BOOK  REVIEWS for Four Arrows

           Point of Departure: Returning to Our Authentic Worldview for Education and Survival

 

     “Four Arrows provides a quintessential critique of how the collective human departure of modern society from "Indigenous Consciousness" has led to the current wholesale exploitation and destruction of "Indigenous Nature" ... while providing the impetus for the urgency of a return to the "Indigenous Mind" as one of the true pathways for our future survival." Greg Cajete, Director of Native American Studies, University of New Mexico; author of Native Science and Look to the Mountain

 

"Recognizing the disastrous consequences of the dominant worldview pervading global society, Four Arrows teaches metacognitive strategies to help shift us back toward the Indigenous worldview—the only worldview that can restore balance amidst planetary crisis. With his characteristic insight, he reminds us that interconnectedness with all of creation is the basis of courage that will help each of us, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, rise to action in defense of Mother Earth.”— Waziyatawin, Dakota author and activist from Pezihutazizi K'api Makoce (Land Where They Dig for Yellow Medicine) in southwestern Minnesota 

 

     “Four Arrows continues to open our eyes to the possibility of a new society, one founded on the empirical data of thousands of years and within the paradigms of traditional wisdom and the people connected to all of life – theirs, ours, animal brethren and Mother Earth. Point of Departure is a MUST read for anyone who wants to be part of the solution.”—Rebecca Adamson, Founder/President First Peoples Worldwide

 

“With grace and honesty, Four Arrows educates us about human capacities, reminds us about what our ancestors knew and shows us traditional ways to heal ourselves. He gives us faith in the power of humanity’s self-transformation, perhaps our greatest hope in these challenging times. Four Arrows inspires us to learn how to be fearless and courageously rejoin the earth community. Point of Departure is a welcomed book!”—Darcia Narvaez, Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame; author of Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom

 

“Anyone who is even slightly Indigenous will nod in recognition all the way through Point of Departure. Using the four sacred directions as cognitive bridges into the circle of all, Four Arrows walks the reader through trance-based, transformative learning; courage, Indian-style, as connection- not fear-based; and the Indigenous grammar of communication and truth-telling, with neither restricted to humans. Then, binding the hoop together for “all our relations,” Four Arrows recommends re-acquaintance with Nature. The handy “take-away” discussions and “how-to” manuals concluding each discussion draw the reader into the circle, if only the reader is willing.”—Barbara Alice Mann, Associate Professor of Humanities, University of Toledo. Author of Spirits of Blood, Spirits of Breath: The Twinned Cosmos of Indigenous America et al

 

“Courage begins consciousness and here is proof. In this book Four Arrows describes Indigenous tacit knowledge for mainstream society…Interconnection is made potent and viable because of its descriptions from authentic knowing. We return there now to be of service.  Here is the mana of this book – let us learn this together! Ho’oulu lahui o moana-nui-akea.”—Manulani Aluli Meyer, Director of Indigenous Education, University of Hawaii West Oahu

 

     “Point of Departure offers humanity a call to a higher consciousness for a New 21st Century Mind…Four Arrows holds the mirror for every reader to act on his challenge to birth an education system created on praxis of ethical values in a social justice construct, balancing the Natural Laws of the Earth and the supreme universal spiritual laws governing all of humanity.”

—Kahontakwas Diane Longboat, Turtle Clan, Mohawk Nation. Ceremonial leader and Speaker of the Governing Council of Soul of the Mother 

 

“How will we get beyond our "Western" narcissism to explore, listen, and trust non-dominant cultural discourses which open us to sustainability and yes, survival?  This book creates a pathway, reasonably and humanely brings us to a critical consciousness of emancipation and activism.  The time is now...to embrace praxis-based ways of knowing and humbly look to Elders of knowledge for nourishment and survival.  Four Arrows starts us on the journey.—Shirley R. Steinberg, Research Professor of Youth Studies, University of Calgary and founder, freireproject.org      

 

    “I have lectured on fourth world (Indigenous) concepts of democracy, feminism, environmentalism, and gender fluidity for nearly fifty years.  I had little inkling that such thinking would become a new paradigm – indeed, in the environmental realm, a required survival plan. Four Arrows’ new book places this thinking in a worldwide context and ought to be required reading in many fields – literature, history, law, anthropology, and cross-cultural communication."—Bruce E. Johansen, Jacob J. Isaacson University Research Professor, School of Communication, University of Nebraska at Omaha

 

“Four Arrows (Don Jacobs)’s Point of Departure: Returning to a More Authentic Worldview for Education and Survival brilliantly calls into question a Western mode of arrogance and dominance that has brought Mother Earth to the brink. He provides much needed and practical insights about the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of nations and peoples with a track record of living in in their traditional territories with ecological systems, in perpetuity, prior to the massively destructive onslaught of colonization. ” -- Steven Newcomb (Shawnee, Lenape), Author of Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery.

