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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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I first learned of Four Arrows (aka Dr. Don Trent Jacobs) as a teacher, scholar and writer when he approached me in an email in early 2007. He had read some of my dissertation (2003) and asked if I wanted to submit a short piece for a chapter in his upcoming anthology The Authentic Dissertation (2008). That experience was a positive academic collaboration where I learned more about him. Around 2010, after my initial reading of some of his published work, he mentioned a controversial paper he had written on 9/11 and the neglect of North American educational institutions to respond to it with critical reflection; including truthing-out the alternative evidence to the “official” US government story of what happened. He had completed the paper with co-author Rafiq (aka Robert Sean Lewis) but was having no luck with educational journals. I recommended to him a Pakistani journal of critical inquiry of which I had an article on pedagogy of fearlessness accepted for its next issue. Reflecting a sort of kinship in our approaches, that journal published his piece along with mine in 2011.

Thereafter, I began to seriously study Four Arrows’ work, in particular, his Indigenous perspective on fear management and transformation. I began to correspond more frequently. Graciously, he has kept up a dialogue with me since. At one point I told him I had not found any academics, especially in the field of education, who had published as much and thought as deeply...

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