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Every Day Is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women

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Challenging and passionate are the voices in this gathering of proud indigenous women. Coming together as one, 19 strong and successful women provide a rare glimpse into their lives with the hope that their voices will be heard and their message understood: bear witness to the unforgivable acts that their people have survived and take a step forward in mending old wrongs a Challenging and passionate are the voices in this gathering of proud indigenous women. Coming together as one, 19 strong and successful women provide a rare glimpse into their lives with the hope that their voices will be heard and their message understood: bear witness to the unforgivable acts that their people have survived and take a step forward in mending old wrongs and forgiving past and present hurts. Brings to light the insight of women artists, lawyers, ranchers, doctors, and educators Discussions range from the land to government, love to family life. Conversational style of writing presents a genuine Native American perspective.


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Challenging and passionate are the voices in this gathering of proud indigenous women. Coming together as one, 19 strong and successful women provide a rare glimpse into their lives with the hope that their voices will be heard and their message understood: bear witness to the unforgivable acts that their people have survived and take a step forward in mending old wrongs a Challenging and passionate are the voices in this gathering of proud indigenous women. Coming together as one, 19 strong and successful women provide a rare glimpse into their lives with the hope that their voices will be heard and their message understood: bear witness to the unforgivable acts that their people have survived and take a step forward in mending old wrongs and forgiving past and present hurts. Brings to light the insight of women artists, lawyers, ranchers, doctors, and educators Discussions range from the land to government, love to family life. Conversational style of writing presents a genuine Native American perspective.

30 review for Every Day Is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    Linda Aranaydo, Muscogee Creek (physician) Mary and Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone (traditionalists) Angela Gonzales, Hopi (professor) Joy Harjo, Muscogee Creek/Cherokee (poet/musician) LaDonna Harris, Comanche (warrior) Sarah James, Nee’Tsaii Gwich’in (human rights activist) Debra LaFountaine, Ojibway (environmentalist) Rosalie Little Thunder, Lakota (Lakota linguist/artist) Lurline Wailana McGregor, Native Hawaiian (television producer) Beatrice Medicine, Lakota (anthropologist) Ella Mulford, N Linda Aranaydo, Muscogee Creek (physician) Mary and Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone (traditionalists) Angela Gonzales, Hopi (professor) Joy Harjo, Muscogee Creek/Cherokee (poet/musician) LaDonna Harris, Comanche (warrior) Sarah James, Nee’Tsaii Gwich’in (human rights activist) Debra LaFountaine, Ojibway (environmentalist) Rosalie Little Thunder, Lakota (Lakota linguist/artist) Lurline Wailana McGregor, Native Hawaiian (television producer) Beatrice Medicine, Lakota (anthropologist) Ella Mulford, Navajo (biologist) Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Salish Flathead (artist) Audrey Shenandoah, Onondaga (Clan Mother) Joanne Shenandoah, Oneida (musician) Gail Small (Head Chief Woman), Northern Cheyenne (environmental activist) Faith Smith, Ojibway (educator) Florence Soap, Cherokee (grandmother) Octaviana Valenzuela Trujillo, Pascua Yaqui (educator)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I came across Wilma Mankiller & this book when I read Gloria Steinem’s My Life On the Road. I’m always grateful to stumble unto these little gems I might never have come across otherwise. This books is a compilation of conversations with native women from various tribes discussing their views on topics from faith to the environment, feminism to their ongoing struggles to preserve their language and culture, and STILL fighting to keep their native lands.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Equal parts enlightenment, sorrow, hope, and frustration. A wonderful discussion between various leaders of a few of the tribes native to North America (and Hawaii) who happen to be women.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rowan

    It was so hard to put this book down. For those of you who wish to learn about the beliefs, thoughts and feelings of Indigenous women, here is the book for you.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tom Walsh

