Cheyenne Rising Sun

Historical Novel and adapted screenplay by John A. Kuri

The Subject:
 This manuscript tells the highly dramatic and compelling parallel stories of the Northern Cheyenne great chief, Morning Star, and his great grandson, Ted Rising Sun.  Both men were visionaries, warriors, husbands, fathers, and great leaders.  Their lives are interwoven as the epic saga unfolds across the plains from Oklahoma to Nebraska and from Montana to Washington, DC.

In the late 19th century, as white men were discovering the unspoiled America found west of the Mississippi, Morning Star realized that unless his people were to adapt to the ways of this new world, they would be eradicated from the earth.  Through an ordeal few could survive he saved his people from extinction and gained the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Reservation in Lame Deer, Montana, as the permanent home to his nation.  Every element of nature, from the parched sun-drenched earth of the southwest to the blizzards of the north, plus disease and famine along with the barbarous treatment at the hand of those government authorities charged with the containment of the Cheyenne, combined in the form of a monumental test of the vision and the resolve of this great leader of the Cheyenne.
In the second half of the 20th century, when minorities in this country began their quest for equality, cultural recognition, and liberty, many of them spoke out in anger at the government.  Ted Rising Sun realized that to continue to wallow in the pain of the past was self-destructive. Rather, he could see that the education of the Cheyenne children, as well as all Indian children, was the key to overcoming the poverty and unemployment that has plagued Native Americans since the establishment of the reservation system.  An arduous battle with the Bureau of Indian Affairs led to Ted's testimony before the U.S. Senate, and his eventual victory for Indian education.  The Northern Cheyenne were granted the first-ever contract from the BIA to run their own primary and secondary school.  However, to accomplish any of this Ted first had to overcome alcoholism and post traumatic stress syndrome from his combat experience in North Korea.

Historical Basis:

What is written in this story has been thoroughly researched.  Sources of information include the U.S. Congressional Record, U.S. Senate Hearings records, the military tribunal records, the Chicago Tribune, The New York Tribune, numerous historical publications, and the actual sites where the events occurred.  Most importantly, the writer, John Kuri, was privileged to be granted exclusive access to the archives of the Morning Star Memorial Foundation, a repository of the oral and written history of the Northern Cheyenne.
John Kuri resting his horses in Yellowstone during a 70 mile ride while researching the novel.
The historical novel reached Number 1 Best Seller ranking.
In 2018 the book was selected for inclusion in the archives of the American Philisophical Society located in Philadelphia. The Society was founded by Benjamin Franklin and is a major national center for research in the history of the sciences, early American history, and Native American ethnography and linguistics.