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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 It contains 17 long articles by leading native scholars, annotated directory information, excerpts from important historical documents, and biographies of many important native leaders, alphabetical and geographical lists of tribes cross-referenced to text, a multimedia bibliography, a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
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.
Books by Duane Champagne available from Amazon.com.
THE NATIVE AMERICAN ALMANAC: A PORTRAIT OF NATIVE AMERICA TODAY by Arlene Hirschfelder and Martha Kreipe de Montano. Prentice Hall General Reference, 15 Columbus Circle, N.Y., NY 10023, (212) 373-8500. Illustrated, index, bibliography, maps, chronology, five appendices. 320 pp., $25.00 cloth. 0-671-85012-1
Much less ambitious, more selective, anecdotal, and valuable in its own way than the Gale Almanac. Focusing on Native peoples in the United States after their first encounter with Europeans, Hirschfelder and De Montano outline a brief history and furnish details on demographics, Supreme Court decisions, tribal governments and the U.S. agencies that aid (or hinder) them, languages, education, religion, games and sports, arts and communications, economics, natural resources, and Natives in the military, as well as listing the names and addresses of Native American tribes and tribal organizations. This volume is recom- mended for middle and high school libraries and those desiring a general overview of Native life. Reviewed by: Steve Brock
2nd Look:Much of the material in this Alamanac consists of lists, addresses, etc., which have dated very badly. I disagree that it's a good high-school reference. I found many inaccuracies, large and small, and the treatment of Native concerns is both trivializing -- a sports player is given the same weight as important leaders and thinkers -- and expressed in wooden prose. The authors appear unfamiliar with contemporary Native art and literature. Pictures are all black and white, poor quality reproductions. Few maps, bad ones. The indexes are poor, do not appear to have been profssionally done, as a reference work requirs. No Native viewpoint is really represented, in contradistinction to the dozen or more native scholars involved in preparation of the Gale reference works. The slim volume is unattractive, as well as containing many inaccuracies and space-fillers. Not recommended for anyone. Reviewed by: Paula Giese
REFERENCE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN, 7TH ED, Barry Kline. Paper 8 x 11 690 pp, $49.50
Listings, bibliography, biographies for U.S. and Canada The big Gale Almanac is preferable for a library reference, and so is the $19 paperback abridged version. The 7th edition has far fewer pages -- less content -- than the 5th (reviewed below) and is $15 more in price. This is basically a listing of contacts -- addresses and phones -- for Native organizations, and despite being updated every other year, is always badly out of date by the time it's printed and distributed. As a fact reference it is rather thin and incomplete.
Review of 5th ed (1990): This hefty book (over 1,000 pages) is handy if you need to get in contact with Indians or Indian organizations in the United States and Canada. It is more of a Native indeex than an encyclopedia, but the nice thing about this book is that it is reasonably up to date and accurate. It lists addresses and phone numbers for reservations, tribal councils, Indian organizations, museums, libraries, and periodicals; it even has a who's who and a short bibliography. Reviewed by Alexander Ewen, Native Nations Magazine, June/July 1991
CHRONOLOGY OF NATIVE NORTH AMERICAN HISTORY; ed. Duane Champagne, Gale Research Inc., 835 Penobscot Bldg., Detroit, MI 48224, (800) 877-GALE (4253), 574 pages, 170 illustrations. $59.95.
