Native Americans Today
A Biographical Dictionary
by Bruce E. Johansen, Editor
June 2010, 315pp, 7x10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-35554-7
$103, £80, 90€, A142
eBook Available: 978-0-313-35555-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Clyde Warrior was a Ponca who helped propel the American Indian rights movement in the 1960s. Richard (Skip) Hayward was the Pequot most responsible for starting Foxwoods, the world’s largest casino. Chickasaw John Herrington was the first Native American astronaut. Now there’s a place to meet them all—and many other noteworthy Native Americans, including Navajo poet Laura Tohe and Luiseño performance artist James Luna.

This engaging collection of Native American profiles examines these individuals' unique life experiences within the larger context of U.S. history.

Native Americans Today: A Biographical Dictionary focuses on the lives of contemporary Native Americans. Such treatments are rare, as most Native American biographies are historical (pre-1900) and cover familiar figures. Profiles collected here are written to be enjoyable as well as instructive, presented as examples of personal storytelling that should be savored not only for their factual content, but also for the humanity they evoke.

The book spotlights Native American lives in the United States and Canada, mainly after 1900, though a few older figures are included because their lives evoke strikingly modern themes. The author, an expert on all things Native American, knows (or knew) several of the people in the entries, adding a special vibrancy to the writing. Among those profiled are former U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, activist Eloise Cobell, and controversial political prisoner Leonard Peltier, as well as writers, artists, and musicians. The compilation also includes non-Native Americans whose lives and careers impacted Indian life.


  • 100 biographical entries arranged in an A–Z, encyclopedic format
  • 50 photographs and illustrations include original artwork
Bruce E. Johansen has been professor of communication and Native American studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha since 1982 and is the author of 32 books. Johansen writes frequently about Native Americans and environmental subjects, and his published works include The Encyclopedia of Global Warming Science and Technology for Greenwood Press. He was coeditor of the ABC-CLIO four-volume Encyclopedia of American Indian History and the two-volume Praeger Handbook on Contemporary Issues in Native America. He also writes as a journalist in several national forums, including The Washington Post and The Progressive, and has had letters to the editor published in The Atlantic, The New York Times, National Geographic, and The Wall Street Journal.


"Johansen helps history come alive for a number of individuals about whom we might know very little, if anything. He gives the reader titles of books where more in-depth information can be found in such fields as literature and religious themes. This book provides an introduction to Native Americans who have made significant contributions in a number of fields and whets the appetite of the reader to find out more."—Reference Reviews, June 20, 2012

"This volume is best suited to readers in high school, public, and college libraries as an introduction to the persons represented."—Booklist, November 15, 2010
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