Saturday, November 05, 2005

Native American Spirituality: Huston Smith and Phil Cousineau in Conversation

On Monday November 7th at Book Passage in Corte Madera at 7 pm, Phil Cousineau and Huston Smith will talk about their new book "A Seat at the Table: Huston Smith in Conversation with Native Americans on Religious Freedom ". The book is cast as a series of dialogues in which the most widely read and beloved historian of religions in the world, Huston Smith, engages in conversations with American Indian leaders about their five hundred year long fight for religious freedom. These intimate, impassioned dialogues yield profound insights into one of the most striking cases of tragic irony in history: the country that prides itself on religious freedom has resolutely denied those same rights to its own indigenous people.

Phil Cousineau and Huston Smith

With remarkable erudition and curiosity, Smith and Cousineau, respectfully engage ten American Indian leaders:

Vine Deloria, Jr. (Lakota), Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe), Walter Echo-Hawk (Pawnee), Frank Dayish, Jr. (Navajo), Charlotte Black Elk (Lakota), Douglas George-Kanentiio (Mohawk), Lenny Foster (Dine), Tonya Gonnella Frichner (Onondaga), Anthony Guy Lopez (Lokota), and Oren Lyons (Onondaga).

Winona LaDuke

The ideas expressed in these conversations cover spirituality, politics, Native American relations with the U.S. government and contemporary American society, and the continuing vitality of Native American communities. These words help give voice to a population that is all too often ignored in contemporary discourse. American Indian culture is not a relic of the past, nor a historical curiosity, but a living tradition that continues to shape all of our American lives.

Oren Lyons

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