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Indigenous ingenuity : a celebration of traditional North American knowledge
2023
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Trade Reviews
Publishers Weekly Review
In this approachable work, Saddle Lake Cree Nation author Havrelock (Buffalo Wild!) and Kay (the Gross Science series) focus on "precontact North American Indigenous STEM. That is, the traditional knowledge that Indigenous people were already using before 1492." Via authoritative, meticulously researched prose, the creators detail Native peoples' significant strides in scientific pursuits. Outlining ongoing advancements and detailing informational STEM practices, chapters cover sustainable land management and ecology, communications technology, transportation, health sciences, architecture and civil engineering, and more. In a chapter highlighting agriculture and food technology, the authors note how, 9,000 years ago, Mesoamerican Indigenous farmers genetically engineered select grass seeds to create corn as it is known today. By connecting Indigenous peoples' overlooked endeavors to the concepts' modern-day counterparts--for example, coats made of animal intestines, which the Inuit called annuraaq, were eventually adopted by British colonizers, who called them anoraks--Havrelock and Kay showcase Native tribes' continual and enduring impact. Photographs, as well as interactive activities detailing recipes and science experiments, feature throughout, lending a hands-on approach to this clear and concise work. Back matter includes tribal territories, a glossary, a list of Indigenous science organizations, and more. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8--12. Agent: Amy Tompkins, Transatlantic Literary. (May)
School Library Journal Review
Gr 5 Up--Havrelock (Saddle Lake Cree Nation) and Kay present an extraordinarily comprehensive history of Indigenous peoples of North America and their important contributions to the world of STEM. Throughout the eras, Indigenous peoples have positively added to the realms of ecology, transportation, communications, agriculture, textile technology, mathematics, and more. In North America, those identifying as Indigenous number 25 million, from over 1,000 nations, each with its own culture, language, oral traditions, and traditional knowledge. Written in a conversational tone with interesting prompts and important, little-known historical facts, this book will amaze readers and teachers as it demonstrates how pervasive and crucial the history of Indigenous people is. The title is accessible, with tie-ins students can relate to, such as the dogsled teams that brought anti-diphtheria serum to remote Alaska comparing to similar extreme efforts during the COVID-19 era. Black-and-white photos, both modern and historical, are peppered throughout, as are simple yet fun experiments and activities. Readers are called upon to reciprocate and focus on a sustainable future for their generation and those yet to come. The book contains an authors' note explaining their vision to celebrate North American Indigenous innovations in STEM, along with a glossary, bibliography, notes, and an index. VERDICT A completely unique and important narrative not to be missed; readers and teachers will come away with a new appreciation for the myriad contributions Indigenous people have made.--Michele Shaw
Booklist Review
When Europeans arrived in North America, they encountered cultures very different from their own and made racist assumptions that let them presume they had free reign over the land. Havrelock and Kay detail numerous innovations used by precontact Indigenous groups that were equal to (and in some cases superior to) European technology of the time. Following an introduction to Turtle Island, Indigenous worldviews, and traditional knowledge, individual chapters detail inventions in land management, transportation, communication, food technology, health sciences, textiles, architecture, hunting, mathematics, and the arts. A final chapter notes contemporary projects employing traditional ecological knowledge to create a sustainable future. Examples range from cultural burning (which ensures healthy ecosystems but was banned by the U.S. government) to coastal fish traps and weirs to brain surgery (successfully performed by Aztecs and Mayans). The authors describe these developments in the context of STEM and Western science; simple activities and process descriptions are also included along with some recipes. Black-andwhite art includes archival photos, drawings, inset captions, mechanical drawings, and illustrative charts. Lists of "Cultural Areas and Peoples Referenced," contemporary Indigenous science organizations, and source notes are appended. Engaging and informative, this will be welcomed by both STEM and social studies curricula to help to correct prevailing narratives about Indigenous technology.
Kirkus Review
A comprehensive unveiling of the "rich scientific legacy" of Indigenous Peoples. Havrelock (Saddle Lake Cree Nation) and Kay address misunderstandings about Indigenous Peoples and their ways of knowing. They reveal significant Indigenous contributions in the areas of ecology and sustainability, transportation, health sciences, mathematics, and more. Readers are called to action "to come together and build a mutually respectful and healthier future." A conversational tone invites readers to engage with this monumental collection and explore the forward thinking of numerous Indigenous nations, each credited for their ideas by name. Curious readers will learn facts unique to individual tribal groups while gaining knowledge of STEM/STEAM concepts such as friction, biochemistry, papermaking, musical instruments, and more. Each chapter highlights how Indigenous inventions have long-lasting legacies. For example, the authors explore how Indigenous designers created the continent's first metal fishhooks along with the precursors to anoraks and crampons, to name a few. Modern and historical photographs adorn the text seamlessly, enhancing the reading experience. An ancient counting system is hidden in plain sight throughout, which observant readers discover in a later chapter. Minibiographies of contemporary Indigenous role models shine in sidebars, including artists, scientists, and other innovators. Young readers will delight in simple science experiments sprinkled throughout. Final art not seen. An ambitious, appealing, and accessible work documenting and protecting valuable knowledge. (cultural areas and peoples referenced, glossary, Indigenous science organizations, bibliography, source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 9-16) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY School Library Journal * Shelf Awareness * National Education Society * American Association of Geography * Canadian Children's Book Centre * Nerdy Book Club * NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Awards

Celebrate Indigenous thinkers and inventions with this beautifully designed, award-winning interactive nonfiction book--perfect for fans of Braiding Sweetgrass .



