Book Prize Past Winners


Leo Killsback

The winner of the 2021 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize is author Dr. Leo Killsback for the two-volume set “A Sacred People: Indigenous Governance, Traditional Leadership, and the Warriors of the Cheyenne Nation” and “A Sovereign People: Indigenous Nationhood, Traditional Law, and the Covenants of the Cheyenne Nation” (Texas Tech University Press, 2020).

Dr. Killsback is an Associate Professor in the Department of Native American Studies at Montana State University who specializes in indigenous governance, traditional law, sovereignty, and treaty rights. Dr. Killsback grew up on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation and is devoted to the preservation and resurgence of Cheyenne language and culture. He sustains relationships within his nation by means of collaborative methodologies that neither exploit nor marginalize.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected for this prestigious prize. It is important that Indigneous histories, experiences, and voices are recognized as new horizons in scholarship are reached in Great Plains and Native American studies,” Dr. Killsback said. “As an Indigenous scholar, I will continue to contribute research and scholarship that is meaningful and significant to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Nea'ish (thank you).”

Lakota America


Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power

Lakota America (Yale University Press) is a complete account of the Lakota Indians from the early 16th to the early 21st Century, including the history of the iconic figures of Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull.

Pekka Hämäläinen is Rhodes Professor of American History at St. Catherine's College at the University of Oxford. He specializes in indigenous, colonial, imperial, environmental, and borderlands history in North America. Before Oxford, he taught at Texas A&M University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. His 2008 book, The Comanche Empire, received 12 book awards, including the 2008 Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize and the Bancroft Prize.

No Place Like Home


No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas

C.J. Janovy, an arts reporter and editor for public radio in Kansas City, MO, tells the compelling story of LGBT Kansans as they realized they would have to fight to create equality in their state. Using extensive interviews and research, she shares the diverse voices and experiences of LGBT community members living on the Plains and working for social change.

University Press of Kansas

Press Release

This Blessed Earth


This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm

Genoways is a contributing editor at Mother Jones, The New Republic and Pacific Standard. His last book, "The Chain: Farm, Factory and the Fate of Our Food," was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Award for Writing and Literature.

W.W. Norton & Company

Press Release

American Serengeti


American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains

Dan Flores is a writer and historian who specializes in environmental and cultural history of the American West. Before his retirement, Flores held the A.B. Hammond Chair in Western History at the University of Montana

Publisher: University Press of Kansas

Press Release

The Metis and the Medicine Line


Métis and the Medicine Line: Creating a Border and Dividing a People

Michel Hogue, Assistant Professor in History at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario

Publisher: University of Regina Press in Canada and University of North Carolina Press in the U.S.

Press Release

Encounters at the Heart of the World


Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People

Elizabeth Fenn, Professor of History, Unviersity of Colorado at Boulder

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Press Release

Architecture of Saskatchewan cover


Architecture of Saskatchewan: A Visual Journey, 1930-2011

Bernard Flaman, conservation architect for Canada’s Public Works and Government Services

Publisher: University of Regina Press

Press Release

Blackfoot Redemption cover


Blackfoot Redemption: A Blood Indian's Story of Murder, Confinement, and Imperfect Justice

William E. Farr, Professor of History, Emeritus, University of Montana, senior fellow and founding director of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

Press Release

The Northern Cheyenne Exodus in History and Memory


The Northern Cheyenne Exodus in History and Memory

James N. Leiker, Associate Professor of History, Johnson County Community College; and Ramon Powers, Former Executive Director of the Kansas State Historical Society

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

Press Release

Hancock's War: Conflict on the Southern Plains by William Y. Chalfant


Hancock's War:
Conflict on the Southern Plains

William Y. Chalfant, Attorney, Hutchinson Kansas
Foreword by Jerome A. Greene

Publisher: Arthur H. Clark

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Great Plains: America's Lingering Wild by Michael Forsberg


Great Plains: America's Lingering Wild

Michael Forsberg, Conservation Photographer, Lincoln, Nebraska
with Dan O'Brien, David Wishart, and Ted Kooser

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Press Release

The Comance Empire by Pekka Hämäläinen


The Comanche Empire

Pekka Hämäläinen, Associate Professor of History, University of California at Santa Barbara

Publisher: Yale University Press

Press Release

Ruling Pine Ridge by Akim Reinhardt


Ruling Pine Ridge
Oglala Lakota Politics from the IRA to Wounded Knee

Akim D. Reinhardt, Associate Professor of History, Towson University, Towson, Maryland

Publisher: Texas Tech University Press

Press Release

Indians and Emigrants by Michael Tate


Indians and Emigrants:
Encounters on the Overland Trails

Michael L. Tate, Professor of History and Native American Studies, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

Press Release

Buffalo Bill's America: William Cody and the Wild West Show


Buffalo Bill's America:
William Cody and the Wild West Show

Louis S. Warren, W. Turrentine Jackson Professor of Western U.S. History, University of California, Davis

Publisher: Knopf

Press Release

Note: 2012 is missing because of a change in titling Book Prizes. After 2012, awards were named for the year the award was given. Before 2012, awards were named for the year the book was published.