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E. H. Butler Library
E. H. Butler Library
Native American Heritage Month
Health & Science
Native American Heritage Month
This guide highlights newer works contained in the Butler Library collection that focus on Native American heritage.
About This Guide
Databases and Journals
Children's Picture Books
Children's Middle-Grade & Young Adult Fiction
Health & Science
History of Native Americans in General
History of Specific Indigenous Nations
Language & Literature
Health & Science
Born to Run
Call Number: Stacks ; GV1061.23.M6 M33 2009
Publication Date: 2009-05-05
Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong. Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it. Their superhuman talent is matched by uncanny health and serenity, leaving the Tarahumara immune to the diseases and strife that plague modern existence. With the help of Caballo Blanco, a mysterious loner who lives among the tribe, the author was able not only to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara but also to find his own inner ultra-athlete, as he trained for the challenge of a lifetime: a fifty-mile race through the heart of Tarahumara country pitting the tribe against an odd band of Americans, including a star ultramarathoner, a beautiful young surfer, and a barefoot wonder. With a sharp wit and wild exuberance, McDougall takes us from the high-tech science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultrarunners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to the climactic race in the Copper Canyons. Born to Run is that rare book that will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that the secret to happiness is right at your feet, and that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.
Cherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs
Call Number: RA644.S6 K45 2015
Publication Date: 2015-04-08
How smallpox, or Variola, caused widespread devastation during the European colonization of the Americas is a well-known story. But as historian Paul Kelton informs us, that's precisely what it is: a convenient story. In Cherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs Kelton challenges the "virgin soil thesis," or the widely held belief that Natives' lack of immunities and their inept healers were responsible for their downfall. Eschewing the metaphors and hyperbole routinely associated with the impact of smallpox, he firmly shifts the focus to the root cause of indigenous suffering and depopulation--colonialism writ large; not disease. Kelton's account begins with the long, false dawn between 1518 and the mid-seventeenth century, when sporadic encounters with Europeans did little to bring Cherokees into the wider circulation of guns, goods, and germs that had begun to transform Native worlds. By the 1690s English-inspired slave raids had triggered a massive smallpox epidemic that struck the Cherokees for the first time. Through the eighteenth century, Cherokees repeatedly responded to real and threatened epidemics--and they did so effectively by drawing on their own medicine. Yet they also faced terribly destructive physical violence from the British during the Anglo-Cherokee War (1759-1761) and from American militias during the Revolutionary War. Having suffered much more from the scourge of war than from smallpox, the Cherokee population rebounded during the nineteenth century and, without abandoning Native medical practices and beliefs, Cherokees took part in the nascent global effort to eradicate Variola by embracing vaccination. A far more complex and nuanced history of Variola among American Indians emerges from these pages, one that privileges the lived experiences of the Cherokees over the story of their supposedly ill-equipped immune systems and counterproductive responses. Cherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs shows us how Europeans and their American descendants have obscured the past with the stories they left behind, and how these stories have perpetuated a simplistic understanding of colonialism.
Cosmology, Calendars, and Horizon-Based Astronomy in Ancient Mesoamerica
Anne S. Dowd (Editor); Susan Milbrath (Editor)
Call Number: Stacks ; F1435.3.C14 C68 2015
Publication Date: 2015-05-15
Cosmology, Calendars, and Horizon-Based Astronomy in Ancient Mesoamerica is an interdisciplinary tour de force that establishes the critical role astronomy played in the religious and civic lives of the ancient peoples of Mesoamerica. Providing extraordinary examples of how Precolumbian peoples merged ideas about the cosmos with those concerning calendar and astronomy, the volume showcases the value of detailed examinations of astronomical data for understanding ancient cultures. The volume is divided into three sections: investigations into Mesoamerican horizon-based astronomy, the cosmological principles expressed in Mesoamerican religious imagery and rituals related to astronomy, and the aspects of Mesoamerican calendars related to archaeoastronomy. It also provides cutting-edge research on diverse topics such as records of calendar and horizon-based astronomical observation (like the Dresden and Borgia codices), iconography of burial assemblages, architectural alignment studies, urban planning, and counting or measuring devices. Contributors--who are among the most respected in their fields-- explore new dimensions in Mesoamerican timekeeping and skywatching in the Olmec, Maya, Teotihuacano, Zapotec, and Aztec cultures. It will be of great interest to students and scholars of anthropology, archaeology, art history, and astronomy.
