Alcohol Problems in Native America

This is a carefully researched history of Native American experiences as seen through the lens of the presence of alcohol in Indian communities, and more importantly, how communities resisted alcohol. The "Firewater Myths" told about Indians and alcohol are listed and carefully contrasted with the actual facts. In a section entitled Firewater Myths and Modern Science the book states, "While the firewater myths were well timed for their moral, economic and political utility, they are not supported by either the historical or medical/scientific evidence." Early Native American advocates for Native sobriety walk across these pages and repeat the messages they gave in their time. Some of them include Samson Occom, Mohegan; William Apes, Pequot; Handsome Lake, Seneca; brothers Tenskwatawa and Tecumseh, Shawnee; Kennekuk, Kickapoo; George Copway (Kahgegagahbowh), Ojibwa; Quanah Parker, Comanche; Jack Wilson (Wovoka) and so many others. The book moves from some of the earliest indigenous experiences in the Western hemisphere in the 1500’s, all the way to the vibrant sobriety movement taking place today. Yesterday’s Native American sobriety and wellness advocates fill these pages, as well as today’s. The roles of the traditional culture, the Indian shaker Church, the Native American Church, the "Indianization" of Alcoholics Anonymous, and the modern Wellbriety movement follow chapter after chapter. A chapter on Addiction, Recovery, and the Processes of Colonization and Decolonization places historical trauma into an addictions context for the first time. Alcohol Problems in Native America will benefit addictions counselors and treatment facilities working with Native American clients; Native Americans and others in recovery; addictions researchers and addictions recovery program providers; Tribal and Native community leaders; Native American history and Indian Studies programs; secondary, college and graduate education; high school, college and community libraries.
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  • CP-B370