Book Club

Our Book Club is an opportunity for interested persons to come together to review and discuss the book assigned to each month. The book selections revolve around learning from those authors that offer a viewpoint through their books that will bring healing or understanding of issues that impact our mission to reverse institutional or individual racism. The Book Club is an opportunity for participants to express any lessons they may have learned, and can come together to talk about the books and the reading experience.

The Book Club typically meets on the 4th Monday of each month at He Sapa New Life Church, 415 MacArthur Street (Rapid City). The evening begins at 5:30pm with a shared potluck meal.

 
 
My People The Sioux.jpg

MY PEOPLE, THE SIOUX by Luther Standing Bear

ABOUT THE BOOK: When it was first published in 1928, Luther Standing Bear's autobiographical account of his tribe and tribesmen was hailed by Van Wyck Brooks as “one of the most engaging and veracious we have ever had.” It remains a landmark in Indian literature, among the first books about Indians written from the Indian point of view by an Indian. Luther Standing Bear (1868 – 1939) was an Oglala Lakota chief notable in American history as a Native American author, educator, philosopher, and actor of the twentieth century. Standing Bear fought to preserve Lakota heritage and sovereignty and was at the forefront of a Progressive movement to change government policy toward Native Americans. Standing Bear was one of a small group of Lakota leaders of his generation, such as Gertrude Bonnin, and Charles Eastman, who were born and raised in the oral traditions of their culture, educated in white culture, and wrote significant historical accounts of their people and history in English. Luther’s experiences in early life, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Wild Westing with Buffalo Bill, and life on government reservations present a unique view of a Native American during the Progressive Era in American history. Standing Bear’s commentaries on Native American culture and wisdom educated the American public, deepened public awareness, and created popular support to change government policies toward Native American peoples. Luther Standing Bear helped create the popular twentieth-century image that Native American culture is holistic and respectful of nature; his classic commentaries appear in college-level reading lists in anthropology, literature, history, and philosophy, and constitute a legacy and treasury of Native American wisdom.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Luther Standing Bear (December 1868 – February 20, 1939) (Óta Kté or "Plenty Kill" also known as Matȟó Nážiŋ or "Standing Bear") was an Oglala Lakota chief notable in American history as a Native American author, educator, philosopher, and actor of the twentieth century. Standing Bear fought to preserve Lakota heritage and sovereignty and was at the forefront of a Progressive movement to change government policy toward Native Americans.

Standing Bear was one of a small group of Lakota leaders of his generation, who were born and raised in the oral traditions of their culture, educated in white culture, and wrote significant historical accounts of their people and history in English. Luther's experiences in early life, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, wild westing with Buffalo Bill, and life on government reservations present a unique view of a Native American during the progressive era in American history. Standing Bear's commentaries on Native American culture and wisdom educated the American public, deepened public awareness, and created popular support to change government policies toward Native American peoples. Luther Standing Bear helped create the popular twentieth-century image that Native American culture is holistic and respectful of nature; his classic commentaries appear in college-level reading lists in anthropology, literature, history, and philosophy, and constitute a legacy and treasury of Native American wisdom.

March 25, 2019 at 5:30pm

 
Waterlily_new.jpg

WATERLILY by Ella Cara Deloria

ABOUT THE BOOK: When Blue Bird and her grandmother leave their family’s camp to gather beans for the long, threatening winter, they inadvertently avoid the horrible fate that befalls the rest of the family. Luckily, the two women are adopted by a nearby Dakota community and are eventually integrated into their kinship circles. Ella Cara Deloria’s tale follows Blue Bird and her daughter, Waterlily, through the intricate kinship practices that created unity among her people. Participants will share a potluck meal as part of the event, please bring a dish to share. We look forward to seeing you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ella Cara Deloria (January 31, 1889 – February 12, 1971), (Yankton Dakota), also called Aŋpétu Wašté Wiŋ (Beautiful Day Woman), was an educator, anthropologist, ethnographer, linguist, and novelist of European American and Dakota ancestry. She recorded Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Seven Council Fires) oral history and legends, and contributed to the study of their languages. In the 1940s, she wrote a novel, Waterlily. Published after Deloria's death and generally viewed as the masterpiece of her career, offers a captivating glimpse into the daily life of the nineteenth-century Očhéthi Šakówiŋ.

April 22, 2019 at 5:30pm

 
Sons of the Wind.jpg

SONS OF THE WIND: SACRED STORIES OF THE LAKOTA by D.M. Dooling

ABOUT THE BOOK: The Sons of the Wind presents the mythology and sacred spirits of the Lakota. Based on information given to Dr. James Walker a century ago by Lakota Holy Men, this compilation includes the cycle of creation, the appearance of spirits and animals, the making of the four directions, and the coming of the Real People.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dorothea M Dooling (1910-1991), founder and editorial director of Parabola, The Magazine of Myth and Tradition. Parabola, a quarterly magazine which Mrs. Dooling founded in 1976 in Manhattan, quickly earned a reputation as the major journal exploring myth and ancient spiritual traditions. It has a circulation of more than 100,000.

