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Featured Native American Books

(Librarian Selected)



The Toughest Indian in the World
by Alexie, Sherman

9780802138002Sherman AlexieThe Toughest Indian in the WorldA beloved American writer whose books are championed by critics and readers alike, Sherman Alexie has been hailed by Time as "one of the better new novelists, Indian or otherwise." Now his acclaimed new collection, The Toughest Indian in the World, which received universal praise in hardcover, is available in paperback. In these stories, we meet the kind of American Indians we rarely see in literature -- the kind who pay their bills, hold down jobs, fall in and out of love. A Spokane Indian journalist transplanted from the reservation to the city picks up a hitchhiker, a Lummi boxer looking to take on the toughest Indian in the world. A Spokane son waits for his diabetic father to come home from the hospital, tossing out the Hershey Kisses the father has hidden all over the house. An estranged interracial couple, separated in the midst of a traffic accident, rediscover their love for each other. A white drifter holds up an International House of Pancakes, demanding a dollar per customer and someone to love, and emerges with $42 and an overweight Indian he dubs Salmon Boy. Sherman Alexie's voice is one of remarkable passion, and these stories are love stories -- between parents and children, white people and Indians, movie stars and ordinary people. Witty, tender, and fierce, The Toughest Indian in the World is a virtuoso performance by one of the country's finest writers. - Description from Syndetics
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We Are Still Here: A Photographic History of the American Indian Movement
by Bancroft, Dick; Wittstock, Laura Waterman

9780873518871Dick Bancroft (Photographer); Laura Waterman Wittstock (Text by); Rigoberto Menchu Tum (Introduction by)We Are Still Here: A Photographic History of the American Indian MovementThe American Indian Movement, founded in 1968 in Minneapolis, burst into that turbulent time with passion, anger, and radical acts of resistance. Spurred by the Civil Rights movement, Native people began to protest the decades--centuries--of corruption, racism, and abuse they had endured. They argued for political, social, and cultural change, and they got attention. The photographs of activist Dick Bancroft, a key documentarian of AIM, provide a stunningly intimate view of this major piece of American history from 1970 to 1981. Veteran journalist Laura Waterman Wittstock, who participated in events in Washington, DC, has interviewed a host of surviving participants to tell the stories behind the images. The words of Russell Means, Dennis Banks, Clyde Bellecourt, Eddie Benton Banai, Pat Bellanger, Elaine Salinas, Winona LaDuke, Bill Means, Ken Tilsen, Larry Leventhal, Jose Barreiro, and others tell the stories: the takeovers of federal buildings and the Winter Dam in Wisconsin, the founding of survival schools in the Twin Cities, the Wounded Knee trials, international conferences for indigenous rights, the Trail of Broken Treaties Caravan and the Longest Walk for Survival, powwows and camps and United Nations actions. This is the inside record of a movement that began to change a nation. - Description from Syndetics
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American Indian Food
by Berzok, Linda Murray

9780313329890Linda Murray BerzokAmerican Indian FoodThis, the first, in-depth survey of Native American Indian foodways is an amazing chronicle of both human development over thousands of years and American history after the European invasion. It sheds light not only on this group and their history but on American food culture and history as well. For thousands of years an intimate relationship existed between Native Americans and their food sources. Dependence on nature for subsistence gave rise to a rich spiritual tradition with rituals and feasts marking planting and harvesting seasons. The European invasion forced a radical transformation of the indigenous food habits. Foodways were one of the first layers of culture attacked. Indians were removed from their homelands, forced to cultivate European crops such as wheat and grapes, new animals were introduced, and the bison, a major staple in the Great Plains and West, was wiped out. Today, American Indians are trying to reclaim many of their food traditions. A number of their foodways have become part of the broader American cookbook, as many dishes eaten today were derived from Native American cooking, including cornbread, clam chowder, succotash, grits, and western barbeque.The story of Native American foodways presented here is an amazing chronicle of both human development over thousands of years and American history after the European invasion. Through cultural evolution, the First Peoples worked out what was edible or could be made edible and what foods could be combined with others, developed unique processing and preparation methods, and learned how to preserve and store foods. An intimate relationship existed between them and their food sources. Dependence on nature for subsistence gave rise to a rich spiritual tradition with rituals and feasts marking planting and harvesting seasons. The foodways were characterized by abundance and variety. Wild plants, fish, meat, and cultivated crops were simply prepared and eaten fresh or smoked, dried, or preserved for lean winters. The European invasion forced a radical transformation of the indigenous food habits. Foodways were one of the first layers of culture attacked. Indians were removed from their homelands, forced to cultivate European crops, such as wheat and grapes, new animals were introduced, and the bison, a major staple in the Great Plains and West, was wiped out. Today, American Indians are trying to reclaim many of their food traditions. Other traditions have become part of the broader American cookbook, as many dishes eaten today were derived from Native American cooking, including cornbread, clam chowder, succotash, grits, and western barbeque.The scope is comprehensive, covering the six major regions, from prehistory until today. Chapters on the foodways history, foodstuffs, food preparation, preservation, and storage, food customs, food and religion, and diet and nutrition reveal the American Indians' heritage as no history can do alone. Examples from many individual tribes are used, and quotations from American Indians and white observers provide perspective. Recipes are provided as well, making this a truly indispensable source for student research and general readers. - Description from Syndetics
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Black Elk Speaks
by Black Elk; Neihardt, John Gneisenau