Food Sovereignty the Navajo Way
Charlotte J. Frisbie; Tall Tall Woman (Contribution by); Augusta Sandoval (Contribution by)
Call Number: Stacks ; E99.N3 F83 2018
Publication Date: 2018-04-15
2018 Southwest Books of the Year Around the world, indigenous peoples are returning to traditional foods produced by traditional methods of subsistence. The goal of controlling their own food systems, known as food sovereignty, is to reestablish healthy lifeways to combat contemporary diseases such as diabetes and obesity. This is the first book to focus on the dietary practices of the Navajos, from the earliest known times into the present, and relate them to the Navajo Nation's participation in the global food sovereignty movement. It documents the time-honored foods and recipes of a Navajo woman over almost a century, from the days when Navajos gathered or hunted almost everything they ate to a time when their diet was dominated by highly processed foods.
Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing indigenous landscapes through indigenous science
Call Number: Stacks ; GE195.9 .H47 2022
Publication Date: 2022-01-18
An Indigenous environmental scientist breaks down why western conservationism isn't working--and offers Indigenous models informed by case studies, personal stories, and family histories that center the voices of Latin American women and land protectors. Despite the undeniable fact that Indigenous communities are among the most affected by climate devastation, Indigenous science is nowhere to be found in mainstream environmental policy or discourse. And while holistic land, water, and forest management practices born from millennia of Indigenous knowledge systems have much to teach all of us, Indigenous science has long been ignored, otherized, or perceived as "soft"--the product of a systematic, centuries-long campaign of racism, colonialism, extractive capitalism, and delegitimization. Here, Jessica Hernandez--Maya Ch'orti' and Zapotec environmental scientist and founder of environmental agency Piña Soul--introduces and contextualizes Indigenous environmental knowledge and proposes a vision of land stewardship that heals rather than displaces, that generates rather than destroys. She breaks down the failures of western-defined conservatism and shares alternatives, citing the restoration work of urban Indigenous people in Seattle; her family's fight against ecoterrorism in Latin America; and holistic land management approaches of Indigenous groups across the continent. Through case studies, historical overviews, and stories that center the voices and lived experiences of Indigenous Latin American women and land protectors, Hernandez makes the case that if we're to recover the health of our planet--for everyone--we need to stop the eco-colonialism ravaging Indigenous lands and restore our relationship with Earth to one of harmony and respect.
Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas
Call Number: Stacks ; QH455 .R34 2022
Publication Date: 2022-02-08
From celebrated anthropologist Jennifer Raff comes the untold story--and fascinating mystery--of how humans migrated to the Americas. ORIGIN is the story of who the first peoples in the Americas were, how and why they made the crossing, how they dispersed south, and how they lived based on a new and powerful kind of evidence: their complete genomes. ORIGIN provides an overview of these new histories throughout North and South America, and a glimpse into how the tools of genetics reveal details about human history and evolution. 20,000 years ago, people crossed a great land bridge from Siberia into Western Alaska and then dispersed southward into what is now called the Americas. Until we venture out to other worlds, this remains the last time our species has populated an entirely new place, and this event has been a subject of deep fascination and controversy. No written records--and scant archaeological evidence--exist to tell us what happened or how it took place. Many different models have been proposed to explain how the Americas were peopled and what happened in the thousands of years that followed. A study of both past and present, ORIGIN explores how genetics is currently being used to construct narratives that profoundly impact Indigenous peoples of the Americas. It serves as a primer for anyone interested in how genetics has become entangled with identity in the way that society addresses the question "Who is indigenous?"
