Cherokee Earth Dwellers
Stories and Teachings of the Natural World
- PUBLISHED: October 2022
- SUBJECT LISTING: Native American and Indigenous Studies, Nature and Environment
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 296 Pages, 7 x 10 in, 66 b&w illus.
- ISBN: 9780295750187
Ayetli gadogv—to "stand in the middle"—is at the heart of a Cherokee perspective of the natural world. From this stance, Cherokee Earth Dwellers offers a rich understanding of nature grounded in Cherokee creature names, oral traditional stories, and reflections of elders and knowledge holders. During his lifetime, elder Hastings Shade created booklets with over six hundred Cherokee names for animals and plants. With this foundational collection at its center, and weaving together a chorus of voices, this book emerges from a deep and continuing collaboration between Christopher B. Teuton, Hastings Shade, Loretta Shade, and others.
Positioning our responsibilities as humans to our more-than-human relatives, this book presents teachings about the body, mind, spirit, and wellness that have been shared for generations. From clouds to birds, oceans to quarks, this expansive Cherokee view of nature reveals a living, communicative world and humanity's role within it.
Authors & Contributors
Christopher B. Teuton (Cherokee Nation) is professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington. He is author of Cherokee Stories of the Turtle Island Liars' Club. Hastings Shade (1941–2010) was deputy chief of the Cherokee Nation (1999–2003) and named a Cherokee National Treasure in 1991. Loretta Shade (1946–2021) was a master level speaker of the Cherokee language and named a Cherokee National Treasure in 2018. Larry Shade (Cherokee Nation) is an educator and cultural traditionalist.
A collaborative effort rooted in Indigenous thought, Cherokee Earth Dwellers shares knowledge of our world as a relational realm that includes humans but does not center them. Works like this are direly needed to counteract an increasing global deficiency in ecological morality.- Clint Carroll (Cherokee Nation), University of Colorado Boulder
With signature wit and clarity, Teuton and Shade help Cherokee people to practice Keetoowah ways in and through our language. These are the Keetoowah teachings we need at just the right time.- Ellen Cushman, Northeastern University