Ten chapters chronologically arranged, each written by a leading scholar. most of them Natives. Includes excerpts from Native speeches and important historical documents. This comprehensive reference chronicles Native existence before and after the Europeans came, covering issues and events affecting indigenous peoples of the U.S. and Canada. There are tribal chronologies, and a keyword index. Its design is to provide guides and indexes so readers seeking info on important people and events can quickly find them using a variety of location tools. Its main focus is events of recent history--late 19th and 20th centuries. Though there is some overlap with the Gale Almanac, this book's focus on more recent political events treated in detail makes it supplementary to, not a duplication of the longer reference work. Reviewd by Paula Giese
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF NATIVE AMERICA by Trudy Griffin-Pierce. Viking Children's Books, 375 Hudson St., N.Y., NY 10014, (212) 366-2000, (212) 366-2666 FAX. Illustrated, index, maps, list of resources, further readings. 192 pp., $25.99 cloth. 0-670-85104-3
Indian tribes are scattered all across the United States and Canada, and each one, though they share many traits and customs, is distinct. Griffin-Pierce's new reference highlights these individual characteristics while providing a coherent overview of Indian life in North America. Divided into seven cultural and geographical sections, each containing a history, language map, descriptions of specific tribes, and several sidebars that focus on special celebrations, notable leaders, or a particular issue. Includes a section on Canadian Indians. Highly recommended for public and school libraries. Grade: A-. Reviewed by Steve Brock
ATLAS OF THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN, Carl Waldman and Molly Braun-Waldman, Facts On File Publications, 460 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016; 800-4443-8323, and Oxford, England, 1985. 9 x 12 hardbound, $35. 276 pp, index, list of U.S. and state recognized tribes and Canadian recognized Bands, chronology of historical events (U.S. and Canadian).0-87196-850-9
This is the Atlas every school (college and university) library should have. Most classroom teachers and all who asssume the resonsibility of any kind of Native American studies should have it. Although it has a good deal of Canadian material and maps, I am less certain how well it compares to Native atlas sources that might be available from Canadian publishers, lacking such comparisons, I can still say it is a fine source for those educators who wish to give an indignous overview perspective.
As to be expected in an atlas, maps are the heart of the visual presentations of data. These maps are black outlines and hatchings, most often on brownish colored ground. All except for a few big 2-page spreads will photocopy all right for class handouts (though white backgrounds would have been preferable). They are well labeled. Braun, a former real-property cartographer, has followed (and used many of the maps from) the classic renditions of Massey and Driver, to present physiographic features and cultural technologies of the pre-contact cultures. (The Massey-Driver maps are the only ones that are credited to a source, though I recognized sources for most of the others.) She reproduces only a few old maps, and those mostly for illustration. The analytic maps are clear, accurate outlines, and include (for the U.S.) present-day reservations, land claims (U.S. claims commission), cessions, and many maps summarizing historical and cultural data. For Canada, maps show all treaties in outline, but for present-day settlements, there is only the INAC/DIAND mess of some 3,000 specks, without even the numbers that correlate these with some 600 bands. Canadian Reserve maps are still wanting.
In addition to maps and many black-and-white illustrations, a text divided into 7 chapters gives coherence to the histories and cultures. Chapter 1 covers very ancient times, prehistoric and (in the Beringia theory) conbtroversial among some of today's Natives who want to reject all migration theories in favor of cultural-religious accounts of tribal origins. This section is marred by uncritical acceptance of "Sandia man" now widely (and with many good reasons) regarded as an academic hoax. Ancient Civilizations covers those of Meso America, the southwest, and the Adena-Hopewell-Mississippian mound builders. Missing: Inuit-circumpolar. Chapter 3 is pre-contact culture areas, which examines lifeways, population density (noting the controversy there), and how art, technology, transportation, shelter, etc. grew in relation to the physical conditions of the various areas. Chapter 4 deals with early contacts, primarily in North America, concentrating on the fur trade. (Mexico and cultures south are abandoned at this point.) Chapter 5 deals with Indian wars, from the Powhattan wars in what's now the U.S. through the Riel rebellions in late 19th-century Canada. Land cessions are covered in chapter 6. Chapter 7 covers concemporary Indian peoples in the U.S. and Canada, and includes interesting map-based analyses of Indian activism, that unfortunately omit the long struggle of Taos pueblo, and the effects of th Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. A 50-page appendix gives a brief chornology of important events, listings of tribs and bands of the U.S. and Canada with both historic and contemporary locations, a listing of places with Native names (U.S. and Canada), and a listing of museums and archaeological sites in both countries. A short (2-page) bibliography and an inadequate index complete the work, whose usefulness would have been greatly improved by a "table of descriptions" for all the maps, as well as sources for all of them.
