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starpeopleA recent book about “star people” legends has been getting some play in the blogosphere recently: Encounters with Star People: Untold Stories of American Indians. I tried to order it but it was temporarily out of stock. I’ll revisit it later since I want to review it. I’m not holding my breath for reasons that will become clear below.

The author of the work is Ardy Sixkiller Clarke, professor emeritus at Montana State University. Although I have no doubts about her university affiliation and that she has a doctorate in something, her credentials are actually hard to identify.1 Wanting to know her background is just a point of curiosity for me. I’d like to know if it’s in something other than education — some content-oriented doctoral degree like anthropology or folklore studies. Educational doctorates are more about (educational) theory, method, administration, etc. But I’ll assume she knows what she’s talking about with respect to indigenous lore. And that’s really what I expect to find in the book … lore, not facts.

Readers can find a description of Clarke’s book here. I should warn readers that the blog post at this link is misleading. It has a picture of “alien” rock art that has nothing to do with Native Americans — it’s rock art from Australia.  I suppose that’s supposed to add weight to the content of Clarke’s book, but it’s misleading. But it’s not as bad as what you’ll find on other sites that make it sound like Native Americans have stories about genetic manipulation of homo sapiens by aliens and advanced astronomical knowledge. (What’s the ancient Cherokee word for DNA? … seriously, ancient people knew nothing of DNA). I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest that this book will be interesting and useful as a reference, but ALL that it will be is legends and stories, offering no hard data for experiences with beings whose extraterrestrial (i.e., from other physical planets) reality can be proven. But I’ll wait to say more after I read it, presuming it’ll be available.

  1. Clarke was Professor of Educational Leadership and the Director of the Center for Bilingual/Multicultural Education. She was also American Indian Professor of Educational Leadership and the Director Center for Bilingual/Multicultural Education.  Various websites also note that, “Dr. Ardy Sixkiller Clarke a Professor Emeritus at Montana State University has dedicated her life and career to working with indigenous populations. She has been adopted and given traditional names by three Northern Plains tribes.” The Montana State University site doesn’t have her listed as faculty, though her name does appear on the site. That tells me she must have retired from teaching a while ago. I’m just surprised I can’t easily find a degree for her. Her name also does not appear in the JSTOR database which covers scholarly journals in anthropology, folklore, and indigenous studies. I have to presume then that she hasn’t published anything under peer review, at least in terms of indigenous content. I’m guessing she has published in education journals.

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10 Responses to “Native American Star People: New Book”

  • THAT guy says:

    you can never take seriously any book written by someone whose middle name is “sixkiller” ;^P

  • To start with…Native American’s, excuse me, REAL Native American’s find it very offensive to be called an “Indian”! We are NOT “Indian’s”!! We are NOT From “INDIA”.

    We are from (as the Europeans named this land of ours,AMERICA) North America to be politically correct. The name of our Nationality in to-day’s time is ” Native American “, or as we called ourselves, and still do…”THE FIRST PEOPLE”.

    If this “CLARKE” person was legit in what she said, she would know better than to call herself or ANY-TRIBE an American “Indian”!!! Even typing it leaves a bad taste in my mouth! yuck!

    When I read this I just had to comment. It made my blood boil and made me sick to my stomach to see what people are saying on the internet. ARE YOU SERIOUS??? Are you really telling everyone that this, ahem!, “person”, actually wrote a book on American Indian’s? I’m sorry…but if she was really adopted by any “Tribe” of a real “Native American Tribe” she would know, as well as the “Tribe” would inform her, we ARE “THE FIRST PEOPLE” other wise known as the “Native American’s”.

  • just me says:

    Yes, it would be good if you read the book first before you post an article about it.

  • MSH says:

    You’d have to ask her why she used it; it is curious.

  • MSH says:

    this isn’t an article or review (try reading it again). I’m notifying people that the book is out there and that I plan to review it. It was quite clear. Not sure why you had trouble comprehending the post.

  • cyndy says:

    You should not allow anyone to get you that upset. As for being called Indian/Native
    American, not everyone cares. Actually, we (my family) go by our tribal names when and if someone comes along and wants to know. Indian/Native American are
    both names choosen by white men.
    Personally, I am more offended by the roll numbers forced upon us.

  • MSH says:

    not sure what you mean by “roll numbers” – ?

  • cyndy says:

    after the US government forced the different tribes
    to leave the land they considered home, then moved
    them to what I call concentration camps under a forced
    treaty, the US government never honored the treaties. after
    taking the government to court, the government was ordered
    to compensate the tribal members in money and or land. I believe
    that a certain amount of money was put in trust per tribe, to be paid
    out in shares to the members at the age of 18. Well of course,
    the US gov had control of the money, not our tribal gov. So, they
    decided that in order to recieve our share, we must have a roll number
    In order to get our number, we have to prove what tribe, and show
    we have enough Indian blood. God forbid the gov gives a tribal member
    a little cash with the wrong amount of Native blood. lol
    For the people who applied for the 600 acers of land, they too needed
    the number. Of course, the land was taken back by the state, when
    that person died. could not be passed to the children.
    Even today, while our tribal governments are supposed to be sovereign
    and reservation land part of that government, the US government
    treats us just like any other country that has resources it wants.
    It moves in takes over the oil fields for their private corporations,
    and throws the tribe a couple of dollars.
    This is why I don’t fall for the government’s spreading democracy and
    going to war to protect the American people BS. My mom was one
    of those children taken from her family, put in government schools
    and punished if she dared speak her own language. She had to be
    Christianised. No one bothered to ask if she had already been saved.
    Trust me, it is not the Muslims that will bring this country to it’s knees,
    it is the so called Christians that have convinced themselves that
    an American child’s life is more precious to God then an Arab child.
    well now I need to go and pray for forgiveness, for fussing so much.
    God Bless you and your family Michael. You are a blessing in my life.

  • Teri says:

    Cyndy is absolutely right, we have more to fear from Christians than any other group in the world. They burnt millions of women in Europe in the middle ages who were natural healers and midwives. The colonists tried all their strategies in Ireland and Scotland first to perfect them to reduce the native Irish and Scottish peoples and then exported a tried and tested system to North America to wipe out the first people.

  • MSH says:

    Millions? Check your sources (or provide them). The point is *not* that this didn’t happen, and was a moral evil whenever it did. The point is that you’re parroting something you heard. I’m betting you can’t provide documentation for more than a couple hundred — but one is too many.

    It’s time to cut the rhetoric and examine Christianity for the coherence of its propositions. Stuff like this bogus statistic is an excuse.

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