Native Defenders of the Environmentby Vincent Schilling
From the Native Trailblazers series comes a new book with the stories of twelve brave people who work tirelessly to save our environment. These are stories of courage, determination and resistance to multinational corporations and disastrous government policies that are harming the planet. Readers will learn about Grace Thorpe, who worked to keep Native reservations from becoming nuclear waste dumps; Tom Goldtooth, the director of the Indigenous Environmental Network; and Winona LaDuke, who works on a national level to raise public support and create funding for Native environmental groups. Read about the next generation of Native environmentalists, including Ben Powless, a founding organizer of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition; Melina Laboucan-Massimo, tar sands campaigner for Greenpeace Canada; and Teague Allston, an intern with the National Wildlife Federation tribal and public lands program.
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)
Meet the Author
In addition to serving as the executive vice-president and co-owner of Schilling Media, Inc., a Native American media-relations corporation, Vincent Schilling is an enrolled member of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe; an award-winning Native American author, producer and photojournalist; and a public speaker who has traveled throughout the United States and Canada.
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