Thursday, September 06, 2007

LEWIS AND CLARK THROUGH INDIAN EYES: NINE INDIAN WRITERS ON THE LEGACY OF THE EXPEDITION




It is easier to find a children's book that looks at the Lewis and Clark Expedition through the eyes of Seaman, the black lab who was on the expedition, than it is to find books about it from the perspective of Native peoples on whose lands Lewis and Clark journeyed.

Do you wonder if you read that paragraph right? Did you re-read it, just to make sure you understood it right?!

Sadly, that is precisely the case.

There is, however, a terrific book for older kids. Edited by Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., it is Lewis and Clark through Indian Eyes: Nine Indian Writers on the Legacy of the Expedition.

Published in 2006 by Vintage Books, the nine writers and their essays are:

Vine Deloria, Jr., "Frenchmen, Bears, and Sandbars"
Debra Magpie Earling, "What We See"
Mark Trahant, "Who's Your Daddy"
Bill Yellowtail, "Meriwether and Billy and the Indian Business"
Robert Conner, "Our People Have Always Been Here"
Gerard A. Baker, "Mandan and Hidatsa of the Upper Missouri"
Allen V. Pinkhorn, Sr., "We Ya Oo Yet Soyapo"
Robert and Richard Basch, "The Ceremony at Ne-ah-coxie"
N. Scott Momaday, "The Voices of Encounter"

Locating children and young adult books about Lewis and Clark from a Native perspective is, for me, an emerging project. I will be looking for them, reading them, and posting what I learn to this blog. Three I'm interested in studying are Bad River Boys, by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, and two books about Sacagawea. One is a picture book by Lise Erdrich; the other is a novel by Joseph Bruchac. If you know of others, please let me know!

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