and-answer format between twentieth-century granddaughter and matriarchal ancestor, Sutter discusses four generations of home life, including details about child rearing, education, courtship, marriage, birthing, and burial. Sutter's portrait of Goes-in-Lodge is based on tribal history and interviews with tribal members. Goes-in-Lodge speaks of social and ceremonial gatherings, the Sun Dance, the sweat lodges, and the changes that took place on the Great Plains throughout her lifetime. Sutter details her own life as a child born in a teepee to a white mother and Indian father and the discrimination and injustice she faced struggling to make her way in an increasingly Euro-American world.
Author, elder, and activist Virginia Sutter is an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Indian Nation. She is Executive Director of the Fresno Native American Health Center, Inc.