The daughter of an Episcopal bishop and a Procter & Gamble heiress, Mrs. Dooling was born in Glendale, Ohio. In 1931, she married John Orville Dooling, a rancher and hotel owner in Jackson. Mrs. Dooling lived in Jackson until 1952, when she moved to Manhattan. She was divorced in 1953. Mrs. Dooling's brother, T. S. Matthews was the editor of Time magazine from 1949 to 1953, a post he took over from Henry R. Luce, the magazine's creator.

Even if you are unable to join Rapid City Community Conversations for their monthly Book Clubs, we encourage anyone and everyone to make some time to read these books; your knowledge and understanding will be improved.

May 27, 2019 at 5:30pm

 
American Apartheid.jpeg

AMERICAN APARTHEID: The Native American Struggle for Self-Determination and Inclusion by Stephanie Woodard

ABOUT THE BOOK: In recent years, events such as the siege at Standing Rock and the Dakota Access pipeline have thrust Native Americans into the public consciousness.

Taking us beyond the headlines, American Apartheid offers the most comprehensive and compelling account of the issues and threats that Native Americans face today, as well as their heroic battle to overcome them. Author Stephanie Woodard details the ways in which the federal government, states and counties curtail Native voting rights, which, in turn, keeps tribal members from participating in policy-making surrounding education, employment, rural transportation, infrastructure projects and other critical issues affecting their communities. This system of apartheid has staggering consequences, as Natives are, per capita, the population group that is most likely to be shot by police, suffer violent victimization by outsiders, be incarcerated, and have their children taken away. On top of this, indigenous people must also fight constantly to protect the sacred sites and landscapes that hold their cultural memories and connect their spirituality to the nation’s mountains, plains, waterways and coastlines. Despite these many obstacles, American Apartheid offers vivid pictures of diverse Native American communities that embody resilience, integrity, and the survival of ancient cultures. Includes many photographs of Native American life by Joseph Zummo.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephanie Woodard, For nearly two decades, Stephanie Woodard has reported on Indian country for publications including Native-owned Indian Country Media Network and In These Times, where she is a contributing writer for its Rural America website, along with Yes!, billmoyers.com, Huffington Post, Preservation, and Saveur. In hundreds of widely cited articles, she has covered Native American voting rights, crime, sacred sites, food, gardening, health, child welfare, economic development, and other subjects. The numerous awards she has received include the Richard LaCourse Award for Investigative Reporting, the top annual prize of the Native American Journalists Association, where she is an associate (non-Native) member. The Fund for Investigative Journalism and George Polk Center for Investigative Reporting are among the major journalism organizations that have supported her work.

June 24, 2019 at 5:30pm

 
The World We Used to Live In.jpg

THE WORLD WE USED TO LIVE IN by Vine Deloria Jr.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Deloria looks at medicine men, their powers, and the Earth's relation to the cosmos. In his final work, Deloria takes us into the realm of the spiritual and reveals through eyewitness accounts the immense power of medicine men. The World We Used to Live In, a fascinating collection of anecdotes from tribes across the country, explores everything from healing miracles and sacred rituals to Navajos who could move the sun. In this compelling work, which draws upon a lifetime of scholarship, Deloria shows us how ancient powers fit into our modern understanding of science and the cosmos, and how future generations may draw strength from the old ways.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Vine Victor Deloria Jr. (March 26, 1933 – November 13, 2005) was a Native American author, theologian, historian, and activist. From 1964 to 1967, he had served as executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, increasing tribal membership from 19 to 156. Beginning in 1977, he was a board member of the National Museum of the American Indian, which now has buildings in both New York City and Washington, DC. He was influential in the development of what scientific critics called American Indian creationism, but which American Indians referred to as defenses against scientific racism.

Vine Deloria Jr. was born in Martin, South Dakota, near the Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He was the son of Barbara Sloat (née Eastburn) and Vine Victor Deloria Sr. His father studied English and Christian theology and became an Episcopal archdeacon and missionary on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. His father transferred his and his children's tribal membership from the Yankton Sioux to Standing Rock.

Deloria was first educated at reservation schools, then graduated from Kent School in 1951. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1958 with a degree in general science. Deloria served in the Marines from 1954 through 1956.

Originally planning to be a minister like his father, Deloria in 1963 earned a theology degree from the Lutheran School of Theology, then located in Rock Island, Illinois. In the late 1960s, he returned to graduate study and earned a law degree from University of Colorado Law School in 1970.

July 22, 2019 at 5:30pm