September 8, 2008
Michael Bell, an Oklahoma Baptist University graduate and Gates Scholar, has been working as project assistant on a historic Cheyenne and Arapaho Book Project which released four books at a Labor Day Pow Wow in Colony, Okla., Sunday, Aug. 31. Bell is one of the primary authors of all four of the books.
Begun by Funston Whiteman, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Book Project will supply tribal and non-tribal institutions with a wealth of literary knowledge based upon the history and culture of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. The books incorporate values of respect, tradition and sharing in a three-pronged approach of government, culture and history. With these books, the Tribes hope to create an interactive curriculum that will inspire people to learn about their history.
The two Cheyenne books, "The Tsististas Journey" and "The Tsististas: People of the Plains," and the two Arapaho books, "The Hinono'ei Way of Life" and "The Prairie Thunder People," are the product of Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal funding. The authors and illustrators are all Cheyenne and Arapaho.
"The Project is excited to present these books to the Tribes," Bell said. "It is our hope that these books not serve as the ‘end-all' books for Cheyenne and Arapaho government, culture and history, but that they will initiate many, many books to come."
The books will be considered first editions. People will be given the ability to submit comments to the project for feedback via e-mail. For more information, visit http://www.cabookproject.org/.