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Hidden in the shadow cast by the great western expeditions of Lewis and Clark lies another journey every bit as poignant, every bit as dramatic, and every bit as essential to an understanding of who we are as a nation -- the 1,800-mile journey made by Chief Joseph and eight hundred Nez Percé men, women, and children from their homelands in what is now eastern Oregon through the most difficult, mountainous country in western America to the high, wintry plains of Montana. There, only forty miles from the Canadian border and freedom, Chief Joseph, convinced that the wounded and elders could go no farther, walked across the snowy battlefield, handed his rifle to the U.S. military commander who had been pursuing them, and spoke his now-famous words, "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever." The story has been told many times, but never before in its entirety or with such narrative richness. Drawing on four years of research, interviews, and 20,000 miles of travel, Nerburn takes us beyond the surrender to the captives' unlikely welcome in Bismarck, North Dakota, their tragic eight-year exile in Indian Territory, and their ultimate return to the Northwest. Nerburn reveals the true, complex character of Joseph, showing how the man was transformed into a myth by a public hungry for an image of the noble Indian and how Joseph exploited the myth in order to achieve his single goal of returning his people to their homeland. Chief Joseph & the Flight of the Nez Percé is far more than the story of a man and a people. It is a grand saga of a pivotal time in our nation's history. Its pages are alive with the presence of Lewis and Clark, General William Tecumseh Sherman, General George Armstrong Custer, and Sitting Bull. Its events brush against the California Gold Rush, the Civil War, the great western pioneer migration, and the building of the telegraph and the transcontinental railroad. Once you have read this groundbreaking work, you will never look at Chief Joseph, the American Indian, or our nation's westward journey in the same way again.
A haunting dream that will not relent pulls author Kent Nerburn back into the hidden world of Native America, where dreams have meaning, animals are teachers, and the "old ones" still have powers beyond our understanding. In this moving narrative, we travel through the lands of the Lakota and the Ojibwe, where we encounter a strange little girl with an unnerving connection to the past, a forgotten asylum that history has tried to hide, and the complex, unforgettable characters we have come to know from Neither Wolf nor Dog and The Wolf at Twilight. Part history, part mystery, part spiritual journey and teaching story, The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo is filled with the profound insight into humanity and Native American culture we have come to expect from Nerburn's journeys. As the American Indian College Fund has stated, once you have encountered Nerburn's stirring evocations of America's high plains and incisive insights into the human heart, "you can never look at the world, or at people, the same way again."
Kent Nerburn's Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace, immerses us in the spirit of one of the most universally inspiring figures in history: St. Francis of Assisi. The Prayer of St. Francis boldly but gently challenges us to resist the forces of evil and negativity with the spirit of goodwill and generosity. And Nerburn shows, in his wonderfully personal and humble way, how we each can live out the prayer's prescription for living in our everyday and less-than-saintly lives. "Where there is hatred, let me sow love...Where there is injury, let me sow pardon..." Expanding upon each line of the St. Francis Prayer, Nerburn shares touching, inspiring stories from his own experience and that of others and reveals how each of us can make a difference for good in ordinary ways without being heroes or saints. Struggling to help a young son comfort his best friend when his mother dies, moved by the courage of war enemies who reconcile, being wrenched out of self-absorbed depression by responding to someone else's tragedy, taking a spirited old lady on a farewell taxi ride through her town-these are the kinds of everyday moments in which Nerburn finds we can live out the spirit of St. Francis. By incorporating the power and grace of these few lines of practical idealism into our thoughts and deeds, we can begin to ease our own suffering-and the suffering of those with whom we share our lives. And, remarkably, find a way to true peace and happiness by tapping into our basic human goodness. As we open our hearts and embrace his words, St. Francis "touches our deepest humanity and ignites the spark of our divinity." Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love, Where there is injury let me sow pardon, Where there is doubt, faith, Where there is despair, hope, Where there is darkness, light, And where there is sadness, joy... In this beautifully written book, Kent Nerburn leads us into the heart of the St. Francis Prayer and line by line demonstrates how St. Francis's words can resonate in our lives today.
Nerburn recounts his travels with a Lakota elder whose identity he has pledged not to reveal, and the stories the old man told him.
A casual note left on the windshield of a car. The death of an old dog. And author Kent Nerburn unexpectedly finds himself back on the Dakota reservation where more than a decade before he traveled with the elder, Dan, whose thoughts he chronicled in the classic of Native American studies, Neither Wolf nor Dog. Now almost ninety, Dan wants Nerburn to assist in the unlikely task of burying Fatback, the old Labrador who had been Dan's closest companion during his twilight years. Though the request makes little sense, Nerburn agrees out of respect for the tribal elder. Once on the reservation, he finds that Dan's purpose runs far deeper. Dan wants Kent's assistance in finding out what happened to his little sister, Rose Bear, who disappeared from a reservation boarding school almost eighty years before. Accompanied by Dan's friend, Grover, and an odd little dog named Charles Bronson who Dan is convinced was sent to him by Fatback, the three men embark upon a journey into the hidden corners of Dan's past. Their travels take them through dusty hilltop cemeteries and ghostly abandoned boarding schools, into the dark confines of sweat lodges and the easy laughter of family compounds deep in the folds of the Dakota hills. Over it all hangs the ghost of Dan's sister, Rose Bear, and the dark truths and secrets of life in the Indian boarding schools. As her story unfolds, Dan bares his heart on subjects ranging from Indians' notion of time to the education of children and the spiritual presence of the land. The Wolf at Twilight is destined to take its place alongside Neither Wolf nor Dog as a book that will change forever the way readers look at America and her history. It will take you to places of the land and heart that few others ever see.
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