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