“Ancient Spirit Rising: Reclaiming Your Roots and Restoring Earth Community (2016) by Pegi Eyers is a comprehensive, candid, and critical foray into the problem of Settler spiritual loss and Settler appropriation of Indigenous spiritual practices on Turtle Island. Exemplifying what is means to genuinely listen to Indigenous peoples in the lands she calls home, Eyers takes seriously the cue offered by Anishinaabe Elder James Dumont that all humans have Indigenous knowledges for which they are responsible for recovering and practicing. This is the solution to the appropriation of Indigenous spiritual practices.
Written for a white Settler population who are seeking a critical and ethical spiritual practice in Indigenous lands, Ancient Spirit Rising unabashedly tackles multiple issues common in a variety of spiritual practices while offering resolution through the reclaiming of European Indigenous Knowledges (EIKs). Eyers is transparent in her intentions and deeply engaged in advancing one of many important paths required to live ethically, critically, and spiritually in a world that is shaped by Empire, but is not finitely determined by it.
While the link between Settler spiritual restoration on Turtle Island based on EIKs and indigenous sovereignty movements and material inequities in Turtle Island are not punctuated, this book is an excellent example of the generative and life-affirming possibilities that are created when Indigenous peoples of reputable practice are sincerely listened to, and when Settlers are genuinely oriented towards developing their own earth-based spiritual practices on Turtle Island. It is a timely and much-needed articulation of critical Settler thought on spirituality on Turtle Island. I hope it contributes in positive ways for generating good life for all humans and the natural world, and encourages a commitment to engaging in reparations with Indigenous peoples in spheres beyond the spiritual.”
Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy, PhD Candidate (Indigenous Studies)