 

“Point of Departure is a powerful and wise prescription for healing ourselves and our planet. With authority and eloquence, it offers a paradigm-shattering opportunity for metacognition work that can move us beyond misperceived limitations so we can write new empowering stories for our lives.”— Bruce H. Lipton, Author of The Biology of Belief.

 

                                                                Teaching Truly

“Penetrating, fearless and practical, this book offers educators (and anyone else with an interest in our future) a way to create a better world—before it is too late!”

—Thom Hartmann, award-winning syndicated progressive talk show host and author of numerous books including The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight

“This remarkable, nerve-touching book provides a missing link between the knowledge and ways of seeing and learning of indigenous peoples, that is ‘part of the soul,’ and the imperial education of the liberal West. In exposing and then pushing back a corporate screen behind which we all live and learn, Four Arrows hands us a new way to resist.”

—John Pilger, Author, investigative journalist (International reporter of the Year and recipient of a United Nations Peace Prize) and academy award winning documentary film-maker

“This enlightening book reminds us that the grim prognosis for life on this planet is the consequence of a few centuries of forgetting what traditional societies knew, and the surviving ones still recognize. We must nurture and preserve our common possession, the traditional commons, for future generations, and this must be one of our highest values, or we are all doomed. To regain this sensibility from those who have preserved it we must pay careful attention to their understanding and practices, especially their educational practices as brought to us in these thoughtful chapters.”

—Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at MIT, author of more than 120 books, recipient of the 2011 Sydney Peace Prize and one of the top ten most-cited individuals in the world, living or dead.

“Teaching Truly subtly raises the issue of the difference between education for the purpose of raising human consciousness and education for the purpose of creating workers for the global economy. Four Arrows makes it clear that our focus on the material and away from the spiritual aspect of our nature has created not only an imbalance in our mind/body/spirit that manifests in disease, dispirited communities and alienated children but also in the outward imbalance and disharmony on the planet that gives us life. In order to move forward, sometimes we need to connect with the best of our past. This book and its curriculum ideas are an opportunity and a gift to our children and the future. It is time to remember, to honor and to teach the great wisdom of our indigenous ancestors—this may be our last hope.”

—Nancy Turner Banks, M.D., author of AIDS, Opium, Diamonds and Empire

“Teaching Truly is a singularly provocative book with the unsettling analysis that education is not about learning and economics is not about the well-being of society. As today’s institutions crumble in their dysfunction, Four Arrows draws upon tens of thousands of years of empirical data within Indigenous societies, crucial intelligence on what works and how to unleash the kind of learning that will help us become human beings present and in balance with Mother Earth.”

—Rebecca Adamson, president of First Nations Development Institute, founder of First Peoples Worldwide and inductee to The National Woman’s History Hall of Fame

“This is a necessary book, a part of the revolution we so desperately need.”
—Derrick Jensen, author of A Language Older than Words

“At a time when mainstream education is viewed as impoverished and lacking in meaning, this engaging book invites educators to start a self-reflective dialogue on educational innovation stimulated and inspired by the indigenous wisdom. With humility, sensitivity and force, Teaching Truly gives rise to the possibility of transforming education from inside out.”

—Scherto Gill, Executive Secretary of the Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace, and author of Learning Across Cultures and Exploring Selfhood

“In this provocative new book, Four Arrows takes a principled stand on behalf of a significant educational perspective that has long been buried by corporate and political interests, that of the continent’s Primary People. We would surely live more balanced, respectful and grounded lives if 21st-century educators were to read this book and learn from its lessons. If we hope to pass along to our grandchildren a healthy 22nd century, we need a richer education than the ‘edupreneurs’ have provided us thus far."

—Peter Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor of English Education, University of Georgia

“Teaching Truly is an important work. It outlines in great detail how we can bring Indigenous perspectives and practices into the K–16 curriculum. This book provides a powerful framework as well as many practical strategies that can inspire teachers. Rooted in the original vision of Indigenous peoples, Four Arrows has given us a way to educate the whole person including the soul. Educating the whole child is indeed our last hope.”

