Part memoir, part cultural manifesto, To You We Shall Return offers a comparison between Euro-American attitudes, policies, and history regarding the natural environment to that of ancient native North American beliefs and practices in relating to and living with that same environment. Speaking from the cultural viewpoint of the Lakota of the northern Plains, the author discusses the evolution of native cultures to fit within the environment and adapt to it, as opposed to changing it drastically or wholesale to fit human needs and comforts. He suggests that changing our contemporary thinking in relating to the earth in a less harmful way does not mean a drastic change in lifestyles, but that revisiting the methods of adaptation to and coexistence with the earth will foster a renewed respect, which will ultimately benefit mankind as well.
Joseph M. Marshall III was born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation and holds a Ph.D. from the reservation university, which he helped to establish. The award-winning author of 10 books, he has also contributed to various publications and written several screenplays. His first language is Lakota, he handcrafts primitive Lakota bows and arrows, and he is a specialist in wilderness survival. His work as a cultural and historical consultant can be seen and heard on Turner Network Television and the Dreamworks epic television miniseries Into the West. He has won an Audie® Award, Earphones Award, “Nammy” Award, and was named Best American Indian Fiction Writer by True West magazine in 2009.
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