    Beautiful read of powerful women talking about their attachment to their Community, Land and the World. Read over many weeks to savor each tale.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    "Traditional indigenous knowledge systems and stories acknowledge that the rivers, rocks, trees, plant life, and celestial world are alive with spirit and meaning. When traditional indigenous people speak of their relatives, they are referring to every living thing, not just human kinship. The very identity of traditional tribal people is derived from the natural world, the land, and the community. They understand their own insignificance in the totality of things." Wilma Mankiller. I loved this "Traditional indigenous knowledge systems and stories acknowledge that the rivers, rocks, trees, plant life, and celestial world are alive with spirit and meaning. When traditional indigenous people speak of their relatives, they are referring to every living thing, not just human kinship. The very identity of traditional tribal people is derived from the natural world, the land, and the community. They understand their own insignificance in the totality of things." Wilma Mankiller. I loved this collection of stories from the 20 indigenous woman who have fought hard to help and support their tribal communities. They are strong, fearless,wise, knowledgeable and compassionate. These women are my role models and I hope to become just as knowledgeable, strong and compassionate. The subjects discussed are ceremonies; tribal governance/sovereignty; womanhood; love and acceptance; culture; language; etc. The women reminded me why I am working in the field that I am; they reminded me that I need to do more for my community and that I need to focus on self-improvement, like learning to speak Navajo and Lakota better, re-learn how to weave; learn how to make Navajo baskets, re-learn how to bead, etc. I would recommend this book to all who are interested strong female leaders speaking about the contemporary indigenous world view.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marisa

    Indigenous voices are something that often gets overlooked in the US and I wanted to hear some of their perspectives. Wilma Mankiller was an amazing advocate and impressive human in the range of activities including being the first woman to serve as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, but this book isn’t just about her. It is a compilation of impressive women’s perspectives with each chapter on a new topic. The book easily could have been depressing or a vent of frustration, but instead it’s Indigenous voices are something that often gets overlooked in the US and I wanted to hear some of their perspectives. Wilma Mankiller was an amazing advocate and impressive human in the range of activities including being the first woman to serve as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, but this book isn’t just about her. It is a compilation of impressive women’s perspectives with each chapter on a new topic. The book easily could have been depressing or a vent of frustration, but instead it’s well-balanced with hope, appreciation, and an attempt to portray their sorrow. I found the book is immensely powerful and continues to make me reflect when I hear things in the news. I’d highly recommend it for someone who is feeling disenfranchised over recent current events and looking for some calm and renewed energy. Who should read it? I wish it were required reading for students in the USA. See all my reviews and more at Reading to Distraction or @Read2Distract

  8. 4 out of 5

    ONTD Feminism

    LJ user pachakuti: The late Wilma Mankiller (rest her soul) gathered thoughts and reflections from 19 Native women, on things like the meaning of spirituality, the importance of sovereignty, and what it means to be an indigenous woman today. This read is important because feminism and women-centered writing in the public eye tends to be so overwhelmingly white-washed. Also, Ms. Mankiller chose her writers very well indeed and this is a book I reflected on and re-read parts of for days after I fir LJ user pachakuti: The late Wilma Mankiller (rest her soul) gathered thoughts and reflections from 19 Native women, on things like the meaning of spirituality, the importance of sovereignty, and what it means to be an indigenous woman today. This read is important because feminism and women-centered writing in the public eye tends to be so overwhelmingly white-washed. Also, Ms. Mankiller chose her writers very well indeed and this is a book I reflected on and re-read parts of for days after I first finished it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Mishap

    Essential reading even if it is over a decade old. Mankiller calls this collection of thoughts from native women a "gathering" and it is a unique assemblage of oral history, personal sharing, and insightful commentary. Recommended. Essential reading even if it is over a decade old. Mankiller calls this collection of thoughts from native women a "gathering" and it is a unique assemblage of oral history, personal sharing, and insightful commentary. Recommended.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Abdo

