Who Are These People Anyway?
Chief Irving Powless Jr. of the Onondaga Nation
Edited by Lesley Forrester
"In this fascinating book, Powless writes of his experiences living for over eighty years on traditional Onondaga territory. He tells of the teachings passed down through generations and shares
traditional knowledge of environmental challenges and sustainability. This book not only provides a better understanding of the Onondaga people, it creates a bridge between the Onondaga and non-Onondaga communities and promises to enhance knowledge of the historical and contemporary issues concerning both communities."—Brian Rice, associate professor of education, University of Winnipeg
"The narrative of Chief Powless provides unique insights into contemporary
Haudenosaunee life from one of the most respected Native leaders of our time. His
book is entertaining, informative, and essential if one is to know who we are."—Doug George-Kanentiio, Akwesasne Mohawk and
author of Iroquois on Fire
"Chief Irving Powless Jr. is one of the most eloquent and earth-based speakers I have
ever known. It is with great honor I recommend this book, which takes you through
his life with stories and belief systems of the Iroquois. A must read!"—Joanne Shenandoah, PhD, Oneida Iroquois
Irving Powless Jr. has been a chief of the Beaver Clan of the Onondaga Nation since 1964.
An historian, statesman, actor, musician, and veteran, he has lectured about Indigenous culture
and sovereignty, and has been a key spokesperson for the Haudenosaunee nations.
Lesley Forrester is the editor of And Grandma Said . . . Iroquois Teachings: as passed down
through the oral tradition.
Book Description »[Close »]
In the rich tradition of oral storytelling, Chief Irving Powless Jr. of the Beaver
Clan of the Onondaga Nation reminds us of an ancient treaty. It promises that
the Haudenosaunee people and non-Indigenous North Americans will respect
each other’s differences even when their cultures and behaviors differ greatly.
Powless shares intimate stories of growing up close to the earth, of his
work as Wampum Keeper for the Haudenosaunee people, of his heritage as a
lacrosse player, and of the treaties his ancestors made with the newcomers. He
also pokes fun at the often-peculiar behavior of his non-Onondaga neighbors,
asking, "Who are these people anyway?" Sometimes disarmingly gentle, sometimes
caustic, these vignettes refreshingly portray mainstream North American
culture as seen through Haudenosaunee eyes. Powless illustrates for all of us
the importance of respect, peace, and, most importantly, living by the unwritten
laws that preserve the natural world for future generations.
View other series books on The Iroquois and Their Neighbors.
6 x 9, 160 pages, notes