Plants Have So Much to Give Us, All We Have to Do Is Ask
Mary Siisip Geniusz; Wendy Makoons Geniusz (Editor); Annmarie Geniusz (Illustrator)
Call Number: Stacks ; E99.C6 G47 2015
Publication Date: 2015-06-22
Mary Siisip Geniusz has spent more than thirty years working with, living with, and using the Anishinaabe teachings, recipes, and botanical information she shares in Plants Have So Much to Give Us, All We Have to Do Is Ask. Geniusz gained much of the knowledge she writes about from her years as an oshkaabewis, a traditionally trained apprentice, and as friend to the late Keewaydinoquay, an Anishinaabe medicine woman from the Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan and a scholar, teacher, and practitioner in the field of native ethnobotany. Keewaydinoquay published little in her lifetime, yet Geniusz has carried on her legacy by making this body of knowledge accessible to a broader audience. Geniusz teaches the ways she was taught--through stories. Sharing the traditional stories she learned at Keewaydinoquay's side as well as stories from other American Indian traditions and her own experiences, Geniusz brings the plants to life with narratives that explain their uses, meaning, and history. Stories such as "Naanabozho and the Squeaky-Voice Plant" place the plants in cultural context and illustrate the belief in plants as cognizant beings. Covering a wide range of plants, from conifers to cattails to medicinal uses of yarrow, mullein, and dandelion, she explains how we can work with those beings to create food, simple medicines, and practical botanical tools. Plants Have So Much to Give Us, All We Have to Do Is Ask makes this botanical information useful to native and nonnative healers and educators and places it in the context of the Anishinaabe culture that developed the knowledge and practice.
Reproductive Justice: The politics of health care for Native American women
Call Number: Stacks ; RG121 .G93 2015
Publication Date: 2014-12-09
In Reproductive Justice, sociologist Barbara Gurr provides the first analysis of Native American women's reproductive healthcare and offers a sustained consideration of the movement for reproductive justice in the United States. The book examines the reproductive healthcare experiences on Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota Nation in South Dakota--where Gurr herself lived for more than a year. Gurr paints an insightful portrait of the Indian Health Service (IHS)--the federal agency tasked with providing culturally appropriate, adequate healthcare to Native Americans--shedding much-needed light on Native American women's efforts to obtain prenatal care, access to contraception, abortion services, and access to care after sexual assault. Reproductive Justice goes beyond this local story to look more broadly at how race, gender, sex, sexuality, class, and nation inform the ways in which the government understands reproductive healthcare and organizes the delivery of this care. It reveals why the basic experience of reproductive healthcare for most Americans is so different--and better--than for Native American women in general, and women in reservation communities particularly. Finally, Gurr outlines the strengths that these communities can bring to the creation of their own reproductive justice, and considers the role of IHS in fostering these strengths as it moves forward in partnership with Native nations. Reproductive Justice offers a respectful and informed analysis of the stories Native American women have to tell about their bodies, their lives, and their communities.
The Seven Circles
Chelsey Luger; Thosh Collins
Call Number: Stacks ; E98.M4 L84 2022
Publication Date: 2022-10-25
In this revolutionary self-help guide, two beloved Native American wellness activists offer wisdom for achieving spiritual, physical, and emotional wellbeing rooted in Indigenous ancestral knowledge. When wellness teachers and husband-wife duo Chelsey Luger and Thosh Collins founded their Indigenous wellness initiative, Well for Culture, they extended an invitation to all to honor their whole self through Native wellness philosophies and practices. In reclaiming this ancient wisdom for health and wellbeing--drawing from traditions spanning multiple tribes--they developed the Seven Circles, a holistic model for modern living rooted in timeless teachings from their ancestors. Luger and Collins have introduced this universally adaptable template for living well to Ivy league universities and corporations like Nike, Adidas, and Google, and now make it available to everyone in this wise guide. The Seven Circles model comprises interconnected circles that keep all aspects of our lives in balance, functioning in harmony with one another. They are: Food Movement Sleep Ceremony Sacred Space Land Community In The Seven Circles, Luger and Collins share intimate stories from their life journeys growing up in tribal communities, from the Indigenous tradition of staying active and spiritually centered through running and dance, to the universal Indigenous emphasis on a light-filled, minimalist home to create sacred space. Along the way, Luger and Collins invite readers to both adapt these teachings to their lives as well as do so without appropriating and erasing the original context, representing a critical new ethos for the wellness space. Each chapter closes with practical advice on how to engage with the teachings, as well as wisdom for keeping that particular circle in harmony with the others. With warmth and generosity--and 75 atmospheric photographs by Collins throughout--The Seven Circles teaches us how to connect with nature, with our community, and with ourselves, and to integrate ancient Indigenous philosophies of health and wellbeing into our own lives to find healing and balance.