—John (Jack) P. Miller, author of The Holistic Curriculum, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto

“In my own work as an environmental activist, I’ve learned more from the indigenous environmental network than just about anyone else. If the Indigenous perspective can help even

an old guy like me, then educators should be paying attention to what Four Arrows offers in this book. God knows we need some new ways of looking at things.”

—Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and author of The End of Nature, The Age of Missing Information, and The Global Warming Reader

“Now more than ever, teachers overrun by the bankrupt Common Core hegemony need the wisdom and insights, the joyfulness and harmony offered in Teaching Truly.”

—Susan Ohanian, author of Caught in the Middle: Nonstandard Kids and a Killing Curriculum

“This new book by Four Arrows bridges a gap, allowing for a renewed flow of wisdom from American Indian cultures. This perspective has always been crucial to us at AERO and we hope many will be able to use it before our mainstream culture goes over a cliff.”

—Jerry Mintz, Founder and Director of Alternative Education Resource Organization

“This book needs to be taken seriously. It offers a perspective that has been missing in cultural storage and thinking promoted in public schools and universities and online learning systems. There are many reasons for learning from indigenous knowledge systems. It would be a mistake to read Teaching Truly as an appeal to going back in time, as the lessons to be learned from indigenous cultures are timeless.”

—C.A. Bowers, author of the Perspectives on the Ideas of Gregory Bateson, Ecological Intelligence and Educational Reforms, and The Way Forward

“Four Arrows has brought leading thinking about this vital necessity into this text. We have much to learn from our host First Nations about teaching, thinking, rhythm and curriculum that Four Arrows has concisely captured for all teachers. This book is vital to our collective learning for today and in the future.”

—Tom Cooper, author of A Time Before Deception and Fast Media/Media Fast

“Teaching Truly is an incredible resource for staff in our schools who work with both Native and non-Native students. We will be using it.”

—Elliot Washor, Ed.D., Co-director, Big Picture Learning

“In contrasting Western and Indigenous ways, Four Arrows is hard on the West, but that is because there is so much at stake. Under the circumstances, it is most expedient to take the merits of the Western way as a given and to focus on the imbalances it has created. He is sincere in his proposal that teachers look for ways to partner Western and Indigenous perspectives, and this book explains why and how to do it.”

—Robert Lewis (Rafiq), author of Gaj: The End of Religion

“In Teaching Truly Four Arrows draws a frighteningly accurate map of the known world, and the spiritual and material collapse that’s upon us: death and destruction at the heart of the liberal techno/imperial/capitalist juggernaut. Drawing on ancient and Indigenous ways of being and knowing Four Arrows offers a contemporary guide to what is to be done, and illuminates a path toward a future where schools might play a powerful role in truth-seeking, repair, and renewal for all children, youth, families, and teachers. After an encounter with Four Arrows, I reflected with renewed energy on the urgent questions that drive free people in pursuit of enlightenment and liberation: What are we? Why are we here? Where are we headed? How shall we live? What kind of world can we hope to inhabit? This handbook for teachers is a vibrant and essential text for anyone who wants to understand the broad dimensions of the mess we’re in and pursue a wise and practical pathway forward.”

—William Ayers, author of Teaching Toward Freedom; Teaching the Taboo; and To Teach: The Journey in Comics

“Teaching Truly is a masterful and liberatory book that not only moves between theory and practice but makes teaching a vocation of the highest order. Ever mindful of history and the context of teaching, this beautifully written book deals with the complexity of teaching in a language that is as accessible as it is insightful. This is a book that should be read by all educators and anyone interested in education.”

— Henry Giroux, author of Education and the Crisis of Public Values

“Four Arrows is a combination of a visionary, a dreamer and a truth teller. While he is grounded in the realities of our global situations, and thus moves obstacles and creates better situational realities for the peoples he works with and for, he is motivated by a peaceful truth that radiates from the core of his being. If you are willing to listen and hear what might make you think and feel in an alternative capacity, Four Arrows is the gentle-hearted, educated soul to guide your path.”

—Heidi Maston, Editorial Board, International Journal of Science and internationally known distance education consultant

“Four Arrows has cut to the core in Teaching Truly. Doing more than overcoming the omissions, misinterpretations, and outright fictionalization of our culture, traditions and spirituality that have been taught in American schools, he has put together generalizable teachings for specific subjects in ways that can point education toward achieving a more balanced world.”

—Tim Giago, Nanwica Kciji (Stands Up for Them), author of The Aboriginal Sin, Notes from Indian Country, Volumes I and II and Children Left Behind