Encyclopedia of American Indian Issues Today

2 vols. Greenwood. 2013. 867p. ed. by . bibliog. index. ISBN 9780313381447. $189. REF
A plethora of information is found in the 85 essays that comprise this encyclopedia edited by Lawson (history, Bacone Coll., Muskogee, OK; Poverty in America: An Encyclopedia). Divided into ten sections, the essays explore many contemporary topics pertinent to Native Americans, including gaming, sports mascots, tourism on reservations, substance abuse, repatriation, civil rights, and environmental colonialism. The essays are also rich in historical explanation of past Native American and Euro-American relations, offering facts that will help readers understand the conditions and issues facing Native Americans today. Many contributors cite the latest statistics in their discussions of a host of topics including education, poverty on reservations and among Native Americans in urban areas, unemployment, literacy, domestic violence, and health care. In addition to these social issues, other essays address political and legal topics such as Indian sovereignty, the U.S. Constitution, tribal courts, and law enforcement on Indian lands. One section focuses on ideas and issues pertaining to Indian identity, spirituality, and traditional and modern thought. Other essays take up the issues of art and music, including discussions of how Native Americans have been misrepresented by the media, the phenomenon of "fake Indians," and how myth often trumps reality. A final section contains essays concerning aboriginal peoples in Canada and human rights for indigenous peoples worldwide. Supplemental information, much of it from primary sources, appears in 60 sidebars scattered throughout the work. References are listed at the conclusion of each essay, a highlight of the volumes.
VERDICT Students doing reports and readers seeking more facts and an enriched understanding of Native Americans in the 21st century will find this an effective reference.
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