| I buy and read lots of books. On Native Americans these are the
best I have found over the years. I cannot guarantee these are the best for you, but at
least you will not get a total loser here. If the topics don't relate to you, use the
search above to find other Native American books.
Red Thunder: by David Matheson. This book is not only a good story
about a young man growing up as a Schi'tsu'umsh (Coeur d'Alene); it also
illustrates what life was like in the 1700's. What emerges is a better
understanding of what it was like to live as a partner with nature in this
area. Tribal and family values, spiritual life and a sense of belonging to
the land from the time of creation are part of the story. Matheson is a
member of this tribe, and has chosen to share some of the authentic
traditional culture, in order to give both Native and non-native readers
better insight into a way of life that developed over thousands of years
in this area. Red Thunder is also recommended by Ernest Stensgar, Tribal
Chairman of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe.
Dove: by Mourning Dove, edited by Jay Miller. Mourning Dove was the
first Native American woman author. A Salishan woman, born in the 1880's, her
life spanned the incredible changes in this area. She saw that her (and
her people's) history was in danger of being lost, and sought to share her
experience in a format that could be shared with Europeans. This book is a
compilation of the attempts she made over the years at an autobiography. To see
what native culture in this area was like, from the mouth of one who lived it,
don't miss this book! Mourning Dove also wrote down many of the Coyote
Stories of this area before they were lost.
Sacred Sites of
the West: by Frank Joseph. This is a guide of mystical centers from the
Keremeos Mound to the Petroglyph Park to the Mysterious Mountain to the Sasquatch to
Beacon Rock Covering the spiritual as well as the physical aspects of many magical sites
unknown even to adepts on the subject. What is a sacred site? It is a place of singular
numinous mystical power generated by focused spiritual forces sometimes known as vortexes.
Whether put there by historical events, or by cosmic and natural forces, few people who
seek out these places will fail to be mightily impressed by the mystery and beauty.
Half-Sun on the
Columbia: by Ruby & Brown. Chief Moses was born in Vantage and ruled over
the middle areas of the Washington state. He made Chief Garry nervous sometimes as people
loved to follow this great chief that had to ride a horse at least 10 miles a day. This is
a great story that gives you whole new areas (Moses Coulee) to explore. One of the major
resources for understanding the Natives of this area.
by Trafzer & Scheuerman. This is the story of the Palouse Tribe which was one of the
most rebellious of all the areas tribe. A tribe that has been totally dispersed with no
reservation given to them because they were the tribe that never accepted the rights of
whites to take the land from them. Highly recommended.
Warrior of the
Mist: by T.G. Boyden. A biography of Qualchan, chief Owhi's son. This is the
true story of one of the major warriors of the 1850 wars in Spokane area. This Indian
incredible stories told about him creating snow storms to defeat his enemies, and he is
the main person in the hangman creek incident. This is the most inspiring true story of
Indians I have read. There are so many versions of the story of his death it creates
Indians: by Ruby & Brown. This was a noble, peaceful, honest, and
spiritual tribe. This is the main book on them. See One Prophecy.
by Sherman Alexie:
Sherman Alexie, of the Spokane
Tribe, has produced a considerable amount of work since his debut in 1992. His
medium changes, from poetry to novel to mystery to screenplay, but there is a
common bittersweet chord in each. If you're tired of reading what Europeans
think Indians think, check out Alexie.
Alexie is not an easy read (that's meant to be a compliment.) Count on all your
previous ideas about "Native Americans" being challenged if not
One of his poems (about salmon) is on display on the ground floor of the
Downtown Public Library. Occasionally, you can catch a reading in Spokane, often
with music by Jim Boyd.
Business of Fancy Dancing (1992) Poems and Stories
Shirts and New Skins (1993) Poetry by Alexie and others
Indian on the Moon (1993) Poems and stories
Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1994) Short stories
Blues (1996) Novel- my favorite so far. What happens when you mix Robert
Johnson with a reservation rock band.
Killer (1998) Novel
Signals (1998) Novel, made into a really good film. Here's the soundtrack
and the video,
and the DVD.
Indian in the World (2000) Stories
Song (2000) Mixed genre