For an Amerindian Autohistory

For an Amerindian Autohistory : An Essay on the Foundations of a Social Ethic

By (author) Georges E. Sioui , Translated by Sheila Fischman , Foreword by Bruce G. Trigger

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This is a presentation of guidelines for the study of native history from an Amerindian perspective. Georges Sioui, a Huron Indian, argues that these guidelines must be respected if the self-image and social ethics of native people are to be understood and preserved. He also shows how they provide a means of greatly improving the way native and non-native peoples perceive each other. Sioui contrasts Euroamerican ethnocentrism and feelings of racial superiority with the Amerindian belief in th Great Circle of Life. Fully aware of the injustices that Aboriginal peoples of North America have suffered, and continue to suffer, at the hands of the Euroamericans, he argues that human beings must establish intellectual and emotional connections with the entire living world, if they hope to achieve abundance, quality and peace for all.

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  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 153.2 x 229.1 x 10.4mm | 235.87g
  • 30 Jun 1995
  • McGill-Queen's University Press
  • Montreal
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0773513280
  • 9780773513280
  • 1,737,653

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Review quote

"It was with great pleasure that I received Sioui's book, and I read it with as much interest as profit. Nothing is more important for the future of our studies than to know that our Amerindian colleagues are ready and determined to take on their own anthropology and their own history. Sioui's work is a brilliant demonstration of this undertaking." Claude Levi-Strauss. "Well written and well presented ... It was with pleasure that I read For An Amerindian Autohistory. A literate and well-argued plea for a reassessment of Canadian history from the Amerindian point of view ... Sioui's scholarship is very sound ... His most original contribution is his reliance on the traditions of his people and oral testimony ... He is deeply imbued with his Huron culture." Olive Dickason, Department of History, University of Alberta.

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Back cover copy

Born and raised near Quebec City, Sioui is proud to be a Huron and an Amerindian. He is fully aware of the injustices that the aboriginal people of North America have suffered - and continue to suffer - at the hands of Euroamericans. He is convinced that the greatness of Amerindians does not lie only in the past and that Native peoples will play an even more important role in the future by providing ideas essential to creating a viable way of life for North America and the world. For An Amerindian Autohistory is a work not only of metahistory but of moral reflection. Georges Sioui contrasts Euroamerican ethnocentrism and feelings of racial superiority with the Amerindian belief in the "Great Circle of Life" and shows that human beings must establish intellectual and emotional connections with the entire living world if they hope to achieve abundance, quality, and peace for all. While this is a polemical work, Sioui never descends to recrimination or vituperative condemnation, even when that might seem justified. Instead, he has given us a polemic that is written at the level of philosophy.

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