Loss of Indigenous Eden and the Fall of Spirituality

Loss of Indigenous Eden and the Fall of Spiritualityby Blair StonechildPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$32.95  ISBN 9-780889-776999 Blair Stonechild’s made a name for himself as the skilled writer of numerous nonfiction books, and as a professor of Indigenous Studies at Regina’s First Nations University of Canada. Stonechild’s led an interesting life. He attended Residential School, obtained his doctorate and became an academic and historian, and he’s worked closely with First Nations Elders for more than forty years. He’s supremely well qualified to write on Indigenous spirituality, and that’s precisely what he’s mastered in his latest book.  In this ten-chaptered new title, Stonechild discusses how “the Indigenous world preceded that of modern civilization, that it contained values vital to human survival, and that the significance of ancient beliefs needs to be re-explained for today’s world”. The author’s travelled globally to visit other Indigenous communities, and writes that “we all share incredibly strong beliefs about the transcendent”.    He begins by discussing the fundamentally-held belief among Indigenous Peoples of the world that they possess a “sacred obligation” re: protecting the land and environment, and hold a common belief that “spirits lurk in every corner – in trees, in…

Touched by Eternity
White Lily Press / 26 February 2020

Touched By Eternity: A True Story of Heaven, Healing, and Angelsby Susan HarrisPublished by White Lily PressReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$19.99 ISBN 9-780994-986948 Rural Saskatchewan writer Susan Harris wears a number of hats. I’ve previously reviewed two of her Christmas alphabet books, but her literary prowess also includes inspirational and nonfiction work. It’s appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Sunday School students may have read her biblical literature in class. Outside of writing, Trinidad-born Harris can be found presenting on her extraordinary religious experiences, and hosting an Access7Television series called “Eternity”. In Touched By Eternity: A True Story of Heaven, Healing, and Angels, Harris explores her greatest passion, Heaven. Indeed, she claims to have an “obsession about Heaven,” and if you read her new book you’ll understand why. In clear, well-written prose, Harris tells the otherwordly story of her three near death experiences, each occasioned by a health crisis, and what she felt and observed on the proverbial “other side”. Add anecdotes about angels, a description of fiery Hell, and a few visions, and you’ll also glean why she’s dedicated her book to “those who long for Heaven”. Born into a family of “old-fashioned Pentecostals,” it wasn’t uncommon…

Knowledge Seeker, The
University of Regina Press / 28 September 2016

The Knowledge Seeker: Embracing Indigenous Spirituality by Blair Stonechild Published by University of Regina Press Review by Keith Foster $32.95 ISBN 978-0-88977-417-9 What is your purpose in life? This is one of the questions Blair Stonechild explores in The Knowledge Seeker: Embracing Indigenous Spirituality. In researching this book, Stonechild, a member of the Muscowpetung Saulteaux First Nation in Saskatchewan, interviewed numerous Aboriginal Elders. Among them is his mentor, Danny Musqua, who achieved the title of Knowledge Keeper, earning the right to pass sacred stories on to the next generation. Stonechild’s exploration of Aboriginal spirituality is both philosophical and practical. According to him, Indigenous spirituality has a place far beyond the classroom, and the importance of this book is self-evident: “Indigenous spirituality holds the key for transforming our future.” He explores the belief that when we die, we actually go home to the spirit world from which we came and reunite with the Creator. He also makes a strong case for reincarnation, citing several examples of children who spoke convincingly of having lived previous lives. In looking at the larger picture of life, Stonechild views all people as one. “Humans are like leaves on a tree,” he says, “all thinking they…