Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Our Review of the Week takes an interdisciplinary approach to issues concerning indigenous people in North America

The World of Indigenous North America

ed. by Robert Warrior Routledge, 2015
650p bibl index, 9780415879521 $250.00, 9780203122280

Warrior (Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), a highly respected Native scholar and writer, has gathered a “broadly imagined portrait” of Indigenous studies. This collected volume outlines some of the most important intellectual and material concerns driving current scholarship and emerging from tribal communities. The book is generally more accessible to undergraduates than the similarly guided Theorizing Native Studies (2014) from Audra Simpson and Andrea Smith, which embraces more theory and jargon. Warrior divides 28 chapters into seven parts covering traditional ecological knowledge, artistic productions, resource management, sovereignty, health, and more. In chapter 15, “A History of Books in Native North America,” Matt Cohen takes a nonintuitive topic and treats the many facets of Native engagements with books: as writers and producers, as subjects treated by non-Natives, and with various implications of literacy and culture. Chapter 22, “Maori,” exemplifies the volume’s conceptual and intellectual frame. Flouting the geography of the book’s own title, it forefronts dialectical developments and activisms in globalized Indigenous studies by attending to the Maori of New Zealand, who have been and will likely continue to be at the forefront of current struggles with Indigeneity and colonialism. A useful guide for undergraduates.

Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries.
Reviewer: N. B. Barnd, Oregon State University
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Anthropology
Choice Issue: Oct 2015