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Rediscovering Turtle Island

A First Peoples' Account of the Sacred Geography of America

Published by Bear & Company
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

• Examines the complexities of Indigenous legends and creation myths and reveals common oral traditions across much of North America

• Explores the history of Cahokia, the Mississippian Mound Builder Empire of 1050-1300 CE, told through the voice of Honga, a Native leader of the time

• Presents an Indigenous revisionist history regarding Thomas Jefferson, expansionist doctrine, and Manifest Destiny

While Western accounts of North American history traditionally start with European colonization, Indigenous histories of North America—or Turtle Island—stretch back millennia. Drawing on comparative analysis, firsthand Indigenous accounts, extensive historical writings, and his own experience, Omaha Tribal member, Cherokee citizen, and teacher Taylor Keen presents a comprehensive re-imagining of the ancient and more recent history of this continent’s oldest cultures. Keen reveals shared oral traditions across much of North America, including among the Algonquin, Athabascan, Sioux, Omaha, Ponca, Osage, Quapaw, and Kaw tribes. He explores the history of Cahokia, the Mississippian Mound Builder Empire of 1050–1300 CE. And he examines ancient earthen works and ceremonial sites of Turtle Island, revealing the Indigenous cosmology, sacred mathematics, and archaeoastronomy encoded in these places that artfully blend the movements of the sun, moon, and stars into the physical landscape.

Challenging the mainstream historical consensus, Keen presents an Indigenous revisionist history regarding Thomas Jefferson, expansionist doctrine, and Manifest Destiny. He reveals how, despite being displaced as the United States colonized westward, the Native peoples maintained their vision of an intrinsically shared humanity and the environmental responsibility found at the core of Indigenous mythology.

Building off a deep personal connection to the history and mythology of the First Peoples of the Americas, Taylor Keen gives renewed voice to the cultures of Turtle Island, revealing an alternative vision of the significance of our past and future presence here.

About The Author

Taylor Keen is a senior lecturer in the Heider College of Business Administration at Creighton University. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and two master’s degrees from Harvard University, where he has served as a Fellow in the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. He is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, the founder of Sacred Seed, an organization devoted to propagating tribal seed sovereignty, and a member of the Earthen Bison Clan of the Omaha Tribe where he is known by the name “Bison Mane.” He lives in Omaha, Nebraska.

Product Details

Raves and Reviews

“Brother Keen, with his infinite Indigenous and academic knowledge, brings forth amazing truths about ancient North American cultures the modern world was unaware of. Not only are the ancient earthworks extensive and scientifically and astronomically complex but Keen unveils they are all connected across the entire continent, mirroring the heavens. Simply incredible research.”

– Scott Wolter, host of History 2 (H2) Channel’s America Unearthed, world-renowned forensic geol

“Careful analysis by Taylor Keen of the placement and designs of earthworks of the Indigenous people of North America reveals far more complex planning and design was involved than just random location selection of mounds for burials, as we were taught to think. His geographical analysis reveals the sacred earthworks designs were far more advanced and esoteric in nature, something he is uniquely qualified to understand as Indigenous himself and a member of several esoteric orders. He proves definitively the intricate level of knowledge of astronomy, heavenly body movements, mathematics, and cosmology involved in the creation of these earthworks, not only at a local level, but incredibly as long-range alignments as well. This revelation, Keen explains, was something that was dismissed and suppressed by early nineteenth-century archaeologists who breached and destroyed the sacred earthworks and burial mounds as part of the promotion of ‘manifest destiny,’ with the intent being justification of taking tribal lands for settlement. Keen’s incredibly important work gives a whole new perspective on the history of North America.”

– Janet Wolter, coauthor of America: Nation of the Goddess

“The official history of the United States begins with Spanish contact in the late fifteenth century. The oral traditions and legends of the various Native peoples of North America, however, stretch back much earlier, into the opaque mists of preliterate times. With a member of the Earthen Bison Clan of the Omaha Tribe to serve as our guide, Rediscovering Turtle Island leads the reader along near-forgotten, overgrown paths that twist and turn throughout a resacralized landscape, decorated with ancient landmarks, populated with whispering ghosts and supernatural beings. The sacred geography of America will never again appear the same.”

– P. D. Newman, author of Native American Shamanism and the Afterlife Journey in the Mississippi Valle

“Taylor Keene has written a fascinating story of North America that integrates scholarship and mythology in a very entertaining and readable way. His linkage of some of the North American creation stories to the places where they are told and their representations in carvings and drawings is fascinating. He interweaves aspects of North America’s history, cosmology, and geography from an Indigenous perspective, which, combined with the sharing of his own life experience, uplifts us and demonstrates how we are all related.”

– Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D., Ph.D., author of Narrative Medicine, Remapping Your Mind, and Coyote Wisdo

“What could be more fascinating than the origin of mankind itself? The premise is staggering and the consequences far-reaching. Keen’s hard work pays off immensely in Rediscovering Turtle Island, and readers will be gripped by that experience on every page.”

– Sidian M.S. Jones, coauthor of The Voice of Rolling Thunder

“Brother Keen, with his infinite Indigenous and academic knowledge, brings forth amazing truths about ancient North American cultures the modern world was unaware of. Not only are the ancient earthworks extensive and scientifically and astronomically complex, but Keen unveils they are all connected across the entire continent mirroring the heavens. Simply incredible research.”

– Scott Wolter, host of History 2 (H2) Channel’s America Unearthed

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