Maps are catregorized by the authors as Historical, Military, Cultural, Contmporary, and Period, but the physiographic maps of Driver and Massey form a category themselves, and the maps are not tabulated or described except in their captions. Waldeman, the principal author, is former archivist for the New York State Historical Association, an amateur historian, and his wife is more an illustrator than a professional cartographer. Nonetheless, until a fully-professional native atlas is done -- a project which requires a large team of highly skilled workers and expensive technology -- this is the best one available. An essential purchase for all Native schools and libraries. If this book is reprinted, the publisher should screen down the background color of all maps to a much paler tan or omit color altogethr, so maps can be photocopied for handouts without obscuring the small type. Reviewed by Paula Giese
U.S. RESERVATIONS MAP, by George Russell, $12 from AISES. This is an essential for classrooms in all Native schools, and useful for any college U.S. Native Studies classroom. But it is not ideal. I would like to see a very large (4 x 6') version on a wall-roller, of plastic-coated material that can be marked and wiped -- the sort of U.S. or city maps that are invaluable for any kind of geography instruction. In fact I would like to see a pull-down series of such maps, which (in comparison with others used for geography) might sell for about $200. Classroom analytic indigenous maps should cover Canada, U.S. and Meso-American indigenous, and South America as well. At the present time, this map is better than anything you can get from the BIA. Something comparable for Canada, with actual reserve boundaries shown, not just land allottment speckles, is needed. For the time being, the Russell map is essential for U.S. native peoples and schools, usually supplemented with maps of their own rez prepared for Tribal Councils. It is these local detailed maps I want to see collected into a professional-quality Atlas. Paula Giese
ATLAS OF INDIANS OF NORTH AMERICA by Gilbert Legay. Barron's Educational Services, Inc., 250 Wireless Bl., Hauppage, NY 11788, (800) 645-3476, FAX: (516) 434-3723. Illustrated, index, maps. 95 pp., $16.95 cloth. 0-8120-6515-8
The rich diversity of over 200 Indian tribes is presented by Legay, who portrays each tribe in its original environment and not where it was relocated. Divided by geographical area, the following information is provided for each tribe: etymology of tribal name, language spoken, tribal customs, and brief history. Also included are illustrations of tribal clothing and decoration. A solid reference for schools and libraries. Grade: B+. Reviewed by Steve Brock
A second Look: This atlas is inferior in every way to the Waldeman-Braun FoF Atlas reviewed above. It is suitable only for elementary school use, if any, and in fact Waldeman-Braun's maps are better for elementary teacher classroom use. Although this one is only half the price, it contains less than 1/4 th of the content, and that is sloppily done, and in all ways inferior. The only excuse for getting it would be that $17 is cheaper than $35, but that's $17 badly spent. Get the one from Facts on File. Paula Giese
STATISTICAL RECORD OF NATIVE NORTH AMERICANS, edited by Marlita A. Reddy. Gale Research Inc., 835 Penobscot Bldg., Detroit, MI 48224, (800) 877-GALE (4253). Keyword index, list of sources. 1661 pp., $89.50 cloth. 0-8103-8963-0, First edition.
Statistical Record of Native North Americans: 1500 pages, $105. 2nd edition, late 1995, data has been updated by 1990 census and other materials. This presents current and historical statistical data of all types on indigenous peoples of the U.S. and Canada. Historical data includes population estimates, migrations, removals, epidemics, demographics. Current coverage encompasses individual tribes, families of tribes, and native groups as a whole, including stats on population demographics, land ownership and use, economy, social conditions, education, literacy, environment, legal matters, and more. Data is presented in tabular and graphic form, 1000 charts and tables, 200 tribes covered. 2nd edition rviewed by: Paula Giese
Prior to the publication of this book (1st edition), there was a large gap in statistical information on Native Americans. For example, a few years ago, my wife was attempting to compile information on voting registration and participation in tribal elections. Several tribes responded that they didn't keep statistics on elections, other than determining who won.
This book fills that gap. The "Statistical Record" is a comprehensive encyclopedia of tables containing the latest information on Native Americans in the United States and Canada in the following areas:- History
- The Family
- Culture and Tradition
- Health and Health Care
- Social and Economic Conditions
- Business and Industry
- Land and Water Management
- Law and Law Enforcement
Many of the entries tell powerful stories. Several tables in the Health chapter point to deplorable conditions at Indian Health Service hospitals that take more than half an hour to get to for almost one-fourth of the population. Some of the statistics, though, seem doubtful, especially the very low total U.S. Native American population estimate of 1,959,000 people. I've seen several estimates that are three times as high.
