A noteworthy review of Our Cultural Heritage from Children's Literature on November 1, 2002
The story of the exploitation of Native-Americans by the forces of the Federal government is a sad and familiar one. Over a period of centuries, first the armed forces of the colonial powers and then the U.S. Army systematically decimated the Native-American populations that once stretched across the land. In a series of wars and false treaty negotiations, Native-Americans were stripped of virtually all of their ancestral land and provided oft-times stark reservations. Still, despite the imperialist devastation that was wrought against the Native-American tribes, much of their culture and traditions remain vibrant. In Native Americans Judy Alter provides readers with a general overview of the history of American dealings with Native-Americans. She traces the gradual despoliation of the Native-American populations that culminated in the late 19th century. The movement triggered in the 1960s to reestablish some political power on behalf of Native-American peoples is then chronicled. Finally, the author points out the rich cultural heritage that Native-Americans continue to offer within American society. All in all, Judy Alter has done a good job of distilling a vast and complex historical movement into a concise and readable book. This is a book that will augment young reader’s understanding of the sad but resilient history of Native-American people in this land.
—Greg M. Romaneck
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