Reference Books

NATIVE AMERICANS: PORTRAIT OF THE PEOPLES, ed. Duane Champagne, 1994, Visible Ink Press, 835 Penobscot Bldg., Detroit, MI 48224, (800) 877-GALE (4253). 1995, 786 pages, 200 illustrations, $18.95 paperback. Abridgement of big hardcover Almanac.

This is what Gale calls the paperback version of its big thorough encyclopedia, the Almanac (above), despite the different title. Forewords by AIM leader Dennis Banks, poet and long-time Native rights worker Susan Shown Harjo. This is an excerpt compiled out of Gale Research's hardcover Native North American Almanac (Visible Ink is a low-rent paperback arm of the company). It's been called a "desk encyclopedia" about Native people written by Native people. Duane Champagne, a Turtle Mountain Ojibwe from North Dakota is an American Indian Studies professor at UCLA, where he directs the American Indian Studies Center there. This abridged version is much more affordable for schools and individuals, and does cover both historic and contemporary figures, issues, and actions. Each chapter begins with a substantial essay by a noted Native scholar, followed by biographies, listings of resources, names and addresses of publications and organizations. Ten chapters provide information organized by region (northeast, Oklahoma, Canada, etc.) The remaining chapters deal with Activisim, Major Culture Areas and Native Languages, Religion, Health, Arts and Literature, Media. A 15-page index makes finding info easy. Schools and researchers should get the full version if they can afford it, but this is a good classroom or personal reference work. It is far superior to the one reviewed (and recommended) by Brock (but not me) and somewhat superior to to the one (Klein) carried by AISES, as well as being less than half the price of the Klein encyclopedia. Gale's excerpted paperback contains more facts and indexes them bettr for access than the Klein work. Reviewed by: D.L. Birchfield (who reviews books for the newspaper News from Indian Country) and Paula Giese Birchfield saw only the paperback; I saw the full encyclopedia -- the Almanac -- from which it was excerpted..

Available at $18.95 from The Mail Order Company, which carries a great many Native books often heavily discounted. 800-695-2241, ask for their current catalog.

File: r901

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

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