Altogether, this is a well-presented treasure chest of essential data for academic and, more importantly, governmental researchers. It may take years to interpret all the information, but improvements in the lives of Native Americans won't come about unless enough information is gathered. This volume goes a long way in that direction, and it is highly recommended. Reviewed by: Steve Brock
NOTABLE NATIVE AMERICANS, edited by Duane Champagne; Gale Research Inc., 835 Penobscot Bldg., Detroit, MI 48224, (800) 877-GALE (4253). 495 pages, $65
Published in 1995 so it's quite up-to-date, mined from Gale's big Almanac.. There are 265 biographical articles--many with pictures--of indigenous men and women of the past and present who have made major contributions--artistic, literary, political--to indigenous people's lives or are otherwise historically notable. Individual entries range from 1-3 pages. Occupational, Tribal, and Subject indexes (as well as a standard name index) help readers locate persons of importance in several different ways. This appears to be a somewhat rewritten excerpt from Gale's big Almanac. Reviewed by: Paula Giese
INDIAN LIVES: ESSAYS ON NINETEENTH- AND TWENTIETH-CENTURY NATIVE AMERICAN LEADERS, edited by L. G. Moses and Raymond Wilson. University of New Mexico Press, 1720 Lomas Blvd. N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87131-1591, (505) 277-2346, (505) 277-9270 FAX. Illustrated,index, notes, essay on sources. 237 pp., $13.95 paper. 0-8263-0815-5.
Originally published in 1985, this new printing contains biographies of eight Indian leaders (Maris Bryant Pierce, Nampeyo, Dr.Susan LaFlesche Picotte, Henry Chee Dodge, Charles Curtis, Luther Standing Bear, Minnie Kellogg, and Peterson Zah) who attracted notice for their outstanding efforts on behalf of their tribes. Many of those portrayed here were not born into tribes, but used, as did Charles Curtis, the Indianness they possessed to improve the lives of those they represented. New to this edition is additional information on the life of Peterson Zah. Highly recommended. Reviewed by Steve Brock
NATIVE AMERICANS INFORMATION DIRECTORY, Gale Research Inc., 835 Penobscot Bldg., Detroit, MI 48224, (800) 877-GALE (4253). 371 pages, $85.
Published in 1992 so it's only current as of about 1989 but that's more recent than other references of this type. Covers 4500 Indian organizations, agencies, institutions, programs, services (this part is not very useful any more), and publications. Northern American Indians (including Canadian), Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiians. Entries listed within nationality sections are arranged in categorieds by type of information. Descriptive entries provide complete contact data, although individual contact names will mostly no longer be correct, and address/phones will be correct only for those organizations/agencies/programs which still exist. Because of political changes, many programs no longer do. There are name and keyword indexes, as well as the "national and type" general arrangement of the info. This is the sort of thing that should be on disk, and updated every year. Reviewed by: Paula Giese
NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN LANDMARKS: A TRAVELER'S GUIDE, George Cantor. Visible Ink Press, 835 Penobscot Building, Detroit, MI 48226. Illustrated, index, glossary, maps, bibliography, timeline. 409 pp., $34.95 cloth. 0-8103-8916-9
Reservations, pueblos, monuments, museums and cultural centers, petroglyphs and ruins, galleries, powwows, battle and celebration memorials, all come together in this combination of history and travel guide.
Cantor has assembled 340 descriptions of locations of importance to Native Americans in 45 states and Canada. Most citations contain a detailed history, a description of what can be observed, the hours of operation, and if there is an admission. In the forward, Susan Harjo answers questions that all should know, such as "Do Indians still live in tipis?" or "Am I welcome in Indian Country?" The answer to the latter is: "Are you welcome in your house? You live in Indian Country." The book is extremely easy to use, and is essential for anyone traveling to (or through) Indian Country. Cantor writes as if he has visited each site personally. Highly recommended. Reviewed by: Steve Brock
A Second Look:It's subtitled A Traveller's Guide, and is conveniently organized by region, with photos and detailed maps. Also contains practical travel and lodging info, glossary, timeline, and general index that lets you search for sites by criteria other than where it is. There's a hardcover version (it's identical, unlike some of the other Gale/Visible Ink pairs, the paperback is not an excerpt) $45 for libraries. Reviewed by: Paula Giese
INDIAN AMERICA: A TRAVELER'S COMPANION by Eagle Walking Turtle. John Muir Publications, P.O. Box 613, Santa Fe, NM 87504, (800) 888-7504, (505) 988-1680 FAX. Illustrated, maps, index, glossary, bibliography, three appendices. 460 pp., $18.95 paper. 1-56261-110-0.
