In the foreword to this astonishing educational resource for children aged 5 through 12, N. Scott Momaday writes: "In his traditional world the Native American lives in the presence of stories. The storyteller is one whose spirit is indispensable to the people. He is magician, artist and creator. And, above all, he is a holy man. His is a sacred business."

Michael Caduto is an ecologist, author, and storyteller whose work fuses environmental study and activism with the folk vision of Native Americans and other cultures that are rooted in the Earth. The co-author is Joseph Bruchac, a Native American (Abenaki) poet, novelist, and storyteller who has won national awards for his writing.

Keepers of the Earth is an interdisciplinary work blending stories with holistic activities and experiences in the natural world. This caring and immersion approach fits naturally with the Native American view of dealing sanely and sensibly with "all our relations." The material in this resource has been used in camps, nature centers, public and private schools, library story hours, churches, and other spiritual settings.

There are chapters on creation, fire, earth, wind and weather, water, sky, seasons, plants and animals, unity of earth, and life, death, and Spirit.

In the excerpt from Keepers of the Earth, there is a lesson about different kinds of rocks along with a story. We can't resist sharing that we found Joseph Bruchac's tender and touching poem "Birdfoot's Grandpa" on the opening pages of this book. It was then used in both our book Spiritual Literacy and the DVD series based on that book; you can watch it here

Birdfoot's Grampa

"The old man
must have stopped our car
two dozen times to climb out
and gather into his hands
the small toads blinded
by our lights and leaping,
live drops of rain.

The rain was falling,
a mist about his white hair
and I kept saying
you can't save them all,
accept it, get back in
we've got places to go.

But, leathery hands full
of wet brown life,
knee deep in the summer
roadside grass,
he just smiled and said
they have places to go to
— Joseph Bruchac
Entering Onondaga