    As a compilation, it has so many different points of view, so it's hard to speak generally. What appealed to me beyond the opportunity to read so many native women at once on a variety of topics from government to love, was the view of religion incorporating all living things - that promotes inclusivity, equality and respect for the environment as integral parts of life. I was struck by the fact that most native cultures were quite equal before the imposition of male dominated European religion a As a compilation, it has so many different points of view, so it's hard to speak generally. What appealed to me beyond the opportunity to read so many native women at once on a variety of topics from government to love, was the view of religion incorporating all living things - that promotes inclusivity, equality and respect for the environment as integral parts of life. I was struck by the fact that most native cultures were quite equal before the imposition of male dominated European religion and government. Two of the women expressed views that they needed to support men who have become vulnerable and that women shouldn't play sports because the muscles will be bad for childbirth. Maybe I didn't read that correctly. .. Towards the beginning I was discouraged to read about the integration of Christianity in native life, though theirs appears to be a more forgiving version and makes room for their native ceremony and beliefs for the most part. There is a lot to learn about the history - they only touch on it but it's so valuable to know about their struggle and survival and what it means today. There is a current throughout of a well deserved critique of capitalist greed. This was satisfying to know that others share this view. Some women seem to want to prove Christianity is compatible with native culture. The church did preserve some native languages in a way. But there are native stories, one of a creator asking for 30 deer and the man only conning up with 28 and the creator says that's fine. Compare that with Cain and Abel from the Bible with God accepting one brother's type of sacrifice over the other and murder results. Not exactly harmonious or forgiving... There are so many contributors and sidebar perspectives. I can't begin to say all I got from this book. It was enlightening historically and heartbreaking to see how devastating colonisation has been.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Read for Indigenous Author square of Book Bingo. I wish I'd read this one in hard copy (vs Kindle) because the contributor bios are all in the back and I wish I'd read them first and referred to them as reading each chapter. I enjoyed the diversity of indigenous women's voices included. Read for Indigenous Author square of Book Bingo. I wish I'd read this one in hard copy (vs Kindle) because the contributor bios are all in the back and I wish I'd read them first and referred to them as reading each chapter. I enjoyed the diversity of indigenous women's voices included.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Fletcher

    This book shows what real human values should be- care of community and the earth, while giving insight into lives these Native women have lived in country whose culture has tried to decimate their indigenous values. But they are resilient.

  13. 4 out of 5

    M.K. Sheehan

    A welcoming introduction to native philosophy, belief, and wisdom.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Goode

    This is an informative source for realizing the variety of concerns that native women have based on the past and present.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Monica Boyd

    I received this book through inter library loan twice. It's the kind of book that is hard to pick up, because it doesn't tell one story with a through line. There are a dozen or more indigenous women from a large variety of tribes, including a native Hawaiian. Wilma Mankiller tells some of her story at the beginning of each chapter and then the other voices come in. Some of their stories and admonishments overlap. Many of these are not for a white western woman. But I thought it as important to I received this book through inter library loan twice. It's the kind of book that is hard to pick up, because it doesn't tell one story with a through line. There are a dozen or more indigenous women from a large variety of tribes, including a native Hawaiian. Wilma Mankiller tells some of her story at the beginning of each chapter and then the other voices come in. Some of their stories and admonishments overlap. Many of these are not for a white western woman. But I thought it as important to read the whole book. My favorite chapters were Context is Everything and Love and Acceptance. I hope to read her "A Readers Companion to US Women's History."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bonnye Reed

    Every Day is a Good Day is an extraordinary book by extraordinary women. Compiled and edited by Wilma Mankiller, this book is in an interesting format - Wilma asks a question, then gives you the answers provided by each participant. I found it very easy to follow, and very interesting. I had read this book in the past and was pleased to find it again. It is one I will need to read yet again to get through this life.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I would probably give this about a 3.5 if Goodreads would allow half stars. I very much appreciated the perspective of these indigenous women, but sometimes I felt the thoughts they shared were redundant from chapter to chapter. It seemed like I flew through reading the first half but started to get tired of reading it about mid-way. It is still a good book to read to see these different viewpoints.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Some parts were moving. Some parts were inspirational. Certainly opened my eyes and my heart to history and indigenous cultures. However, sprinkled throughout were some negative lines that were telling me what I as a white woman thought and felt.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This book came into my life right when I needed it. These women's words helped to re-center myself. They helped to remind me what is important in my life and what I want to be focused on. Their strength gives me courage and for that I am very grateful. This book came into my life right when I needed it. These women's words helped to re-center myself. They helped to remind me what is important in my life and what I want to be focused on. Their strength gives me courage and for that I am very grateful.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    It was very interesting to read the thoughts of indigenous that are shared among the various tribes. It truly was an educational book, and it made me sad that, as invaders, we have so ignored their values. We could learn so much if only we (and our politicians) would listen.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mariana

    A great compilation of wisdom by 19 indigenous leading women.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Bailey

    A beautiful and incredibly important book! Loved it!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    I really enjoyed this book. Wilma Mankiller was one of twenty women from various tribes and backgrounds that reflected on specific topics such as ceremonies. I highly recommend this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Vickie

    Was not what I expected but worth the effort

  25. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    Great message and powerful stories, but rather repetitive.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Reikista

    Native women write about community and spirituality.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alyce J Riddle

  28. 4 out of 5

    Judy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

  30. 5 out of 5

    Diane Corradini

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