Eagle Walking Turtle has assembled a guide that outlines a multitude of places to visit Indian tribes, but allows the traveler little cultural comprehension. There's a bit of history in each of the sections of the book (west, southwest, northwest, great plains, etc.), but not nearly enough to help the visitor understand what they are observing. A typical description provides information on the location, ceremony\powwow dates, arts and crafts, and a short characterization. Much information hasn't been updated. For example, the entry for the Ute Mountain Ute tribe doesn't include the opening of the Sky Ute casino. Appendices provide data on the locations of Alaska tribes and the dates of powwows and ceremonies. Recommended only if the buyer also purchases additional background information Reviewed by Steve Brock
NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN TRAVEL GUIDE, 5th EDITION, Ralph and Lisa Shanks. Paper 8 x 11 290 pages, black and white photos, maps $18
Described as "Good, sensitive, complete US and Canada" (by AISES). No review.
Tiller's Guide to Indian Country, Veronica Tiller, ed. Cloth, 8 x 11, 700 pages, black and whit illustrations. $60
Economic profiles of American Indian reservations compiled from census and other statistical data. A guide for invstors and hustlers rather than a travel or cultural guide. No review.
NATIVE NORTH AMERICAN LITERATURE, 1st Ed, , Gale Research Inc., 835 Penobscot Bldg., Detroit, MI 48224, (800) 877-GALE (4253). 1994 706 pp. $99, ISBN 0-8103-9898-2
Two sections of this monster literature reference work. The first is oral tradition, essays about speeches, narrative autobiographies, and myths, legends, songs. The second half is Native writers -- U.S. and Canadian -- of the 20th century, and includs biographical data, critical appraisals excerpted from books and literary reviews, a list of more sources and interviews with many of the writers. 35 modern writers are included: Lame Deer, Joseph Bruchac, Michael Dorris, Louise Erdrich, Linda Honga, M. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko and others. The 20th-century writers were chosen to provide a range of cultural, historical, political, spiritual and artistic perspectives. For each author, there's a complete list of publications, a short bio, and often a photo. Reviewd by Paula Giese
Smoke Rising, Visible Ink Press, 1995, 440 pages, $17.95. The second half of the monster hardcover is available as a paperback, from Gale's paperback arm, covering all 35 20th-century Native writers at a reasonable price for students in survey courses, or teacher reference. Reviewed by Paula Giese
WHO WAS WHO IN NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY, Carl Waldman. Facts On File Publications, 460 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016; 800-4443-8323, and Oxford, England, 1990. (Grades 6-adult).
