Mary Golda Ross designed classified airplanes and spacecraft as Lockheed Aircraft Corporation's first female engineer. Her passion for math and the Cherokee values she was raised with shaped her life and work. Cherokee author Traci Sorell and Métis illustrator Natasha Donovan trace Ross's journey from being the only girl in a high school math class to becoming a teacher to pursuing an engineering degree, joining the top-secret Skunk Works division of Lockheed, and being a mentor for young women and Native Americans interested in engineering. The narrative also highlights Cherokee values, including (1) gaining skills in all areas of life, (2) working cooperatively with others, (3) remaining humble when others recognize your talents, and (4) helping ensure equal education and opportunity for all.
Word of the Day #1
Métis / meɪˈtiː(s) / = indigenous peoples in Canada and parts of the United States who are of mixed Indigenous and European (primarily French) ancestry.
"In the hills of northeastern Oklahoma, Mary's Cherokee tribe provided education for everyone. Her great-great grandfather, John Ross, had served as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. He helped create a school that later became a state teacher's college, which Mary began attending at the age of sixteen."
John Ross House is located near Rossville, Georgia, over the state line and maybe a couple of miles from the house where I grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The town of Rossville was also named for him.
Trail of Tears invokes the collective suffering those people experienced, although it is most commonly used in reference to the removal experiences of the Southeast Indians generally and the Cherokee nation specifically." By the way, that's Lookout Mountain in the distance on the left.
Word of the Day #2
trek /trek/ noun = a long arduous journey, especially one made on foot.
Mary Golda Ross's great-great grandfather is very well known in Chattanooga, as you can see. The top photo shows the author with her book. Click the links to read more about the history.