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The Wisdom of the Native Americans

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Dear Readers:
There are many collections of Native American thought. But this one, Wisdom of the Native Americans, is unique. It is divided into three sections, each with pieces that were carefully selected to reveal the heart of the Native experience in a particular way.

The first section, The Ways of the Native Americans, reveals the depth of their thinking on such subjects as The Ways of the Land, The Ways of Living, and The Ways of Learning. It takes you into their hearts as they speak about how they believe a good life should be lived and understood. I doubt there is anyone alive who would not stand humbled before the depth and quality of this thought.

The second section, The Soul of an Indian, is a work by Charles Alexander Eastman, or Ohiyesa, who was the first western-trained Native American physician and was present at the massacre at Wounded Knee. His incisive thinking about the meaning of life has been formative in my own spiritual development. He has been called “the Native American Thoreau” and is, as I have often said, “a man to whom I would entrust my country or my son.” His words, alone, could serve as a worthy guide for anyone seeking a life well lived.

The third section is made up of three speeches that reveal the morning, afternoon, and evening of the Native experience on this American land. Chief Red Jacket’s speech is strong and welcoming; Chief Joseph’s speech is an eloquent description of our European betrayal of the Native trust: and Chief Seattle’s speech is almost elegiac in its evocation of the vision of the Native people and the future we all will share.

This book is a perfect introduction to the thought of Native people. It is meant to be read as if it is being heard, and contains within its measured cadences an unparalleled eloquence.

Give it to young people who are seeking an honest course in life; give it to friends who know nothing about Native beliefs and ways; keep it for yourself for when you need a moment of clarity amid the chaos and confusion or your ordinary days.

This is a book that truly runs gently over deep waters. You can be proud to own it and proud to give it. I know I am proud to have played a part in bringing it to life and to helping pass these words along.

Kent Nerburn
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The Last Cab Ride

Kent’s story “The Last Cab Ride” from his book, Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace, has gone viral — hundreds of thousands of hits.
Read the original article here. Then order the book!

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