Corn. Chocolate. Fishing hooks. Boats that float. Insulated double-walled construction. Recorded history and folklore. Life-saving disinfectant. Forest fire management. Our lives would be unrecognizable without these, and countless other, scientific discoveries and technological inventions from Indigenous North Americans. Spanning topics from transportation to civil engineering, hunting technologies, astronomy, brain surgery, architecture, and agriculture, Indigenous Ingenuity is a wide-ranging STEM offering that answers the call for Indigenous nonfiction by reappropriating hidden history. The book includes fun, simple activities and experiments that kids can do to better understand and enjoy the principles used by Indigenous inventors. Readers of all ages are invited to celebrate traditional North American Indigenous innovation, and to embrace the mindset of reciprocity, environmental responsibility, and the interconnectedness of all life.



★ "This book will amaze readers and teachers. Completely unique and important." -- SLJ, starred review



★ "Engaging and informative." -- Booklist, starred review



" Essential for kids and adults. We need this book." --Candace Fleming, award-winning author of The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh and The Family Romanov
Table of Contents
A Note from the AuthorsXIII
Language RecognitionXV
Introduction1
It's a Turtle!1
Traditional Knowledge and Technology-STEM4
All My Relations4
Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and Ways of Knowing5
Breaks in Knowledge and Technology6
Traditional Knowledge: Hiding in Plain Sight8
Traditional Knowledge: Just Plain Hiding9
Our Future Together9
Chapter 1Sustainable Land Management and Ecology11
Mending a Misconception13
Sustaining Ecosystems: Why Cultural Burning Is Beneficial16
Chapter 2Transportation19
Geography of Turtle Island20
Canoes21
What Makes Canoes Better Than Wooden Boats?22
Building a Birchbark Canoe23
Dogsleds25
Friction27
Lifesaving Emergency Vehicles28
Kayaks28
Umiaq30
Inuit Technology Takes Flight and Dives Deep31
Travois32
Bull Boats33
Activity: Whatever Floats Your (Bull) Boat!34
Toboggans36
Bending and Shaping Wood36
Chapter 3Communications Technology38
Wampum Belt39
Wampum Strings41
Recording History Today: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Wampum Belt41
Tools Engineering History: The Pump Fire Drill42
Plains Indian Sign Language43
Activity: Learn Plains Indian Sign Language44
Books47
Making Paper the Mesoamerican Way47
Write This Down!48
Petroglyphs48
Hieroglyphs49
Pictograms50
Birchbark Scrolls50
The Winter Count51
Activity: Learn to Read a Pictographic Story52
Activity: Write Your Own Pictogram Language and Story54
Inuksuk55
Totem Poles55
Saanich Totem Pole Symbols57
Chapter 4Agriculture and Food Technology58
Corn59
Grow. Eat. Spread. Repeat60
Biochemistry Breakthrough!60
Popcorn62
Gum62
Why Can't You Find Chocolate-Covered Gum?63
Chinampas64
Building a Chinampa Step-by-Step64
Ingenious Irrigation65
Milpa65
A Well-Balanced Diet65
A Well-Balanced Ecosystem66
Seeds Survive67
Maple Syrup67
Birchbark Bowls and Buckets67
Cooking Without Electricity: Indigenous Thermodynamics68
A Great Source of Energy-and Water68
Maple Sugar Products69
The Tap Ceremony69
Tradition Meets Technology70
Chocolate70
Activity: Make Mexica Hot Chocolate72
Sacred Tobacco73
The Four Medicines73
What Is a Tobacco Offering?74
Bison Hunt Technology75
Attracting Bison: Dung Dos and Don'ts75
Nature's Fertilization75
Industrial-Scale Bison Traps76
Microbiology and Meat Preservation77
Storage78
Fish Capture Technology78
Fish Traps and Weirs79
Industrial-Scale Fish Traps80
Understanding K'ómoks Estuary Fish Traps81
Fishhooks81
The Halibut Hook82
The Perfect Catch: Sustainable Aquaculture83
Toggle Harpoon84
Float Technology85
Chapter 5Health Sciences86
Hygiene and Preventive Medicine87
"It's Organic": Traditional Indigenous Cleaning Products89
Nutrition Science90
Eating Off the Land90
Medicines92
Cough Medicine92
Datura93
Salicin93
Capsaicin94
Capsaicin Chemistry94
Scurvy Cure95
A Lifesaving Decoction95
Emergency Medicine96
Mesoamerican Operations96
Moldy Medicines97
Orthopedics98
The Physics of Healing98
Orrhopedic Casts99
Surgery100
Amputation100
Brain Surgery101
