Reference Books

THE NATIVE NORTH AMERICAN ALMANAC: A REFERENCE WORK ON NATIVE NORTH AMERICANS IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, edited by Duane Champagne. Gale Research Inc., 835 Penobscot Bldg., Detroit, MI 48224, (800) 877-GALE (4253), (313) 961-6083 FAX. Illustrated, index, maps, bibliography, references, chronology, glossary. 1303 pp., $95.00 cloth. 0-8103-8865-0 (First edition, 1993)

A commanding and comprehensive reference work which addresses all aspects of Native American life. Beginning with a list of the major Native nations and a chronology going back to ancient times, Duane Champagne, Director of the American Indian Studies Center at UCLA, has compiled extensive information and data in the areas of demographics, languages, law and legislation, activism, environment, urbanization, religion, arts, literature, media, health, education, and economy. Also included are biographies of prominent historical and contemporary Native North Americans, a bibliography divided by subject, and a glossary of Native terms. This is a major work, highly recommended for academic and public libraries, enterprises who do business with Native Americans, government agencies who administer or assist in Native American policy, or those interested in specific characteristics of the culture and history of the Native peoples of North America. Reviewed by: Steve Brock

2nd Edition, late 1995: 1,275 pages; $75. It's lost some pages (and $20 in price) from the first edition. Despite its title, this is really an Indian encyclopedia--1275 pages hardbound. Covers both U.S. and Canadian indigenous peoples' histories. It contains 17 long articles by leading native scholars, annotated directory information, excerpts from important historical documents, and biographies of many important native leaders, alphabetical and geographical lists of tribes cross-referenced to text, a multimedia bibliography, a glossary, and an appendix cross-listing tables and charts in the text. There are over 400 illustrations, including many maps, as well as charts, graphs, and photos. There is an abridged (about half the size) softcover version available, not recommended for libraries. Reviewed by Paula Giese

There are some notable weaknesses. The "environmental" issues section is so poor and slender that it looks like someone was assigned to it at the last minute to make up on a missed deadline or something. This is a notable hole on a critically important issue for almost evry tribe and band. Dams and waste disposal, and mining are 3 major industrial efforts that have heavily affected many reservations and Canadian reserves. Air and water quality have had critical effects. In short, if there is a new edition, this section should be assigned to a diligent person who will do a solid and extensive research job on it. Another weakness is the general failure to use tribal selfİnames: Hoİchunk, Tohono o'Odham, etc. The "older" or governmentalİpreferred names should also be given İİ I would prefer that those be parenthetical İİ and indexes should list both names (an easy task with computer index generators to add the selfİnames with all page references).

Reviewed by: Paula Giese

Purchase this book now from
Your book purchases support this web site.

File: r900

Native American BOOKS, text and graphics copyright Paula Giese, 1996

Last Updated: Friday, April 19, 1996 - 5:52:16 AM