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The story is set in the North Dakota when the Indian tribe has a struggle to keep the little land that they have since they have lost a lot. The Indian people keep losing their land and they now get to the brink of their patience. The Indian people have pushed to their edge and their endurance and perseverance is put to the test. The men and women in the Indian tribe are full of pride and their sense of humor never wanes and this makes the Indian people not to surrender in the midst of adversity.
The family of Fleur and their community has to struggle the epidemics that face the Indian people. There is massive starvation due to the provisions given to them by the government being inadequate. The people are neglected by the American government that diseases and starvation is the order of the day in this community. The community end up losing land that they have lived in for decades, due to them not being able to pay the government the land taxes that they owe.
Fleur has saved a lot of money to pay the taxes for the government but she ends up losing the land due to betrayal by her in laws who without her consent take the money that was meant for paying for her land as well as the land owned by the in laws. The money taken by Fleur in laws was used by them to pay their land tax and did not help pay Fleur's taxes. Here greed is exhibit, where other people make other people suffer by not caring of the other and make others to suffer. This greed causes Fleur to lose her confidence, self esteem and self worth. Greed causes massive suffering to people as it also causes Fleur's daughter Lulu to be sent to a government school as she could not be able to afford a good school. Luckily Nampush is successful and is able to get Lulu a good school and gets her out of government school.
The loss of land by the Indian people due to their inability to pay taxes to the government is a show of lack of care by the government of the day to the minority communities and shows the ills of capitalism. The land that is lost by the Indian people goes to the white developers who have money to buy the lands and pay for the taxes that the poor Indians cannot be able to pay.
There is a lot of starvation and diseases in the land of the Indians, the people are not taken care of by the authorities and the necessary services that are necessary for survival are not provided. The people end up suffering and there while the government watches. The people are forced to use herbs to treat themselves; they are also use chants and also use mystic powers and magic to take care of the sick.
The tribe is also affected by entrance of modernity and religion as they try to grapple with the new way of life and maintaining their indigenous culture. There is the people who join Christianity from the native Indian community like Pauline who works with Fleur.