Indigenous Community

Rekindling the Teachings of the Seventh Fire

By Gregory A. Cajete, Ph.D.

Foreword by James Sa’ke’j Youngblood Henderson

Toward an Evolving Epistemology of Contemporary Indigenous Education

Living Justice PressSoftcover, 268 pages, indexed,  ISBN 978-1-937141-17-2, publication 2015



“For more than three decades, Gregory Cajete’s books and lectures have represented one of the most consistently exploratory, challenging, and coherent Indigenous voices and strategists in contemporary scholarship. He has helped generate the Indigenous renaissance, both continentally and globally. His earlier books have revealed the ecology of Indigenous education and the relations of Indigenous science to Eurocentric (or Western) science. His latest book, Indigenous Community: Rekindling the Teachings of the Seventh Fire, continues this momentous tradition. His work is both a meditation on how Indigenous knowledge, science, and humanity have generated Indigenous communities that are vital to encountering and overcoming intractable situations as well as a celebration of Indigenous communities and intellectual creativity.

“His book leads the reader on an insightful journey into Indigenous concepts of knowledge, community, education, and leadership. These concepts are interrelated tools for intervention and transformation. The book reveals a vision, the vital deep dialogues, and the essential steps toward generating sustained and empowered connections among self, home, community, and leadership. He consciously challenges the existing Eurocentric story lines of dysfunctional educative stories of Indigenous communities and perceived deficient individuals in education and generates ways to rethink the old discourses and story lines. He replaces these story lines with functional educative stories of restoring Indigenous leadership, communities, and individuals. Gregory demonstrates how this crucial transformation can be achieved through using Indigenous knowledge and viewing information in culturally sensitive and holistic ways to create a multipronged responsive educational system that will serve a sustainable community, leadership, and environment for the complex and indeterminate future. He explains how the ancient and unfolding stories of a community and their pedagogy are the essence of Indigenous education, revitalization, and organic Indigenous scholars and leaders. He describes these imperative processes and principles as a way to come back to our collective Indigenous power.

“. . . From his deep involvement in his Tewa consciousness, living in the Santa Clara Pueblo, and his widespread relationship with other global Indigenous communities, Gregory suggests clear and useful ideas and ways to explore remedies to intergenerational trauma and oppression and to revitalize Indigenous communities and reestablish sustainable ways of life. He accomplishes this through reliance on Indigenous knowledge systems and by generating a critical pedagogy of Indigenous community based on Indigenous knowledge. He discusses strategies for community to inform, heal, uplift, and raise consciousness. He delves below the surface and gives us a profound interpretation of community relations to life, well-being, and deep and wise collective consciousness. He examines the necessary steps for re-visioning, revitalizing, rebuilding, and remembering community as well as for building strong leadership of these communities.”

Excerpt from the Foreward by James Sa’ke’j Youngblood Henderson, Chickasaw Nation Native Law Centre of Canada

Review of this book in Tribal College Journal, Feb. 21, 2016, by Linda Sue Warner, Ph.D. (Comanche), an educator, author, mother, and leader in American Indian higher education.

“Gregory Cajete has provided another must-read book for educators seeking a comprehensive theory and action to Indigenous education. In clear, coherent, and accessible style, he answers the most important education quest today: what kind of pedagogy can maintain and revitalize the Indigenous peoples in the 21st century? Twofold: Comprehend Indigenous peoples’ historical trauma and reclaim Indigenous ways of thinking, teaching, and learning from a context of community, land, and spirit. Done!”

Marie Battiste, Mi’kmaw educator, University of Saskatchewan

“Greg Cajete’s message is powerful and convincing—our struggle should not just be about transforming ourselves into something new but also to regenerate the power of our Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and sustaining ourselves and our environment.”

Distinguished Professor Hingangaroa Smith, PhD
Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, Aotearoa, NZ

“I believe this book will energize the Indigenous spirits and the consciousness of humans. Communities will feel the acceleration and transform Gregory’s ideas into action.”

James [Sa’ke’j] Youngblood Henderson, Chickasaw Nation Native Law Centre of Canada

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