“Spirit of the Earth: Indian Voices on Nature” (ISBN 978-1-936597-54-3) by Michael O. and Joseph A. Fitzgerald on wisdomtalespress.com


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Home > Teen Books > Spirit of the Earth: Indian Voices on Nature

cover of Spirit of the Earth: Indian Voices on Nature

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Spirit of the Earth:
Indian Voices on Nature
editors:Michael O. Fitzgerald and Joseph A. Fitzgerald
foreword by: Joseph Bruchac
Subject(s): Grade Level / Lexile measure

American Indian

8th grade / Lexile measure: 1000L (approximate)

Format: Size / page count:


6" × 7.25" / 136 pages

ISBN: Date available:


Available now




Often spoken at the end of a prayer, a well-known Sioux phrase affirms that “we are all related.” Similarly, the Sioux medicine man, Brave Buffalo, came to realize when he was still a boy that “the maker of all was Wakan Tanka (the Great Spirit), and … in order to honor him I must honor his works in nature.” The interconnectedness of all things, and the respect all things are due, are among the most prominent — and most welcome — themes in this collection of Indian voices on nature.

Spirit of the Earth includes over 120 carefully authenticated quotations from men and women of nearly 50 North American tribes. This includes such renowned speakers as Renowned speakers such as Black Elk, Brave Buffalo, Chief Joseph, Charles Eastman, Geronimo, Mourning Dove, Plenty Coups, Polingaysi Qoyawayma, Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, and Zitkala-sa. Their wise and insightful sayings are paired with over 65 color and sepia illustrations. The illustrations are comprised of historical photographs of American Indians, as well as a wide selection of contemporary photographs showing the diversity of North American landscapes that inspired the First Peoples and that continue to inspire us today.

Together, the quotations and photographs of Spirit of the Earth beautifully convey the spirit of nature’s timeless message. It is a quotebook to be carried and contemplated when surrounded by nature’s majesties, or perhaps gifted to someone special for quiet moments at home.

Awards & Honors
  • Silver Medal in the 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the category “Body, Mind & Spirit”
  • Finalist in the 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the category “Nature”
  • Gold Medal in the 2018 Midwest Book Awards in the category “Religion/Philosophy/Spirituality”
  • Silver Medal in the 2017 Benjamin Frankin Awards in the category “Gift Book”
  • Winner in the 2018 Best Book Awards in the category “Multicultural Non-Fiction”
  • Finalist in the 2018 Best Book Awards in the category “Best Interior Design”
  • Finalist in the 2018 Best Book Awards in the category “Spirituality: Inspirational”


“This volume provides readers with a powerful glimpse into the traditional world of the indigenous peoples of North America, bringing together diverse voices from North American tribes complemented with a stunning series of photographs. The timeless wisdom and beauty contained in this small book provides an antidote to the nihilism and confusion by returning the human being to a spiritual frame of reference that is inseparable from the sacredness of the earth. We are reminded of the Sioux medicine man, Tatanka-ohitika (Brave Buffalo), who had an important realization when he was a boy that ‘the maker of all was Wakan Tanka [the Great Spirit], and … in order to honor him I must honor his works in nature.’ ”
“Native American Spirituality is such a treasure trove of wisdom that there is no end to its helpfulness to those on a path of wholeness and flourishing. Michael Oren Fitzgerald is the author and editor of more than 15 books; Joseph A. Fitzgerald has edited ten books on diverse themes in world religion, culture, and philosophy.

“As the editors of this paperback, they have gathered a top-drawer collection of quotations from nearly 50 tribal nations. Their goal is ‘to present in beauty something of nature's message as described through Indian voices.’ ”
Spirituality and Practice
Spirit of the Earth: Indian Voices on Nature presents the philosophical ideals by which Indians valued animate and inanimate forms that shared their lives, and belongs on the shelves of Native American history and new age readers alike. It chooses quotes from various Native Americans and pairs them with colorful images that reinforce different notions of how spirit is reflected in human and natural worlds, and the power of nature translates to a sense of honoring self and environment. With its powerful combination of image and written word, this is a beautiful celebration of life, philosophy, and Native American worldviews.”
Midwest Book Review
Spirit of the Earth memorializes ancestral concepts of oneness and respect to honor all creatures and nature … [with] apt quotations and splendid photo images.… This valuable book uniquely presents the philosophical foundation from which Indians valued and upheld the dignity of animate and inanimate forms that shared their lives.”
Viviane Arviso Deloria, President of the Navajo Nation Women’s Commission and former Executive Director of Education for the Navajo Nation
“[T]he quotations … [are] so well chosen, so well paired with the images, and so beautifully centered on our appreciation, understanding, and lasting reliance on the natural world, they do what our traditional stories have always done — engage and teach.”
Joseph Bruchac , author of Keepers of the Earth, Code Talker: A Book About the Navajo Marines, and Crazy Horse’s Vision, from the Foreword
Spirit of the Earth is best read at sunrise — one quotation at a time. There are contemplative words and images that invite the quiet mind to walk alongside the wisdom of the ancient ones.”
Lauren Waukau-Villagomez , co-author of Teaching Native America Across the Curriculum
“Page after page I found insightful words interspersed with photos of breathtaking sacred sites and unique animal portraits. No other description fits, … what I was holding is a prayer book!”
Rosemary Lonewolf, former Ceramic Instructor and Artist-in-Residence, Harvard University

Videos Related to the Book

The Book Trailer Video for
Spirit of the Earth

Watch the video below to get a visual summary of the pages in the book.

sample spread from the book “Spirit of the Earth”, by Michael Fitzgerald and Joseph Fitzgerald

A sample page-spread from the illustrated quotebook
Spirit of the Earth: Indian Voices on Nature,
edited by Michael Fitzgerald and Joseph A. Fitzgerald

Another sample spread from the book “Spirit of the Earth”, by Michael Fitzgerald and Joseph Fitzgerald

Another spread from Spirit of the Earth. This is one of many that expresses
the close connection between the First Peoples of America and the animals, plants,
and other occupants of the natural environment that surrounds us all.

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