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Fearless Engagement of Four Arrows

The True Story of an Indigenous-Based Social Transformer


R. Michael Fisher

In times of extreme cascading global crises facing humanity, all responsible humans need to re-evaluate the dominant worldview that has brought us to this point of facing extinction. As a species we need to relearn the "good" ways from our greatest allies in Nature and from Indigenous cultures that lived in relative harmony with Nature. Equally, we need to learn the best ways to think critically and act on the holistic understanding that may guide us beyond our individual and collective trance and illusions cast forth like chains upon modern societies through elites who manipulate fear.

Fearless Engagement of Four Arrows offers a unique strong "medicine" for the reconstruction of a healthy, sane, and sustainable future for all. Utilizing the form of an intellectual biography of Four Arrows (aka Dr. Don Trent Jacobs) and his daring activist life and true teaching stories, the author creates a powerful adventure into the firey philosophy, activism, and emancipatory inspirations of one of the world’s great visionary prophetic educators and social transformers. Through a number of unique experiences, including firefighting, white-water kayaking, wild horse training, world-class athletic competitions, and counter-cultural activism, Four Arrows has become a connoisseur of fear and courage. This book shows how he walks a universal ethical path of Fearlessness at a time when too many remain trapped by their fears.

Among other readers, high school teachers and post-secondary teachers across diverse disciplines will find great ideas, eliciting dialogues and study questions for students, who now face a globalizing world where they can take charge of the future via fearless engagement.

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2. “Walking a Path of Harmony”


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The greatest weapon of power, exploitation, manipulation, and oppression is language.

—Don Jacobs1

All people can be misled by words in any language, but the chabochi [non-Indians] seem to make a practice of this....Every human, white or red, can be misled, but only a few are aware enough to find the right path again.

—Augustin Ramos2

Performing and Writing Fearless as Beyond

“Rudyard Kipling once said that Words are mankind’s [sic] most potent drug,” wrote Four Arrows some two decades ago.3 The opening quotes tell me how easy it is to get addicted to The Word(s). And Word(s) became power and, power corrupts—but so may Fear as well. Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Aung San Suu Kyi asserted, “It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”4 Fear and Word(s), “two peas in a pod,” compose 50% of the four great power forces in Four Arrows’ CAT-FAWN theory/praxis. A Fearless standpoint requires critical analysis of this reactive combination: Fear and Word(s). ← 53 | 54 →

Four Arrows was a pioneer in the Emergency Medical Services field (e.g., “first responders” training) in the 1980–1990s, writing and presenting on topics associated with “Healing Words.”5 One of Four Arrows’ primary concerns then, and to this day, is that,


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