"Reincarnation Beliefs of North American Indians" by Warren Jefferson presents a fascinating assortment of meticulously documented spiritual legends, beliefs, stories and experiences of near death, soul travel, metamorphosis, and reincarnation held by different North American Indians. These stories and examples are taken from primary sources of information, anthropological records, and traditional belief origins. Jefferson asserts that such beliefs have much of value to offer today because of their purity of pre-existence, or pre-modern religious insight capacity.
"Accounts include a Hopi story of A Journey to the Skeleton House, Ohiyesa's (Charles Eastman's) story, the Ghost Dance Religion of the Lakota, the Gitxan Reincarnation Case of Rhonda Mead, and many more. Authentic, historic, sepia or black and white photographs of North American Indians are interspersed lavishly throughout the chapters. A list of references and resources is indexed at the end of the book. Altogether,"Reincarnation Beliefs of North American Indians" presents a new compilation of ancient knowledge that is most precious to modern humans, for it is key to the ever recurring questions, "Why are we here? Where did we come from? Where do we go when we die (p. 191)?" --Nancy Lorraine, Midwest Book Review
“This book contains a unique collection of fascinating stories about reincarnation, soul travel, metamorphosis, and near-death experience. It offers a rare look into the rich spiritual life of the Indian people, and I would recommend this book to anyone interested in comparative religion and the cultures of the North American Indian.” --Antonia Mills, PhD Professor of First Nations studies, University of Northern British Columbia, coeditor of "Amerindian Rebirth"
"When the topic of 'past lives' is discussed, most people think of traditions from India and its Asian neighbors. However, another group of 'Indians,' namely those in today's United States and Canada, held similar beliefs that were equal to Asian mythologies in their sophistication and complexity. Warren Jefferson has meticulously documented North American reincarnation beliefs, legends, and stories in this engaging and authoritative account of a worldview that somehow survived the European invasion and continues to impact many contemporary tribal groups. This book is a fascinating description of how a spiritual paradigm played (and still plays) a vital role in the daily life of its believers, revitalizing and energizing the individual, the family, and the community." --Stanley Krippner, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology, Saybrook Graduate School co-editor, "Varieties of Anomalous Experience"