The Shining Mountains

The Shining Mountains

By Catherine Henderson

“The Shining Mountains,” a historical novel set in the mid 1800s and written by Alix Christie, is the enthralling story of Angus McDonald, a Scottish immigrant, and his wife Catherine Baptiste, from the Nez Perce tribe. Angus is a trader for the Hudson Bay Company, moving between their outposts in Montana, Idaho, and Washington (including our neighboring Fort Nisqually in Point Defiance).

The Hudson Bay Company traded guns to the Native people in exchange for beaver pelts used for men’s hats. Angus and Catherine had a large family, and the author outlines the joys and challenges of their bi-cultural life, and we learn how the Natives regarded the incomers to this land. There are lyrical descriptions of the wilderness of Idaho and Montana, and the Grand Tetons.

As the Americans arrive on wagon trains, Angus helps them with maps and supplies … even as their fencing, building, and gold-panning is destroying his Native relatives’ way of life. We see how his children are treated with racist attitudes, and their stress from being neither fish nor fowl. We see the pressures that develop on the Hudson Bay Company men, all married to Native women, as the American influx gains momentum, and the conflict with the Tribes (Kootenai, Nez Perce, Salish, Pend d’Oreille) escalates.

This is the little-known history of the American West, told from many points of view, including that of the tribes. For more information go to www.the

June 6, 2023

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