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Recommended Reading

One Church Many Tribes by Richard Twiss

From the Back Cover:

“In this captivating chronicle of the Native American story, Richard Twiss of the Rosebud Lakota/Sioux sifts through myth and legend to reveal God’s strategy for the nation’s host people. With wit, wisdom, and passion, Twiss shows God’s desire to use the cultures of First Nations peoples–in all their mystery, color and beauty–to break through to those involved in New Age mysticism, Eastern religions, even Islam. One Church, Many Tribes is a rallying cry for the Church to work as one so that the lost may learn to walk in life with beauty, along the path of the Waymaker.”

Whose Child is This by Bill Wilson

From the Back Cover:

“At the age of fourteen, Bill Wilson was abandoned. Now he leads a crusade to rescue children in Brooklyn’s “war zone”—and beyond. His dramatic story is more than a life-and-death struggle in the midst of crime, drugs and poverty. It is a vision of hope and promise for America’s children. “Lately in the news they’ve been talking about how likely it is for a black male teenager to get shot and killed—especially in my neighborhood. They say it’s even more likely that in a couple of years I’ll be carrying a gun. But what they don’t know is what a difference God’s made in my life. Ever since I was three I’ve been going to Sunday school, and I’ve learned about God and His ways. And I made up my mind to follow Jesus. No, you’ll never see me with a gun shooting anyone. Ever! Because no matter what’s going on around me, I am standing for Jesus.”—Vincent, age 12”

Don’t Let the Sun Step Over You:  A White Mountain Apache Family Life, 1860-1975 by Eva Tulene Watt

“Eva Tulene Watt was born in 1913, now shares the story of her family from the time of the Apache wars to the modern era.  Her narrative presents a view of history that differs fundamentally from conventional approaches, which have almost nothing to say about the daily lives of Apache men and women, their values and social practices, and the singular abilities that enabled them to survive.  In a voice that is spare, factual, and unflinchingly direct, Mrs. Watt reveals how the Western Apaches carried on in the face of poverty, hardship and disease…We share her family’s travels and troubles.  We learn how the Apache people struggled daily to find work, shelter, food, health, laughter, solace, and everything else that people in any community seek.  Richly illustrated with  more than 50 photographs, Don’t Let the Sun Step Over You is a rare and remarkable book that affords a view of the past that few have seen before-a wholly Apache view, unsettling yet uplifting, which weighs upon the mind and educates the heart.”

Putting a Song on Top of It:  Expression and Identity on the San Carlos Apache Reservation by David W. Samuels

“As in many Native American communities, people on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in southeastern Arizona have for centuries been exposed to contradictory pressures.  One set of expectations is about conversion and modernization-spiritual, linguistic, cultural, technological…Using insights gained from both linguistic and musical practices in the community-as well as from his own experience playing in an Apache country band-David Samuels explores the complex expressive lives of these people to offer new ways of thinking about cultural identity…Samuel’s work is a multifaceted exploration of the complexities of sound, of language, and of the process of constructing and articulating identity in the twenty-first century.”

The New Trail of Tears: How Washington Is Destroying American Indians 

by Naomi Schaefer Riley

If you want to know why American Indians have the highest rates of poverty of any racial group, why suicide is the leading cause of death among Indian men, why native women are two and a half times more likely to be raped than the national average and why gang violence affects American Indian youth more than any other group, do not look to history. There is no doubt that white settlers devastated Indian communities in the 19th, and early 20th centuries. But it is our policies today—denying Indians ownership of their land, refusing them access to the free market and failing to provide the police and legal protections due to them as American citizens—that have turned reservations into small third-world countries in the middle of the richest and freest nation on earth.

If we are really ready to have a conversation about American Indians, it is time to stop bickering about the names of football teams and institute real reforms that will bring to an end this ongoing national shame.

When Helping Hurts, by Steve Corbett

Poverty is much more than simply a lack of material resources, and it takes much more than donations and handouts to solve it. When Helping Hurts shows how some alleviation efforts, failing to consider the complexities of poverty, have actually (and unintentionally) done more harm than good.

But it looks ahead. It encourages us to see the dignity in everyone, to empower the materially poor, and to know that we are all uniquely needy—and that God in the gospel is reconciling all things to himself.

Focusing on both North American and Majority World contexts, When Helping Hurts provides proven strategies for effective poverty alleviation, catalyzing the idea that sustainable change comes not from the outside in, but from the inside out.