Indigenous ingenuity : a celebration of traditional North American knowledge

by Havrelock, Deidre,

Format: Print Book 2023
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This beautifully designed, interactive nonfiction work celebrates North American Indigenous thinkers and inventions--perfect for fans of Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. ‚Äč

" An astonishing, exuberant treasure trove of history, science and hands-on activities that repeatedly begs the question: "Why didn't I know this?" Essential for kids and adults. We need this book. " --Candace Fleming, award-winning author of The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh and The Family Romanov

Corn. Chocolate. Fishing hooks. Boats that float. Insulated double-walled construction. Recorded history and folklore. Life-saving disinfectant. Forest fire management. Our lives would be unrecognizable without these, and countless other, scientific discoveries and technological inventions from Indigenous North Americans.

Spanning topics from transportation to civil engineering, hunting technologies, astronomy, brain surgery, architecture, and agriculture, Indigenous Ingenuity is a wide-ranging STEM offering that answers the call for Indigenous nonfiction by reappropriating hidden history. The book includes fun, simple activities and experiments that kids can do to better understand and enjoy the principles used by Indigenous inventors. Readers of all ages are invited to celebrate traditional North American Indigenous innovation, and to embrace the mindset of reciprocity, environmental responsibility, and the interconnectedness of all life.

A Junior Library Guild Selection
Sustainable land management and ecology
Communications technology
Agriculture and food technology
Health sciences
Textile technology, clothing, and fashion
Architecture and civil engineering
Hunting and combat technology
Arts, sports, and recreation
Traditional ecological knowledge and our sustainable future.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "When Europeans arrived in North America, they encountered cultures very different from their own and made racist assumptions that let them presume they had free reign over the land. Havrelock and Kay detail numerous innovations used by precontact Indigenous groups that were equal to (and in some cases superior to) European technology of the time. Following an introduction to Turtle Island, Indigenous worldviews, and traditional knowledge, individual chapters detail inventions in land management, transportation, communication, food technology, health sciences, textiles, architecture, hunting, mathematics, and the arts. A final chapter notes contemporary projects employing traditional ecological knowledge to create a sustainable future. Examples range from cultural burning (which ensures healthy ecosystems but was banned by the U.S. government) to coastal fish traps and weirs to brain surgery (successfully performed by Aztecs and Mayans). The authors describe these developments in the context of STEM and Western science; simple activities and process descriptions are also included along with some recipes. Black-andwhite art includes archival photos, drawings, inset captions, mechanical drawings, and illustrative charts. Lists of "Cultural Areas and Peoples Referenced," contemporary Indigenous science organizations, and source notes are appended. Engaging and informative, this will be welcomed by both STEM and social studies curricula to help to correct prevailing narratives about Indigenous technology."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In this approachable work, Saddle Lake Cree Nation author Havrelock (Buffalo Wild!) and Kay (the Gross Science series) focus on "precontact North American Indigenous STEM. That is, the traditional knowledge that Indigenous people were already using before 1492." Via authoritative, meticulously researched prose, the creators detail Native peoples' significant strides in scientific pursuits. Outlining ongoing advancements and detailing informational STEM practices, chapters cover sustainable land management and ecology, communications technology, transportation, health sciences, architecture and civil engineering, and more. In a chapter highlighting agriculture and food technology, the authors note how, 9,000 years ago, Mesoamerican Indigenous farmers genetically engineered select grass seeds to create corn as it is known today. By connecting Indigenous peoples' overlooked endeavors to the concepts' modern-day counterparts--for example, coats made of animal intestines, which the Inuit called annuraaq, were eventually adopted by British colonizers, who called them anoraks--Havrelock and Kay showcase Native tribes' continual and enduring impact. Photographs, as well as interactive activities detailing recipes and science experiments, feature throughout, lending a hands-on approach to this clear and concise work. Back matter includes tribal territories, a glossary, a list of Indigenous science organizations, and more. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8--12. Agent: Amy Tompkins, Transatlantic Literary. (May)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Ethnoscience -- North America -- Juvenile literature.
Traditional ecological knowledge -- North America -- Juvenile literature.
Indians of North America -- Social life and customs -- Juvenile literature.
Indians of North America -- Social life and customs.
Informational works.
Publisher New York :Christy Ottaviano Books,2023
Edition First edition.
Contributors Kay, Edward, author.
Fuller, Kalila J., illustrator.
Audience Ages 8-12.
Language English
Description 256 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 243-252) and index.
ISBN 9780316413336
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