A highly researched two-volume history of the Cheyenne Nation is the 2021 Fixico Book Award winner from the Western History Association. Montana State University Associate Professor Leo Killsback published the two books last year. They are "A Sacred People: Indigenous Governance, Traditional Leadership and the Warriors of the Cheyenne Nation," and the second volume, "A Sovereign People: Indigenous Nationhood, Traditional Law and the Covenants of the Cheyenne Nation," both published by Texas Tech University Press.

This is the second award for Killsback. He recently won the 2021 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize. The official announcement of the Fixico prize noted, "Cheyenne scholar Leo Killsback provides a remarkable history of the Cheyenne world. He does so with skill, conviction, and a determination to highlight Cheyenne voices and ways of knowing and being in his work. His use of a Cheyenne frame of understanding to tell the story is deeply rooted in who he is as a Cheyenne person and scholar of American Indian Studies."

Killsback is a member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and is associate professor in MSU's Department of Native American Studies. Carol Schmidt of Mountains and Minds magazine reported that Killsback's doctoral dissertation at the University of Arizona began the writing project. In over a decade of work, he added information from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the National Anthropological Archives in Maryland, and conducted interviews with over 80 elders, teachers and spiritual Cheyenne leaders. In an MSU news release, Killsback said, "It is certainly gratifying to have my research and writing and contributions to the academy honored in this way."

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But he's not done. He is working on two more books on Cheyenne history, oral traditions and language. In fact, the book "The Man Who Cuts the Moon and Other Stories of the Cheyenne People" will be published in 2022. More information is at the MSU News website.

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