Native North American Wisdom and Gifts


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-7787-0384-3
DDC j970.004'97




Reviewed by Sandy Campbell

Sandy Campbell is a reference librarian in the Science and Technology Library at the University of Alberta.


The attractive design and layout of this upper-elementary-level series
is what we have come to expect from Crabtree books. The series is
heavily illustrated, and includes books on geographic groupings of
Native people as well as thematic books. The books on geographic
groupings are more useful because they are more focused and detailed.
The thematic books cover too-broad subject areas and are therefore
shallow. For example, in Native North American Foods and Recipes, Inuit
food gets a single paragraph and a picture. The recipes are
disappointing, as well. Few are traditional. Almost all require some
modern food, such as canned tomatoes.

Native North American Wisdom and Gifts is an eclectic mix of things
that modern North American society has gained from Native people,
including words, canoes, games, herbal knowledge, and an ethic of
respecting the earth.

In Nations of the Southeast Coast and Nations of the Northeast Coast,
Kalman surveys the cultures and practices of the resident nations. She
does not include any recent controversial information. For example, she
places the arrival of the people across Beringia at 11,000 years ago,
although some archaeological sites suggest that people were in North
American much earlier.

Throughout these books the emphasis is on American Natives. Canadian
information is sparse. For example, the Wisdom and Gifts book highlights
the Native influence on the American Constitution and American women’s
suffrage. School librarians will want to select those books that are
relevant to the Canadian context. Recommended with reservations.


Kalman, Bobbie, and Niki Walker., “Native North American Wisdom and Gifts,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 15, 2024,