Shadow of the Cross
by Carolyn Garriott
Driftwillow Press

"The lives of the People are tied to the lives of Wolf People. What affects their Brother the Wolf will affect them. When one dies, the other also will die. When one lives, the other will also live."

Early 17th Century interactions between imperial European settlers, traders, and missionaries with Native Americans is the subject of Shadow of the Cross. It explores the multifaceted web of relations between the Wolf Clan of the Wendat or Huron people of Canada, the French traders and missionaries who came among them, and a particular pack of Wolves who share the Wendat territory. Here, wolves are living, thinking characters who have their own dignity and way of interpreting the world. This is a central theme of the book, and Garriott weaves the Wendat, French Missionary, and Wolf ways into a cadences of early American frontier history that is compelling and truthful. Rising above the cliché, Garriott shows both the beauty and limitations of each particular world view. What emerges is their growing awareness in light of the radical "other" confronting them.

Old European ideals of the double-headed thesis of church and state exerting the prerogatives of expansion and control arrive in dogged determination to claim lands and souls for both Caesar and Christ. But not all missionaries were acolytes of Caesar over Christ. They tried to understand and teach the indigenous peoples of this continent, practicing the love their spiritual master taught. Still, their message brought with it understandings that did not include "Deer and Beaver People" or "Fox and Badger People." Capitalistic and exploitative philosophies of living and using resources followed inexorably when more and more followers of the Cross way came.

Shadow of the Cross is a delightful exploration of these ideas, with profound messages about culture, history, the environment, and the inner meaning of holism and sacrifice. In these days of over-consumption and global warming, it is a powerful advocate for remembering the Rainbow way and embracing the spectrum of understanding and experience within our own complicated milieu.

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