Cover: Cherokee Earth Dwellers: Stories and Teachings of the Natural World, by Christopher B. Teuton and Hastings Shade, with Loretta Shade and Larry Shade, illustrated by MaryBeth Timothy. Illustration: the leaves from an American chestnut tree; a howling wolf; and a cottonmouth snake. The title is also translated into Cherokee: Anitselagi Elohi Anehi, in both Latin script and Cherokee syllabary.
296 pages, 7 x 10
66 b&w images
Release Date:15 Apr 2023

Cherokee Earth Dwellers

Stories and Teachings of the Natural World

UBC Press

Ayetli gadogv – to “stand in the middle” – is at the heart of a Cherokee perspective of the natural world. From this stance, Cherokee Earth Dwellers offers a rich understanding of nature grounded in Cherokee creature names, oral traditional stories, and reflections of knowledge holders. During his lifetime, elder Hastings Shade created booklets with over six hundred Cherokee names for animals and plants. With this foundational collection at its center, and weaving together a chorus of voices, this book emerges from a deep and continuing collaboration between Christopher B. Teuton, Hastings Shade, Loretta Shade, and others.

Positioning our responsibilities as humans to our more-than-human relatives, this beautifully illustrated book presents teachings about the body, mind, spirit, and wellness that have been shared for generations. From clouds to birds, oceans to quarks, this expansive Cherokee view of nature reveals a living, communicative world and humanity’s role within it.

RELATED TOPICS: Indigenous Studies, Nature
Thoughtfully considered, beautifully written, and artfully organized, Cherokee Earth Dwellers stands as an exemplar of ethically engaged and community-grounded scholarship for Indigenous studies. We need this book and more like it. Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee Nation), author of Why Indigenous Literatures Matter
A collaborative effort rooted in Indigenous thought, Cherokee Earth Dwellers shares knowledge of our world as a relational realm that includes humans but does not center them. Works like this are direly needed to counteract an increasing global deficiency in ecological morality. Clint Carroll (Cherokee Nation), associate professor of Native American and Indigenous studies, University of Colorado Boulder
With signature wit and clarity, Teuton and Shade help Cherokee people practice Keetoowah ways in and through our language. These are the Keetoowah teachings we need at just the right time. Ellen Cushman (Cherokee Nation), author of The Cherokee Syllabary: Writing the People’s Perseverance
Christopher B. Teuton (Cherokee Nation) is a professor of American Indian studies at the University of Washington. He is the author of Cherokee Stories of the Turtle Island Liars’ Club. Hastings Shade (1941–2010) was the deputy chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1999 to 2003 and was named a Cherokee National Treasure in 1991. Loretta Shade (1946–2021) was a master-level speaker of the Cherokee language and was named a Cherokee National Treasure in 2018. Larry Shade (Cherokee Nation) is an educator and cultural traditionalist. MaryBeth Timothy (Cherokee Nation) is an accomplished artist noted for depictions of Indigenous life and the natural world.
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