Dispelling myths| answering questions| and stimulating thoughtful avenues for further inquiry| this highly absorbing reference provides a wealth of specific information about over 200 North American Indian groups in Canada and the United States. Readers will easily access important historical and contemporary facts about everything from notable leaders and relations with non-natives to customs| dress| dwellings| weapons| government| and religion. This book is at once exhaustive and captivating| covering myriad aspects of a people spread across a continent.
Divided into ten geographic areas for easy reference| this work illustrates each Native American group in careful detail. Listed alphabetically| starting with the tribal name| translation| origin| and definition| each entry includes significant facts about the group’s location and population| as well as impressive accounts of the group’s history and culture. Bringing entries up-to-date| Barry Pritzker also presents current information on each group’s government| economy| legal status| and land holdings. Whether interpreting the term “tribe” (many traditional Native American groups were not tribes at all but more like extended families) or describing how a Shoshone woman served as a guide on the Lewis and Clark expedition| Pritzker always presents the material in a clear and lively manner.
In light of past and ongoing injustices and the momentum of Indian and Inuit self-determination movements| an understanding of Native American cultures as well as their contributions to contemporary society becomes increasingly important. A magnificent resource| this book liberally provides the essential information necessary to better grasp the history and cultures of North American Indians.