Sounds of Tohi
Lisa J. Lefler; Thomas N. Belt; T.J. Holland (Foreword by); Pamela Duncan (Foreword by); Tom Hatley (Afterword by)
Publication Date: 2022-09-13
Dialogue between a medical anthropologist and a Cherokee linguist about health, well-being, and environmental issues Sounds of Tohi: Cherokee Health and Well-Being in Southern Appalachia is the result of almost two decades of work by medical anthropologist Lisa J. Lefler and Cherokee elder and traditionalist Thomas N. Belt. The narrative consists of a dialogue between them that displays traditional Indigenous knowledge as well as the importance of place for two people from cultures and histories that intersect in the mountains of Southern Appalachia. Together, Lefler and Belt decolonize thinking about health, well-being, and environmental issues through the language and experiences of people whose identity is inextricably linked to the mountains and landscape of western North Carolina. Lefler and Belt discuss several critical cultural concepts that explain the science of relationships with this world, with the spirit world, and with people. They explore tohi, the Cherokee concept of health, which offers a more pervasive understanding of relationships in life as balanced and moving forward in a good way. They converse about the importance of matrilineality, particularly in light of community healing, the epistemologies of Cherokee cosmography, and decolonizing counseling approaches. The discussions here offer a different way of approaching the issues that face Americans in this difficult time of division. Lefler and Belt share their urgency to take action against the wholesale exploitation of public lands and the shared environment, to work to perpetuate tribal languages, to preserve the science that can make a difference in how people treat one another, and to create more forums that are inclusive of Native and marginalized voices and that promote respect and appreciation of one another and the protection of sacred places. Throughout, they rely on the preservation of traditional knowledge, or Native science, via Native language to provide insight as to why people should recognize a connection to the land.
Steven Charleston (Contribution by)
Call Number: Lending ; E98.R3 C64 2023
Publication Date: 2023-07-11
I stand in the midst of creation's wheel And watch in wonder the quiet majesty of its turning. We are in the care of a love without limit or definition Under the protection of a love that never looks away. When the Spirit speaks to him in his daily prayers, Choctaw elder and spiritual explorer Steven Charleston takes a pen and writes down the messages. He then shares these thoughts with thousands on social media. In these musings, Charleston taps into the universal questions that draw us to prayer, no matter our spiritual background: Why am I here? Where do I belong? Where am I going? This stunning collection of more than two hundred meditations introduces us to the Spirit Wheel and the four directions that ground Native spirituality: tradition, kinship, vision, and balance. The life we inhabit together has been called many things by Indigenous people: the Spirit Wheel, the hoop of the nations, the great circle of existence, the medicine wheel. We are all on that ever-turning wheel, Charleston says--all of creation, people and animals, rocks and trees, the whole universe. Together we can turn toward the wisdom of our ancestors, kinship with all of Mother Earth's creatures, the vision of the Spirit, and mindful balance of life. We are all searching for belonging and a vision of the world that makes sense. We can meet those longings as we ponder the blessings of Spirit Wheel, in the breathtaking moments when insight becomes an invitation to wonder.
History of Native Americans in General >>
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