Always A People: Oral Histories of Contemporary Woodland Indians
Contained within the cover of this impressive volume are the stories of 41 contemporary Woodland elders who represent 17 tribes and 11 nations. The stories of these individuals fall together as pieces in a puzzle to flesh out a picture of the history and ongoing struggle for identity of Native Americans who were the "first to feel the impact of European expansion."...This portrait of endurance contains vital lessons of survival and of the importance of culture, land and language to identity. To tribes such as the Hopi, Navajo and Haasupai, this volume serves not only as a roadmap to survival, but a testimony to the value of those things held sacred by all people-a common identity, a common language, and cultural continuity. S. J. Wilson, The Navajo Hopi Observer Online 11-11-97.
What a priceless treasure this book is! I have a professional working knowledge of 16 of the 41 subjects and see some of them regularly, but seldom does the occasion arise that these topics are covered. ...How poignant it is to note how many of the subjects have gone on since interviewed, yet their words live on. Karen Alexander, American Indain Libraries Newsletter, Winter 1998.
The heartening message of this book becomes apparent as the reader gets to know these individuals one by one. Even during the "dead time" of their cultural suppression, these people were Indians and it was important to them that they were...A disheartening thing is that so many of the subjects of this book are already gone....They are national treasures, full of wisdom, full of unsung honors. To those of us who personally know some of these people, their oral biograhies are poignantly true to life; here they are just as we have heard them and seen them. The book is full of truth. ...And, true to the concepts of the Original People, or Anishnabe, the makers of this book are giving back what they have taken: Profits from the book will be returned to the People though a Woodland Nations Scholarship...If these natives have one great lesson to give to their conquerors, it is that you have to give back as much as you take, or the world can't go on. James Alexander Thom, Bloomington (IN) Herald-Times, Oct. 1997.
Indiana University Press, 1997. iupress.indiana.edu. 1-800-842-6796.