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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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Foreword: On Being a Warrior (Shirley R. Steinberg)


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On Being a Warrior


While waiting to be introduced to a graduating class of high school students in Bedford Stuyvesant (Bed Stuy), New York (2004), Joe L. Kincheloe abruptly changed his speech. He later told me that he understood, at that moment, the enormity of the task that each young individual had completed. This was no ordinary convocation, it was a celebration of triumph over an unsurmountable adversity: successful completion within a New York SUR school (School Under Review). With graduation rates poised well below 40%, Joe understood that he was about to address warriors. He had witnessed the culmination of the challenges required by these students in order for them to conquer their twelve years of an institutionally-employed curriculum created to defeat them. Indeed, they were warriors.

Formulating the notion of intellectual warrior, Joe acknowledged the inherent battles that are fought within a framework considered normal by most educators: a framework of ability grouping, of testing and measurement, and of classroom management. Becoming a warrior in this sense, insists on a critical social and cultural awareness, which understands the battle and intuitively engages in a hermeneutic reading of the necessary conditions of remaining human. With this volume, Michael has gathered us to commune with the life and work of a warrior, Wahinkpe Topa, Four Arrows. In considering Four Arrows, we are introduced to a ← xv | xv → warrior. Influenced by the convergence of cultural diversity, inspired by the...

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