This is a reference work that is more properly a who's who of Indian-white history - i.e. it doesn't include pre-Columbian people, giving the tired impression that Indian history doesn't begin until 1492, and it only includes people who were significant because of their interactions with white people, not those who are important to their own people. Also, the listings stop with 1900, relegating Indians to the remote past once again. Nevertheless, useful for what it does include, and cross references are very good. Reviewed by Lisa Mitten and Naomi Caldwell-Wood
AMERICAN INDIAN LAW DESKBOOK, Nicholas J. Spaeth, chair of the editing committee, Conference of Western Attorneys General; University Press of Colorado, P.O. Box 849, Niwot, CO 80544, (303) 530-5337, (303) 530-5306 FAX. Index, bibliography, table of statutes and codes, table of cases. 484 pp., $49.95 cloth. 0-87081-269-6
While not meant to replace the voluminous Federal Indian Law by Getches and Wilkinson, this guide is a welcome aid for those who need a quick secondary reference to laws, cases, and essays on the background of our changing relations with the tribes of Indian Country. A collaborative effort of the Attorney General's offices of ten western states, the deskbook outlines historical and current developments in the areas of land use and rights, criminal law, civil rights, water rights, hunting and fishing regulations, environmental regulation, taxation, gaming, child welfare, and other cooperative agreements. While not the definitive treatise on the subject, this will be, nonetheless, a tremendously helpful document for students and policymakers. A highly recommended text for classes on Native American policy. Reviewed by Steve Brock
A CONCISE DICTIONARY OF MINNESOTA OJIBWE by John D. Nichols and Earl Nyholm. University of Minnesota Press, 111 Third Avenue South, Suite 290, Minneapolis, MN 55401-2520, (800) 388-3863, FAX: (612) 626-7313. Orders for University of Minnesota Press books may be placed via Internet e-mail at . 1995, llustrat- ed. 316 pp., $9.95 paper. 0-8166-2428-3
Ojibwe is spoken by the Anishinabe (also known as Chippewa) of the upper Midwest and central and eastern Canada. In this volume (an expanded and revised version of "Ojibwewi-Ikidowinan: An Ojibwe Word Resource Book" published in 1979), more than 7,000 words of Minnesota Ojibwe, a local dialect spoken in central and northern Minnesota, are presented in both Ojibwe-English and English-Ojibwe formats, in a standardized orthography. This is an interim publication (a reference dictionary with more than 25,000 words is being prepared), of use to all who wish to become conversant in Anishinaabemowin, and the price listed above is not a typographical error. Grade: A. Reviewed by Steve Brock
A second Look: Actually, the Mille Lacs tribe, who financed the publication, and whose members -- especially elder Maude Kegg -- contributed so much of the info, maintain a computrized database of more than 25,000 words. Th project has been gathering words since publishing th smaller An Ojibwe Resourc Word Book in 1979. Thew bit database is being used to compile a much bigger refernce dictionary. There are only 5,000 words in the concise dictionary, but they have been chosen quite wisely. As the editors point out, because of the structure of Ojibwe, the number of words from any stem can ve very large. Just the inflcted forms of ganawaabam- ("looks at someone") numbers over a thousand inflected forms -- many of which don't seem to resemble or be spelled in any recognizably similar way. Since Anishinaabemowin is an agglutinative language, still more words are made by combining fragments of stems, and those may not be easy to recogniz either. Thus although this dictionary is an essential tool for students of the language, it is quite hopeless to try to use it until you have mastered some grammar, and gained a feeling for how it works. I wish that the authors had placd in the preface sample conjugations of all the different verb types, for instance, and had coded their ntries for verb stems with that info also. I don't think you'll get too far self-teaching yourself a language so different from European forms, but if you wish to try there are some teaching books and tapes in the Audio Visual section here. The concise word book is recommended for all students and all teachers of Anishinaabemowin. Here's hoping an equally good grammar will be forthcoming, and that the reference dictionary will also be subsidized. I think many schools, teachers, and individuals would also be interested in buying the database file in some common format for both Macs and PC's, such as Filemaker. Reviewed by Paula Giese
THROUGH INDIAN EYES: THE NATIVE EXPERIENCE IN BOOKS FOR CHILDREN, Ed. Beverly Slapin and Doris Seale, New Society Publishers, 4527 Springfield Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143, 800-333-9093; send $3 plus price of book for mail orders. 3rd edition, 1992, 312 pages, reviews, articles, lists, bibliographies, index, $24.95 paper, $49.95 hardcover. 0-86571-213-1; Can 1--55092-165-7
The authors, ona a children's librarian who is Santee Dakota-Cree, the other a long-time activist author of several anti-bias bibliographies of children's books, were part of a Berkeley group of Native artists, writers and educators called Oyate formed in the 80's to combat racism in education. Thjis book pulls together a number of short articles -- some reprinted from sources that would be impossible to find about stereotyping and inaccuracies about Native people in children's books and education generally (school Thanksgivings come in for knocks from Modoc Michael Dorris for example). There are 124 pages of book reviews -- seemingly mostly by the authors -- and a 32-page checklist of how to recognize good and bad children's books on Native Americans (with examples of comparative good and bad for all characteristics) which is available separately for $8. Bibliographies are still somewhat useful, though compiled in 1972, where certain classics (mostly not children's books) are included. But the list of resources -- groups, small publishers, Indian associations -- is almost entirely outdated and useless, should be updated in the next edition with new organizations and contacts. See SYMBOLS page for Oyate's address for workshops, and their catalog of Native books. Reviewed by Paula Giese
NATIVE AMERICAN AUTHORS DISTRIBUTION PROJECT, The Greenfield Review Press, 2 Middle Grove Road, P.O. Box 308, Greenfield Center, NY 12833 (tel. 518-583-1440 or 518-584-1728; fax 518-583-9741). 60 page 1995 catalog of Native North American writers.
