Native American Worldviews: An Introduction

Feb 15th, 2005 | By | Category: 16-3: Indigenizing Education, Media Reviews

by Jerry H. Gill.
Humanity Books (2002), Amherst, NY. 293 Pages
ISBN 1-591-02051-4
Paperback $25

Review by Marilyn Russell, Ph.D.

This book is a survey of Native American worldviews written by a philosopher of religion who emphasizes the value and broad contours of Native American belief systems. The author uses the insights and scholarship of numerous researchers, anthropologists, and specialists to produce an outstanding and readable book.

The book covers such topics as origin stories, ceremonies and customs, seasons and cycles of life, clan and kinship systems, reservation systems, assimilation and resistance, and prospects for the future. It also includes maps of North American geological regions, Native American cultural areas, and language families in North America. An appendix includes a cross section of early accounts of Native American people’s basic beliefs. This is an excellent source for classroom use.

Dr. Marilyn Russell (Minnesota Chippewa) is the director of library programs at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM.

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