Ignatia Broker was born to an Ojibway family on the White Earth Indian Reservation in northwestern Minnesota. She received her early education at an Indian boarding school in North Dakota and then attended the Haskell Institute in Kansas. In 1941 she moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she attended night classes at the Minnesota School of Business and worked at a defense plant during the day. After World War II, she met and married a veteran, with whom she had two children and lived in St. Paul. Her husband went back into military service and died in the Korean War. The death of her husband, together with the racial discrimination she and the Ojibway community often faced, prompted her to get involved with various Native American social advocacy groups, including the American Indian Center of Minneapolis. Her only novel, Night Flying Woman, was published in 1983. It is based mostly on the experiences of her great-great-grandmother, Ni-bo-wi-se-gwa,or Oona, who lived from the 1860s to the 1940s, a time of enormous change and loss for her community.