ReThinking Michigan Indian History
by Patrick Russell LeBeau
Michigan State University Press, ISBN 0-87013-712-3, © 2005
reviewed by Roberta Waters
This is an incredible book for any teachers, whether in institutional or home school settings, who want to incorporate Native American history in the curriculum. The book is designed to be used by a variety of students from possibly those around 10-11 years old through adults. The books focuses on the Chippewa, Ottawa and Potawatomi and includes well-planned lessons that begin with an explanatory background, provide students with hand-on activity and visual aids. Many of the questions raised reflect how our society is imbued with stereotypes of Native Americans and encourages thoughtful discussion about these beliefs.
The book has wonderful color illustrations. The CD that comes with the book, includes these and more. It is loaded with wonderful resources to enrich the depth of understanding and keep the interest of students. Some of these resources are copies of original daguerreotypes, the “commandments” of the Ottawa tribe, and found contemporary art incorporating the Indian. There are also some phenomenal maps in the book, as well as on the CD.
While focused on Michigan and the history of the three tribes that lived there, the basic information about Native Americans transcends the boundaries of a single state. The history of any Native Americans is similar to others and this book can stand as a resource for teachers in any state.
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