Indigenous Firsts: A History of Native American Achievements and Events

Visible Ink. Oct. 2022. 496p. ISBN 9781578597123.pap. $32.95. REF
Dennis, Arlene Hirschfelder (coauthor with Dennis of Native American Almanac), and Paulette F. Molin (coauthor with Hirschfelder of The Extraordinary Book of Native American Lists) offer an impeccably documented and inspirational survey of the groundbreaking accomplishments and achievements of Indigenous peoples. Organized into 14 chapters, this book focuses on U.S. (including Native Hawaiian) and Canadian First Nations individuals, communities, and groups across a wide range of fields—art, business, government, health, literature, media, military, religion, science, urban life, and sports. Over 2000 entries remember individuals such as William R. Pogue (the first Indigenous [Choctaw] astronaut) and Jock Soto (of Navajo and Puerto Rican descent) who was the youngest man to become principal dancer of the New York City Ballet. Although this book is intended as a celebration of remarkable achievements, the authors stress that the path to being “the first” is often paved with loneliness, sacrifice, and trauma. It is their hope—and readers will likely agree—that there will be many more achievements to come.
VERDICT This painstakingly researched compendium, compiled by authors who are themselves Indigenous “firsts,” is an affordable and essential purchase for all reference collections.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing