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Recovering the Sacred
The Power of Naming and Claiming
Only the power to define what is sacred—and access it—will enable Native American communities to remember who they are.

The indigenous imperative to honor nature is undermined by federal laws approving resource extraction through mining and drilling. Formal protections exist for Native American religious expression, but not for the places and natural resources integral to ceremonies. Under what conditions can traditional beliefs be best practiced?

Recovering the Sacred features a wealth of native research and hundreds of interviews with indigenous scholars and activists.

Winona LaDuke was named by Time in 1994 as one of America's fifty most promising leaders under forty. In 1996 and 2000, LaDuke served as Ralph Nader's vice presidential running mate in the Green Party.

Reviews
  • "Through the voices of ordinary Native Americans, writer and full-time activist Winona LaDuke is able to transform highly complex issues into stories that touch the heart."
    —Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Indigenous People's History of the United States

    "A river of tears fell down my cheeks as I read Recovering the Sacred. This is a must read for anyone who wants to know the truth about Federal Indian Policy, past and present."
    —Charon Asetoyer, editor, Indigenous Women's Health book: Within the Sacred Circle

    "Fierce in her convictions, forceful in her analysis, and engaging in her writing, LaDuke connects the dots between indigenous struggles, the toxic and sacrilegious practices of multinational corporations, and the wellness of all of us who must share our fragile planet."
    —Robert Warrior, author, The People and the Word: Reading Native Nonfiction

    "In this powerful book, LaDuke explores issues that go way beyond the desecration of the environment and into the heart of insidious crimes against the very DNA of Native peoples."
    —Amy Ray, musician/activist

    "LaDuke skillfully demonstrates why the protection of Native spiritual practices is critical to social justice struggles and to the survival of the planet. She weaves together a broad range of issues that all point to the impact of European cultural and spiritual genocide on indigenous people. LaDuke demonstrates again why shi is one of the leading Native thinkers and activists today."
    —Andrea Smith, author, Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide

    "Winona LaDuke's "activist scholarship" captures the essence of politicized spirituality that [combines] "ecological integrity" with our cultural identity for "spiritual health." It is books such as this one that will insure the passing of history and knowledge from one generation to the next."
    —M.A. Jaimes Guerrero, editor, The State of Native America

    "Written in an accessible style, Recovering the Sacred documents the remarkable stories of indigenous communities whose tenacity and resilience has enable them to reclaim the lands, resources, and life ways after enduring centuries of incalculable loss."
    —Wilma Mankiller, author, Every Day is a Good Day

    "A fascinating read that puts Native American communities struggle for justice into historical and environmental context. Winona's fierce dedication to the indigenous environmental and women's movement infuse her analysis with a first-person understanding—deep and powerful on many levels. Winona's fierce dedication to the indigenous environmental and women's movement infuses her analysis with a first-person understanding—deep an powerful on many levels."
    —Bonnie Raitt, musician/activist

    "A damning account of current and past injustices committed against the indigenous tribes of North America... [LaDuke] uses a combination of personal testimony and interviews mixed with historical research and government records to make the case that racism and stealing is still occurring, but in new forms such as biopiracy and historical revisionism."
    –Race and Place

    "No ragtag remnants of lost cultures here. Strong voices of old, old cultures bravely trying to make sense of an Earth in chaos."
    —Whole Earth

Other books by Winona LaDuke

  • All Our Relations

    A thoughtful and in-depth account of Native resistance to environmental and cultural degradation.