How would you feel if you were an impoverished 12-year-old Native American girl in a small northern town where everyone derided you for your ethnicity and your second hand clothing? You have no one to talk to except your Kootenai Indian father who hates white people and warns you not to trust anyone. You simply want someone your own age to share secrets with, to be your friend, yet scorn is your reward for trying. That is what Essie Openwaters faced as long as she can remember.

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