cover image Indigenous Ingenuity: A Celebration of Traditional North American Knowledge

Indigenous Ingenuity: A Celebration of Traditional North American Knowledge

Deidre Havrelock and Edward Kay, illus. by Kalila Fuller. Little, Brown/Ottaviano, $20.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-316-41333-6

In this approachable work, Saddle Lake Cree Nation author Havrelock (Buffalo Wild!) and Kay (the Gross Science series) focus on “precontact North American Indigenous STEM. That is, the traditional knowledge that Indigenous people were already using before 1492.” Via authoritative, meticulously researched prose, the creators detail Native peoples’ significant strides in scientific pursuits. Outlining ongoing advancements and detailing informational STEM practices, chapters cover sustainable land management and ecology, communications technology, transportation, health sciences, architecture and civil engineering, and more. In a chapter highlighting agriculture and food technology, the authors note how, 9,000 years ago, Mesoamerican Indigenous farmers genetically engineered select grass seeds to create corn as it is known today. By connecting Indigenous peoples’ overlooked endeavors to the concepts’ modern-day counterparts—for example, coats made of animal intestines, which the Inuit called annuraaq, were eventually adopted by British colonizers, who called them anoraks—Havrelock and Kay showcase Native tribes’ continual and enduring impact. Photographs, as well as interactive activities detailing recipes and science experiments, feature throughout, lending a hands-on approach to this clear and concise work. Back matter includes tribal territories, a glossary, a list of Indigenous science organizations, and more. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Agent: Amy Tompkins, Transatlantic Literary. (May)