Books to Enhance Knowledge of Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Ways of Living

If you are interested in expanding some of your knowledge of indigenous ways of knowing, Indigenous methodologies, and the sacred stories that influence much of the culture, please take a look at these suggested texts to read. This list is not comprehensive of the many texts available, but the list will be added to over time.

(in no particular order)

1. "The Sacred Tree" from Lane and Bopp in collaboration with Elders.  Multiple holdings available.

2. "Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, and contexts" by Margaret Kovach.  Multiple holdings available.

3. "Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples" by Linda Tuhiwai Smith.  Multiple holdings available.

4. "Sacred Legends (of the Sandy Lake Cree)" by Carl Ray and James R. Stevens. Multiple holdings available.

5. "The Mishomis Book" by Benton Banai. Multiple holdings available.

 

Summaries

1. "The Sacred Tree was created by the Four Worlds Development Project, a native American inter-tribal group, as a handbook of Native Spirituality for indigenous peoples all over the Americas and the world. Through the guidance of the tribal elders, native values and traditions are being taught as the primary key to unlocking the force that will move native peoples on the path of their own development. The elders have prophesied that by returning to traditional values, native societies can be transformed. This transformation would then have a healing effect on our entire planet. This handbook is being used by the Four Worlds Development Project to eliminate widespread drug and alcohol abuse in tribal communities. It is now being shared for the first time with all members of the human family desiring personal growth."

2. "What are Indigenous research methodologies, and how do they unfold? Indigenous methodologies flow from tribal knowledge, and while they are allied with several western qualitative approaches, they remain distinct. These are the focal considerations of Margaret Kovach's study, which offers guidance to those conducting research in the academy using Indigenous methodologies. Kovach includes topics such as Indigenous epistemologies, decolonizing theory, story as method, situating self and culture, Indigenous methods, protocol, meaning-making, and ethics. In exploring these elements, the book interweaves perspectives from six Indigenous researchers who share their stories, and also includes excerpts from the author's own journey into Indigenous methodologies. Indigenous Methodologies is an innovative and important contribution to the emergent discourse on Indigenous research approaches and will be of use to graduate students, professors, and community-based researchers of all backgrounds - both within the academy and beyond."

3. "To the colonized, the term 'research' is conflated with European colonialism; the ways in which academic research has been implicated in the throes of imperialism remains a painful memory. This essential volume explores intersections of imperialism and research - specifically, the ways in which imperialism is embedded in disciplines of knowledge and tradition as 'regimes of truth.' Concepts such as 'discovery' and 'claiming' are discussed and an argument presented that the decolonization of research methods will help to reclaim control over indigenous ways of knowing and being.
Now in its eagerly awaited second edition, this bestselling book has been substantially revised, with new case-studies and examples and important additions on new indigenous literature, the role of research in indigenous struggles for social justice, which brings this essential volume urgently up-to-date."

4. "Sacred Legends is a reprint of the original 1971 McClelland and Stewart text published under the title, Sacred Legends of the Sandy Lake Cree . . . The stories are organized around themes and key culture heroes. Many of the stories revolve around the humourous exploits of the supernatural trickster, Wee-sa-kay-jac. There are legends about the Rolling Head, the Thunderbirds, and Ja-ka-baysh. The authors include five stories about Windigo, as well as a collection of predictions and customs. This revised edition contains an introduction to the Sandy Lake community, a biographical sketch of Carl Ray, and a glossary of Cree terms used throughout the stories. Many of the stories contain mature themes more suited to senior high school and post-secondary level readers."

5."Recounts the legends, customs, and history of the Ojibway Indians of Wisconsin" (but has similarities in content and context to those around the area of Thunder Bay).