Distributes only work written or co-authored by Native American authors, now more than 600 titles from more than 90 different publishers, mostly books, but also including audio tapes and current issues (and some back issues) of these periodicals: Akwe:kon Journal ($5), The Eagle ($2), The Four Directions ($6), Gatherings 3 ($15), News From Indian Country ($1), News From Native California ($4.50), Turtle Quarterly ($4), Wicazo Sa Review ($10), and the new Wordcraft Circle quarterly journal, Wordtrails ($10); New 1995 60-page catalog is $1.00 and includes capsule summaries of each book and three indexes, one by title, one by author (with tribal affiliation), and one by tribe. All books and periodicals and audio tapes from all of the different publishers in the catalog can be ordered directly from the Greenfield Review Press; postage and handling $2 for 1-2 items, and .50 for each additional item (overseas orders, $5 for 1-2 items, and $1 for each additional item); NY residents add 7% sales tax; no credit card payments can be accepted. Reviewed by . PG Note: This is a project of Abenaki author and storyteller Joseph Bruchac and family.
RED MAN'S LAND WHITE MAN'S LAW (2nd edition) by Wilcomb E. Washburn. University of Oklahoma Press, 1005 Asp Ave., Norman, OK 73019, (800) 627-7377, (405) 325-5000 FAX. Index, notes. 320 pp., $14.95 paper. 0-8061-2740-6
The University of Oklahoma Press has reissued Washburn's history of the legal status of Indian land in the face of U.S. imperialism, originally published in 1971, with a new preface and afterword that reflect the growing importance of tribal sovereignty and autonomy. A well-researched and presented analysis. Grade: A-. Reviewed by Steve Brock
THE BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY OF NATIVE AMERICAN PAINTERS by Patrick J. Lester. SIR Publications, P.O. Box 700156, Tulsa, OK 74170, distributed by the University of Oklahoma Press, 1005 Asp Ave., Norman, OK 73019, (800) 627-7377, (405) 325-5000 FAX. Tribal index, bibliography. 719 pp., $49.95 cloth. 0-8061-9936-9
A revised and expanded edition of American Indian Painters: A Biographical Directory (1968), this reference contains over 3,000 concise biographies of painters of American Indian ancestry from 1800 to the present. Each entry contains the artist's tribal affiliation and tribal name, dates of birth and death, residence, education, publications, exhibits, commissions, collections, and awards and honors, as well as anecdotal information and excerpts from reviews and critiques. While the information provided is valuable to those seeking dates, places of exhibit, etc., the book provides little feeling for the artist as a person. Grade: B-. Reviewed by Steve Brock
FROM ABENAKI TO ZUNI: A DICTIONARY OF NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES, by Evelyn Wolfson, illustrated by William Sauts Bock, Walker and Comalny, New York: 1988. Paperback, 1995. 215 pages, index, bibliography, appendix tribal listing. $9.95 paperback. 0-8027-7445-8
This reference work for children and young people has been a good seller and favorably reviewed in non-Indian periodicals on children's books. It is a weapon of cultural genocide, whose principal disgrace is not due to its ignorant and stupid author, but to Harvard professor Jeffrey Brain, of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, who reviewed the whole thing and writes a foreward commending the author's historical accuracy. Read long review of this incredibly awful children's reference work. Usually I just say don't waste your money; in this case, I say get it out of your school library and classrooms. Paula Giese
Webmistress --Paula Giese.Text and graphics copyright 1996
CREDITS: The eagle started life as a real golden eagle photographed as he was being released from the Minnesota Raptor Center, much worked over with graphics utilities for the iridescent abalone-shell wing effect.
Last Updated: Saturday, April 20, 1996 - 6:47:19 AM