“Michigan in Books” reviews “Honor the Earth” by Phil Bellfy

Honor the Earth: Indigenous Response to Environmental Degradation in the Great Lakes edited by Phil Bellfy.
Review by Tom Powers, Michigan In Books
This book of updated essays grew out of an environmental conference at MSU on Earth Day, 2007. The essays, as the subtitle suggests, are responses by Native Americans to the miserable record of pollution, overconsumption of natural resources, and the all too evident triumph of greed over maintaining a livable environment in the Great Lakes and the world. Readers should not be put off by what appears, at first glance, to be a book intended for a scholarly audience. Yes, the format, extended bibliographies, and chapter headings such as, “Grassroots Indigenous Epistemologies: Native, Non-Governmental Organizations, and the Environment,” are a little off-putting. Don’t be.

Phil Bellfy

At the heart of most of the essays is the difference between Indigenous Peoples’ attitude to the earth and environment which is best summarized by living in balance with nature as opposed to modern society’s exploitation of the environment.  The essays address a wide range of environmental concerns and the writing is often sharp, critical and outraged. One essay I found especially interesting and biting was on overpopulation and how Japan is so overpopulated many of her people are “literally tumbling into the sea.” Yet they are worried that their declining birthrate means in the future they will have fewer workers to “produce,’ and thus ‘consume’ whatever it is that’s produced.” The author then goes on to say, “Think about it. I suggest that this attitude signifies nothing so much as stark, staring madness. It is insane: suicidally, homicidally, ecocidally, homicidally insane.”

The book is a deep dive into indigenous culture, beliefs, and their close relationship to nature and the environment. It is provocative, disturbing, and to the point. And the point is that humanity is “killing the natural world, and thus itself. It’s no more complicated than that.”
Honor the Earth: Indigenous Response to Environmental Degradation in the Great Lakes edited by Phil Bellfy. Ziibi Press, ISBN 978-1-61599-625-4, $24.95.

A Mouse Tail on Mackinac Island [HC] -- RESALE ONLY

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$29.95
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On a warm summer day in northern Michigan, a family of mice finds their way to Mackinac Island, the "jewel of the Great Lakes," to start a new life. Tag along and enter a world of whimsy in A Mouse Tail on Mackinac Island.

Join the family--Father Mouse, a lover of cheese; Mother Mouse, a singer of lullabies; Max Mouse, a collector of stamps and Millie and Maizy Mouse, sweet little babies--as they search for the perfect home. What adventures will they have? Where will they live? What dangers will they encounter? With vibrant illustrations and a charming story, A Mouse Tail on Mackinac Island will capture both your heart and imagination.

"Soon to become a Mackinac favorite - make way for this amusing and entertaining story. Whimsical illustrations, filled with recognizable details, engage the reader throughout this thoughtful book. Who wouldn't want to join the little Mouse family on an island adventure?" --Jennifer Powell, author and illustrator, What I Saw on Mackinac

"Maggie Chambers and Summer Porter have created a fun and colorful adventure of a family of mice all readers will enjoy - and, like a bite of island fudge, A Mouse Tail on Mackinac Island will prove very satisfying!" --Jim Bolone, co-author, The Dockporter

"Magnifying the little things in life, A Mouse Tail on Mackinac Island is a charming story told with an educational twist. Heartwarming characters, a unique setting and glorious imagery will make this book a family favorite and Mackinac Island staple." -- Kate Dupre, local artist and proprietor, Watercolor Cafe

"This charming children's book captures the essence of Mackinac Island. A classic 'tail' for people of all ages that will spark a sense of wonder for years to come." --Mayor Margaret Doud, city of Mackinac Island

Learn more at www.MouseTailOnMackinac.com

From Modern History Press

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