Welcome Guest! Log In

Native Echoes

Listening to the Spirit of the Land

Kent Nerburn

Be the first to review this product

  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Dimensions: 7.25" x 7.25"
  • ISBN: 978-0-9800046-0-1
  • Publication Date: 2017-04-25
  • Wolf nor Dog Books

Availability: In stock

Available Formats


Native Echoes

Double click on above image to view full picture

From the grandeur of the Great Plains to the solitude of the northern woods, from the intensity of a summer storm to the quiet redemption of a fresh blanket of snow, Kent Nerburn’s new book, Native Echoes, pays homage to the power of the land to shape our hearts and spirits.  

An Ojibwe elder once counseled Nerburn to “always teach by stories, because stories lodge deep in the heart.” Using skills learned from Native storytellers as well as a deep reverence for the world’s spiritual traditions, Nerburn takes us to an Ojibwe burial, down lonely winter roads, and into landscapes where trees have presence and the earth is made alive by the mystical power of water and light.

Native Echoes is a stark, poetic work that honors both Native American traditions and our western way of thinking and believing. NAPRA Review calls it a “beautiful book that will touch not only those who find Spirit in Native American paths, but anyone who has felt the presence of something powerful beyond the known.”


You're reviewing: Native Echoes

Spirituality and Practice:  Resources for Spiritual Journeys

In this beautifully written book, Kent Nerburn has assembled a group of poignant and poetic essays . . . The author of Letters to My Son is an ardent believer in the spiritual practice of listening. From the Ojibwe tribe with whom he has worked, he learned how to "find a message in a thunderstorm or a promise in the passage of an eagle overhead." The voice of God speaks through the land.

Nerburn also practices the spiritual crafts of attention, being present, and wonder. He writes about an old pine tree that is a friend. He sees snow as "a prayer shawl, donned upon the land," and he senses a wildness he can't control in an encounter with a buffalo. As the title of the book suggests, Nerburn has opened up his heart and all of his senses to appreciate the poetics of place, the changing of the seasons, and the Native American path of walking in beauty. — Frederic Brussat

St. Paul Pioneer Press

. . . Nerburn documents his life deeply, showing his belief in the spiritual world of rocks, trees, winds, birds, animals and humans.  He deals repeatedly with the buffalo, that age-old symbol of Indian dependence on Nature, from discussions with a buffalo rancher to his discovery of an old buffalo sculpture that has been robbed of its spirituality by a fence that symbolizes the way Western society makes sacred things merely “important.”

. . . a “poetry of thought” that begins and ends with a belief in the spiritual . . . — David Marcou

Minneapolis Star Tribune

. . . a collection of mini-essays sculpted to reveal the profound impact of nature and “place” on the human spirit, and idea central to American Indian philosophy and religion. . .

In 25 meditations, Nerburn shares discoveries that changed him forever:  a rock shaped like the Madonna holding her child; a forlorn trailer home on a remote Minnesota highway; a perfect dawn.

It is a white man’s journey with an Indian road map, emphasized by aboriginal songs, sayings and chants that are quoted at the start of each essay. . .

His promise, as hopeful as it is compelling, is that, if we take the Indian cue to listen to the land, to the primal forces of nature that shaped their homeland as well as ours, together we will find common ground; together we will hear the voice of God.  — Larry Oakes

Science of Mind

The land speaks to us through the voices of Native peoples, plant and animal life, and natural forces such as weather, as well as its geography, rhythms and even its darkness according to nature lover and visionary, Kent Nerburn, whose poetic voice touches our heart. . .

Nerburn helps us to realize that there is a common core of experience we share and that the primary bond linking all of us is our sacred Earth. — Kathy Juline

The Riverfront Times

. . .Nerburn eases his way from conversation to quiet metaphor, aiming toward poetry and even prayer. — Jeanette Batz

Fargo Forum

Nerburn . . . takes the reader on a quiet journey — a worship service in the wilderness — and gives us a place to retreat with each chapter.  Nerburn describes such things as finding a Madonna sculpted by naturure in a rock. . .

In a section called “Solitudes,” Nerburn captures what it is like waiting for winter, seeing the first snow . . .  January is called The Moon of Great Difficulty by the Sioux.  “This is the time when the Ojibwe told their tales.  A child who heard a story in deep winter carried it forever in his heart.”

. . .Nerburn finds deeper meaning in picking up an old American Indian man hitchhiking in the middle of nowhere. He describes the hitchhhiker’s quiet dignity, giving him an almost mystical quality as he disappears into the forest.

Nerburn has a wonderful sense of imagination in conjuring what life was like after discovering an abandoned farmstead near Minto, N.D.  He can see them – the mother at the stove cooking dinner and making bread, the children outdoors on the swing waiting to be called to eat.

He also knows what is like to feel spring nearby.

“We have survived, we have survived, ‘ Is our common song.  And none — the bud, the child, the animals at play — can contain our common glee.” — Gail Gabrielson

Kent Nerburn

Kent Nerburn has been called “one of America’s living spiritual teachers”  (Spirituality and Practice: Resources for Spiritual Journeys) and “one of the few writers who can respectfully bridge the gap between Native and non-Native cultures” (Harper Collins publishers). Author Louise Erdrich has called his work “storytelling with a greatness of heart.”

Twice winner of the Minnesota Book award, Kent has authored 16 books on spirituality and Native American subjects, including the trilogy, Neither Wolf nor Dog, The Wolf at Twilight, and The Girl who Sang to the Buffalo; Small Graces, Simple Truths, and Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace. He holds a Ph.d. with distinction from Graduate Theological Union and the University of California at Berkeley and has lived and worked among Native American communities for three decades.

He and his wife, Louise Mengelkoch, and their elderly yellow Lab, Lucie, now live near Portland, Oregon after 30 years among the pines and lakes of northern Minnesota.