9780803283916John G. Neihardt; Philip J. Deloria (Introduction by); Vine Deloria (Foreword by)Black Elk Speaks: The Complete Edition Black Elk Speaks , the story of the Oglala Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950) and his people during momentous twilight years of the nineteenth century, offers readers much more than a precious glimpse of a vanished time. Black Elk's searing visions of the unity of humanity and Earth, conveyed by John G. Neihardt, have made this book a classic that crosses multiple genres. Whether appreciated as the poignant tale of a Lakota life, as a history of a Native nation, or as an enduring spiritual testament, Black Elk Speaks is unforgettable. nbsp; Black Elk met the distinguished poet, writer, and critic John G. Neihardt in 1930 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and asked Neihardt to share his story with the world. Neihardt understood and conveyed Black Elk's experiences in this powerful and inspirational message for all humankind. nbsp; This complete edition features a new introduction bynbsp;historian Philip J. Deloria and annotations of Black Elk's story by renowned Lakota scholar Raymond J. DeMallie. Three essays by John G. Neihardt provide background on this landmark work along with pieces by Vine Deloria Jr., Raymond J. DeMallie, Alexis Petri, and Lori Utecht. Maps, original illustrations by Standing Bear, and a set of appendixes rounds out the edition. nbsp; - Description from Syndetics
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Trickster: Native American Tales
by Dembicki, Matt

9781555917241Matt Dembicki (Editor)Trickster: Native American Tales a Graphic Collection2010 Maverick Award winner, 2011 Aesop Prize Winner - Children's folklore section, and a 2011 Eisner Award Nominee.   All cultures have tales of the trickster - a crafty creature or being who uses cunning to get food, steal precious possessions, or simply cause mischief. He disrupts the order of things, often humiliating others and sometimes himself. In Native American traditions, the trickster takes many forms, from coyote or rabbit to raccoon or raven. The first graphic anthology of Native American trickster tales, Trickster brings together Native American folklore and the world of comics.   In Trickster, 24 Native storytellers were paired with 24 comic artists, telling cultural tales from across America. Ranging from serious and dramatic to funny and sometimes downright fiendish, these tales bring tricksters back into popular culture.  - Description from Syndetics
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Tradition, Performance, and Religion in Native America
by Kelley, Dennis F

9780415823630Dennis KelleyTradition, Performance, and Religion in Native America: Ancestral Ways, Modern SelvesIn contemporary Indian Country, many of the people who identify as "American Indian" fall into the "urban Indian" category: away from traditional lands and communities, in cities and towns wherein the opportunities to live one's identity as Native can be restricted, and even more so for American Indian religious practice and activity. Tradition, Performance, and Religion in Native America: Ancestral Ways, Modern Selves explores a possible theoretical model for discussing the religious nature of urbanized Indians. It uses aspects of contemporary pantribal practices such as the inter-tribal pow wow, substance abuse recovery programs such as the Wellbriety Movement, and political involvement to provide insights into contemporary Native religious identity. Simply put, this book addresses the question what does it mean to be an Indigenous American in the 21st century, and how does one express that indigeneity religiously? It proposes that practices and ideologies appropriate to the pan-Indian context provide much of the foundation for maintaining a sense of aboriginal spiritual identity within modernity. Individuals and families who identify themselves as Native American can participate in activities associated with a broad network of other Native people, in effect performing their Indian identity and enacting the values that are connected to that identity. - Description from Syndetics
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Beyond the Asterisk: Understanding Native Students in Higher Education
by Shotton, Heather

