Aug 17, 2022 by Rose O'Keefe

The CSM’s People Making a Difference page told of a Canadian-Anishinaabe teacher, Christine M’Lot,  who grew up in Winnipeg without learning about traditional contributions in school. It wasn’t until her senior year in high school that she had a Native teacher who introduced her to traditional cultures. This momentous shift set her on the path towards becoming a traditionalist teacher. M’Lot designs her classes and projects to incorporate Native ways into math, coding, writing and other lessons. Her book Resurgence is an annotated collection of writers and artists works that she adapted into a teacher’s guide.

My favorite short-and-sweet Points of Progress highlighted the Ogiek peoples in Africa. They are a group of about 30,000 who were evicted from ancestral lands in the Mau Forest. Five years ago, a court in Kenya ruled that the Kenyan government had violated their rights and must pay fines for material damages and discriminatory acts. The Minority Rights Group was pleased by the precedent it set. Meanwhile in India, electric scooters are improving the outreach of health care workers. With 342 e-scooters, health workers can now travel more easily over rural roads to reach people in remote regions whose residents and workers have been badly affected by pollution from coal and mineral mining. And, between 2002 and 2020, tree coverage grew in 36 countries around the world including China, Bangladesh and Uruguay. The technology used to monitor tree growth can only measure trees that are over 16 feet tall. That limit leads to the great news that Africa’s reforestation efforts on 100 million hectares is yet to be added to the date. Lastly, the list of ways that countries are teaming up to reverse the effects of violence in Mozambique and sexual war crimes in the Ukraine, was sobering and uplifting.

Daniel Boone, written and illustrated by James Daugherty (1939) is my latest Newbery Award read. The contrast between its unabashed admiration for Boone’s wilderness skills and uncommon savvy, and its scorn for Native groups who embodied the same, couldn’t be more stark. It was interesting to learn of Boone’s Quaker parents being prosperous farmers outside of Reading, Pennsylvania. Daugherty painted a rosy picture of the gender roles of the 11 boys and girls of Father and Mother Boone. When they outgrew their pioneer community, the Boones packed their handmade tools and homespun clothing in Canestoga wagons and set out through the Shenandoah Valley for North Carolina. They traveled through magnificent lands full of wildlife, and of a such beauty and grandeur it took their breath away.

Daugherty vividly described and illustrated various battles, and the bounty of new lands that were soon depleted. He also included a telling text by a Seneca chief who spoke of the double standards of European ways. There was a lot of history in the middle of the glorification of Boone’s wife, Rebecca, who followed him from one frontier to the next and managed for years at a time, never knowing if he would return. Despite the sentimental portrait of chubby, frolicking pioneer babies growing into loyal Americans, this biography was full of good information that I had never learned.

blog post. #amreading; #RochesterNY; #indiebookstores; #Anishinaabe; #ChrstineM’Lot; #Resurgence; #Ogiek; #MauForest; #electric scooters; #DroupadiMurmu; #MinorityRightsGroup; #e-scooters; #reforestation; #NewberyAward; #JamesDaugherty; #DanielBoone;