A collective biography of 11 Native Americans who have worked toward social justice, environmental reform and a return to ancestral ways.
In this, his fourth book in the Native Trailblazer series, Schilling has chosen examples from tribes across North America. He describes childhood and teen experiences in places ranging from a village north of the Arctic Circle to Canadian cities and reservations in the U.S. Southwest. In the process, he explains some important environmental issues, including oil extraction from tar sands, disposal of nuclear waste and coal mining, and actions ranging from the takeover of Alcatraz Island in 1969 to participation in international movements and documentary filmmaking today. Some names may be familiar to readers: Winona LaDuke was a Green Party vice-presidential candidate, and Klee Benally is lead vocalist and guitarist with Blackfire, a punk-rock group. Others profiled are Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Clayton Thomas-Muller, Ben Powless, Tom Goldtooth, Grace Thorpe, Sarah James, Enei Begaye and Evon Peter (who work as a team), and Teague Allston. All but Thorpe are still working. The author includes numerous quotations from his subjects, some directed at teen readers. Photographs and occasional sidebars break up the text.
Read straight through, the serviceable exposition may seem a bit repetitive, but the individual chapters provide excellent introductions to Native activists, useful for research and perhaps inspiring future campaigns. (glossary, resources, references) (Collective biography. 12-18)