Native American traditions are rich and enigmatic to many, with populations sadly dwindling & protectiveness over the culture that remains.

In this book, Valerie Albrecht, Australian Biographer of Indigenous Peoples, writes the life, work & world views of Elroy Begay, a Navajo Medicine Man who unexpectedly invited her to do so. The telling and scripting spread over four years of meetings and conversations, living within his family and community on Chinle Reservation Arizona, attending and assisting his ceremonies and researching.

Included is knowledge on the Navajo Creation story; time honoured traditional medicine and ceremonial practices which are permissible to be written; information on reservation family life and Elroy’s philosophical perspectives. As well, Albrecht shares her processing of what proved to be an intensely paradigm-shifting experience for both herself and Elroy.

Interwoven throughout is Elroy’s creed and core principle of acceptance: acceptance of your history, your culture, yourself & your uniqueness, and for the ‘hand’ you have been dealt – Elroy is a paraplegic medicine man living, practising and being cared for between two ways of life and two sets of health conventions. He tells The Story Behind the Story to preserve it, to bring hope and pride for his people.

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