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Suland: Luetgers puts thought to paper about two Indian boys growing up in Minnesota

By Violetta Botzet Luetgers

For many years, Violetta Botzet Luetgers carried the story of a young Indian boy around in her mind.

As the story grew, so did her desire to put it on paper.

The now published author was born and raised on a farm in Spruce Hill Township. She graduated from 8th grade at District 64 Scriven School and from Jefferson High School in 1961. She married Wayne Luetgers from Brandon in 1962, and the couple moved to the Twin Cities area to find work. They have resided in Silver Creek Township near Maple Lake for the past 30 years.

Luetgers became interested in Native Americans at a young age. She loved to read about their history and culture. After she was married with a family of her own, she still enjoyed visiting many of the Native American historic sites in Minnesota and other areas of the country.

For many years she had a story in mind of White Fox and his best friend Little Wolf - two Indian boys raised in the Clearwater Mississippi River area of Minnesota. She finally decided she would try her hand at writing a book.

She spent countless hours doing research so that her book would be factual and accurate to the history and culture of the Dakota people that she wanted to write about.

She then quit her job in an insurance office to jump full time into writing her book - a process that took about one year.

In 1996, during the editing process, Luetgers suffered a debilitating stroke, which affected her ability to speak clearly and read quickly.

Feeling that the dream of having her book published was now out of reach, she put the manuscript in the closet where it remained untouched for 11 years.

One day her daughter, Vicki Kramer, decided to dig it out and see what could be done with it. She had a local editor go through the book, and then typed it into the computer - Violetta had typed her copy on a typewriter.

At a loss of what to do from there or how to get it published, the book was again set aside.

A couple years later, Kramer sent the manuscript to Tate Publishing.

"I prayed over the manuscript and sent it off," Kramer recalled.

Tate Publishing replied with a letter stating they wanted to publish the book.

Now, 13 years after Luetgers completed her manuscript, it is a published book, titled Suland.

"She was extremely excited when we finally got this book published," her daughter noted. "After that many years I probably can't even describe her excitement and emotion."

The book is available on all the major online bookstores, including, Barnes and Noble (, and

For more information about the book or the author, visit the website

The following was written by Luetgers for the introduction to Suland:

"When I first began to study the history of the Great Sioux Uprising of 1862, I had no intention of writing a book. The more I read and studied the lifestyle of the Native Americans who lived in our Big Woods area of Minnesota, the more interested I became in these people and how they lived before and after the white man came into their lives. I have done my best to weave my fictional characters into the story with the very real people who lived this American tragedy. I hope you enjoy my story."

Tara Bitzan

Tara Bitzan is editor of the Echo Press. She joined the company in 1991 as a news reporter. A lifelong resident of Douglas County, Tara graduated from Brandon High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications and English with a minor in Scandinavian Studies from Moorhead State University. She and her husband, Dennis, and their children live near Alexandria.

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