Thursday, January 24, 2013

Native American History and Culture

EDITOR'S NOTE: Because there are literally thousands of books on Native American History available through libraries and stores, choosing the best ones can be difficult. In this article we outline history books that we feel are helpful for both individuals and teachers. A brief description will help you know if a particular book will be useful to you. Each book title links to a book product on Amazon, in case you would like to read more about the book, and/or make a purchase.

Black Elk Speaks (Play)
Black Elk Speaks Nicholas Black Elk
From the Publisher: Named one of the ten best spiritual books of the twentieth century by Philip Zaleski of Harper San Francisco, Black Elk Speaks is the acclaimed story of Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950) and his people during the momentous, twilight years of the nineteenth century. Black Elk grew up in a time when white settlers were invading the Lakota homeland, decimating buffalo herds and threatening to extinguish the Lakotas' way of life. Black Elk and other Lakotas fought back, a dogged resistance that resulted in a remarkable victory at the Little Bighorn and an unspeakable tragedy at Wounded Knee.

Beautifully told through the celebrated poet and writer John G. Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks offers much more than a life story. Black Elk's profound and arresting religious visions of the unity of humanity and the world around him have transformed his account into a venerated spiritual classic. Whether appreciated as a collaborative autobiography, a history of a Native American nation, or an enduring spiritual testament for all humankind, Black Elk Speaks is unforgettable. 

Many Tender Ties: Women in Fur-Trade Society, 1670-1870
Many Tender Ties Women in Fur Trade Society
Beginning with the founding of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1670, the fur trade dominated the development of the Canadian West. In this book the fur trade is examined not {only} as an economic activity, but as a social and cultural complex that continued for nearly two centuries. The author traces the development of a mutual economic dependency between Indian and European traders that evolved into a significant cultural exchange as well. Marriages of fur traders to Indian women created bonds that helped advance trade relations (Publisher's note). The author also considers the role of white women in this society. Bibliography. Index

Indians in the Fur Trade: Their Roles as Trappers, Hunters, and Middlemen in the Lands Southwest of Hudson Bay, 1660-1870
Indians in the Fur Trade Their Roles as Trappers Hunters and Middlemen
Indians in the Fur Trade makes extensive use of previously unpublished Hudson's Bay Company archival materials and other available data to reconstruct the cultural geography of the West at the time of early contact, illustrating many of the rapid cultural transformations with maps and diagrams. Now with a new introduction and an update on sources, it will continue to be of great use to students and scholars of Native and Canadian as well as United States history.