The Hidden History of Syringes101
Obstetrics102
Spores, Sores, and Disinfectant103
Spiritual Healing103
Shamanism and Rituals103
Let's Talk About It106
Dentistry106
Less Sugar107
More Water107
Human Teeth and Snail Shells: Chemical Cousins107
Salt Water: Nature's Mouthwash108
Activity: Make Your Own Antibacterial Mouthwash the Mayan Way108
"Open Wide!": Dental Hygiene on Turtle Island109
What's in Your Toothpaste?110
Chapter 6Textile Technology, Clothing, and Fashion111
From Animal Skin to Leather, and Fibers to Fabric: Pioneering Industrial Design112
Tanning113
Brains, Trees, and Urine113
Smoking114
Weaving115
Activity: Paper-Weaving Craft116
Sewing Tools118
Needles, Awls, Threads, and Knives118
Ulu119
Indigenous Fashion (and Function)120
Underwear120
Leggings, Moccasins, and Robes121
Beads and Ornaments121
Beading as Medicine123
Hair Extensions124
Mukluks125
Parkas and the Layered Look125
The Physics of Fur126
Snow Goggles127
The Optics of Sight and Sun Protection127
Snowshoes129
How to Build Snowshoes129
Crampons130
Babiche Bags130
Sandals131
Dyes: Sourcing and Staining Colors Across Turtle Island132
Seeing Red134
Cotton: Indigenous Clothing and a World-Famous Crop134
The Anatomy of Cotton135
Breeding Cotton After Colonial Contact135
The Power of Inertia: Spindle, Whorl, and Loom135
A Blanket of Dog Hair136
Products of the Loom: Aztec Clothing136
Chapter 7Architecture and Civil Engineering137
Adobe Apartment Buildings137
Historic Homes: Adobes of the Southwest138
Lasting Design139
Water Systems140
Olmec Aqueducts140
Four Miles of Irrigation140
Clean Drinking Water141
Drainage Systems142
Bridges142
Canals143
Earth Lodges144
Igloos144
Physics, Thermodynamics, and Dimensions145
Family Homes, Kennels, and Hunting Shelters148
Igloos Today148
Lighthouses149
The Geometry of Survival at Sea149
Pyramids151
Roads152
Seawalls153
Tipi153
Double-Wall Construction155
Legacy of the Tipi Today155
Wigwams156
Concrete Chemistry157
Passive Air-Conditioning158
Shade159
Water and Air159
Cold Storage159
Plumbing and Sanitation160
Wood Preservation160
Chapter 8Hunting and Combat Technology162
Atlatl162
Bow and Arrow164
Get to Know the Bows of Turtle Island165
Axes166
War Club166
Shields167
Bolas168
Blowguns168
How Blowguns Are Built169
Poisons169
Pick Your Poisons170
Warriors' Body Armor170
The Tlingit Warriors' Code172
Aztec Warrior Education173
Cotton Body Armor174
Aztec Warrior Clothing175
Aztec Shields176
Obsidian Sword176
Special Forces177
Chapter 9Mathematics178
Maya Mathematics178
Counting on Fingers (and Toes?)179
The Philosophy of Zero179
Maya Numeric Symbols180
Activity: Count and Calculate the Maya Way181
Indigenous People and the Space Program182
Aztec Arithmetic183
Geometry…for Taxes183
Activity: How Much Land Would the Aztec Tax? Do the Math!184
Answers: Count and Calculate the Maya Way185
Answers: How Much Land Would the Aztec Tax?185
Chapter 10Arts, Sports, and Recreation186
Wheels, Whistles, and Sculptures186
Wheels for Fun, Not Transportation187
Sculpting Jade189
Copper Culture190
Beyond Beauty: What Copper Crafts Teach Archaeology190
Lost Wax Casting192
Acid Etching192
Musical Instruments193
Indigenous Instruments…in Space!193
The History of Hoops and Rubber194
Toys and Amusement195
Spinning Tops195
Whoopee Cushion196
Chapter 11Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Our Sustainable Future198
Wildlife Conservation199
Ecocultural Restoration of Bison199
Bison and the Prairie Ecosystem201
Additional Wildlife Conservation Projects202
Landscape Stewardship203
Yurok Sustainable Forestry and Climate Change203
Seminole Everglades Restoration Initiative204
InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council205
Santa Clara Pueblo's Conservation Program206
Water: Our Relative207
Restoring Indigenous Foodways208
Forest Gardens208
Chinampa Restoration211
Ecological Degradation213
Land Guardians214
Help Wanted! Responsibilities of a Land Guardian215
Corporations Employing Indigenous Knowledge: De Beers at the Gahcho Kué Mine215
Epilogue217
Acknowledgments221
Map224
Cultural Areas and Peoples Referenced225
Glossary229
Indigenous Science Today: Contemporary Indigenous Science Organizations241
Selected Bibliography243
Source Notes245
Index253
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