We all deserve a little kindness, and one way to be kind to yourself, Kirstin and I believe, is by letting yourself read YA books when you’re venturing into new ideas. I am definitely not the intended audience for Deidre Haverlock’s and Edward Kay’s Indigenous Ingenuity, which is marketed toward eight- to twelve-year-old children (with a slew of potential elementary-school craft projects to match), but I enjoyed the chance to learn from simple, straightforward descriptions of ancient technological practices employed by the first humans to live on this content, alongside clear explanations of how these technologies work. Now I know how to construct a birch-bark canoe!

Well, no, not really. But I now know more about the steps that other people would use in order to build a canoe, and what chemical transformations would occur inside the wood during this process.

Often, there’s a reflexive tendency to think of...

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