Saturday, May 29, 2021

Words of Power: Voices from Indian America, Edited by Norbert S. Hill, Jr. [Oneida]


Too often today words are mistaken for deeds so that expressing a fine sentiment is the equivalent of acting in a moral way.

While not a work of fiction, this slim book of American Indian quotations is excellent counter-medicine for most books on “Native American Spirituality” and “Native Wisdom.”

Usually books of this ilk cherry-pick for the touchy-feely, New Agey, feel good messages.

They ignore the bellicose voices and the indignation of people subject to a long series of broken treaties and lop-sided “agreements.”

It clocks in at a mere 56 pages, but there is more pith here than in many thicker volumes full of platitudes.

One more morsel to exit on.

What hurts Indians most is that our costumes are considered beautiful, but it’s as if the person wearing them didn’t exist.”—Rigoberta Menchu, Quiche Maya

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