9781579226244Heather J. Shotton (Editor); Shelly C. Lowe (Editor); Stephanie J. Waterman (Editor); John Garland (Foreword by)Beyond the Asterisk: Understanding Native Students in Higher EducationA Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2013 While the success of higher education and student affairs is predicated on understanding the students we serve, the reality is, where the Native American population is concerned, that this knowledge is generally lacking. This lack may be attributed to this population's invisibility within the academy - it is often excluded from institutional data and reporting, and frequently noted as not statistically significant - and its relegation to what is referred to as the "American Indian research asterisk." The purpose of this book is to move beyond the asterisk in an effort to better understand Native students, challenge the status quo , and provide an informed base for leaders in student and academic affairs, and administrators concerned with the success of students on their campuses. The authors of this book share their understanding of Native epistemologies, culture, and social structures, offering student affairs professionals and institutions a richer array of options, resources, and culturally-relevant and inclusive models to better serve this population. The book begins by providing insights into Native student experiences, presenting the first-year experience from a Native perspective, illustrating the role of a Native living/learning community in student retention, and discussing the importance of incorporating culture into student programming for Native students as well as the role of Native fraternities and sororities. The authors then consider administrative issues, such as the importance of outreach to tribal nations, the role of Tribal Colleges and Universities and opportunities for collaborations, and the development of Native American Student Services Units. . The book concludes with recommendations for how institutions can better serve Native students in graduate programs, the role that Indigenous faculty play in student success, and how professional associations can assist student affairs professionals with fulfilling their role of supporting the success of Native American students, staff, and faculty. This book moves beyond the asterisk to provide important insights from Native American higher education leaders and non-Native practitioners who have made Native students a priority in their work. While predominantly addressed to the student affairs profession - providing an understanding of the needs of the Native students it serves, describing the multi-faceted and unique issues, characteristics and experiences of this population, and sharing proven approaches to developing appropriate services - it also covers issues of broader administrative concern, such as collaboration with tribal colleges; as well academic issues, such as graduate and professional education. The book covers new material, as well as expanding on topics previously addressed in the literature, including Native American Greek organizations, incorporating Native culture into student programming, and the role of Native American Special Advisors. The contributors are themselves products of colleges and universities where Native students are too often invisible, and who succeeded despite the odds. Their insights and the examples they provide add richness to this book. It will provide a catalyst for new higher education practices that lead to direct, and increased support for, Native Americans and others who are working to remove the Native American asterisk from research and practice. - Description from Syndetics
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American Indian Politics and the American Political System
by Wilkins, David E

9781442203884David E. WilkinsAmerican Indian PoliticsAmanda goes through her young life having to survive experiences that nobody should have to. She was always quiet and found it easier to keep to herself, rather than share herself with the world. She struggled with being open and talking to anyone about what was invading her life. In her heart she believed it was much easier to keep her secrets to herself. Sometimes sharing your deepest and darkest with someone you love is the only way to free yourself. Will she ever be able to find that someone? Do the trials of her adolescence make her stronger in the end? Or will her world be turned upside down and she'll be crushed under the weight of her love for another? Can she recover from the unthinkable? Will Amanda be able to pull though and find the one thing she's always longed for and never really had...love? - Description from Syndetics
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We Will Secure our Future
by Zah, Peterson; Iverson, Peter

9780816502479Peterson Zah; Peter IversonWe Will Secure Our Future: Empowering the Navajo NationNearing graduation from Phoenix Indian School, Peterson Zah decided he wanted to attend college. He was refused the reference letters needed for college admission by teachers who told him he would fail and thus embarrass them. Several years later, these instructors would receive invitations from Zah to a party celebrating his graduation from Arizona State University. And so began a career that took Zah to the presidency of the Navajo Nation. His life and accomplishments have exemplified the ongoing efforts by American Indian communities to gain greater control over their lives and lands. He has made important contributions in many areas, but education has always been one of his main priorities. Perhaps no one in the Southwest has done more than Peterson Zah to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation of American Indian students from colleges and universities. Zah's presentations to Peter Iverson's classes at Arizona State University, employed examples drawn from his own experiences. Students praised his thoughtful, honest and direct observations. He reinforced a central theme in Iverson's classesthat Indian history encompasses triumph as well as tragedy and victory as well as victimization. This book grew out of Iverson's determination to share Zah's insights with a wider audience. The two met every few months to consider many subjects related to Zah's life. These sessions formed the foundation for this volume. Part autobiography, part interview, and part conversation, Zah and Iverson's account touches on a wide range of overlapping topics, but two central themes prevail: education and empowerment. We Will Secure Our Future is a fascinating look into the life of a man who became a respected visionary and passionate advocate for his people. - Description from Syndetics
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