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Women’s History Month: Iron Sky Woman – Shawna R. B. Atteberry
Mar 192012

I didn’t write this post, but when I found out about Iron Sky Woman, I had to re-post what Heidi Shott wrote about her for Lent Madness. Here is another godly warrior woman who did what she needed to do to protect her family (just like Deborah and Jael). Yes, my wonderful readers, you need to know about this woman.

Iron Sky Woman was married to Enmegahbowh, an Episcopal priest, and they did mission work work in Minnesota Iron Sky Woman’s people:

There he met an Episcopal priest, Ezekiel Gear, who gifted him with a Book of Common Prayer. Before long the course of his journey was set toward ministry and service to his people.

But given the wide expanse of his heart, he honored and protected not only his people, but all people. Fast forward 17 years to the mission of St. Columba’s where he served as deacon. In 1862, Indian uprisings surged across the state.  Church historian Theodore Holcombe wrote of that period, “Enmegahbowh was a tower of strength to the Indian mission in all its years of trial and danger, and it was through his courage and bravery in warning the white settlers that a terrible massacre [of whites and native people] was averted.”

While this is widely known, it’s less known that Chief Hole-in-the-Day II – Enmegahbowh’s brother by adoption and Iron Sky Woman’s cousin – initiated the collusion between several tribal leaders that would have wiped out the white settlement. Hole-in-the-Day II’s displeasure with Enmegahbowh for thwarting his plans was made manifest when he sent two tribal members to his house to kill him.

According to Holcombe’s 1903 account, the assassins arrived about 9:00 am. Although he had been warned and was expecting them, Enmegahbowh’s conscience did not permit him to handle firearms. However in this instance, “he stretched a point, and loaded his double-barrel gun, and gave it to his wife who was known to be a good shot, and who had asked him to let her take the matter into her own hands.”

Iron Sky Woman threw open the door as they approached and shouted: “I know what you have come for, but the first one who shows a weapon, I will shoot down like a dog.”

Holcombe continued,

“They knew her reputation as a woman of spirit, and skill with the gun, and at once abandoned their design, and made her a present. These same Indians confessed they had been sent by Hole-in-the-Day, and acknowledged that Enmegahbowh had not only saved the whites, but also the Indians also from being all destroyed by the government, so there was cause for mutual congratulations.”

Iron Sky Woman thank you for giving me one more confirmation that you can be a Christian and do whatever is needed to protect your loved ones and still obey Godde.

Did you know there are only eight verses in the Bible that discourage women from speaking and holding leadership positions in the church? Did you know there are thousands of verses in the Bible that tell the stories of women who were leaders in their homes, towns, and religious circles? Meet the women in the Bible who were religious & civic leaders, business women, & women who challenged both Jesus and Moses in What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School. What else didn’t you learn in Sunday School? Find out when you buy What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School: Women Who Didn’t Shut Up & Sit Down from Wipf and Stock Publishers or Amazon.com today.

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