SALT LAKE CITY - This book's title, "Hunting & Gathering: An Urban Youth Survival Guide," evokes images of a loincloth-clad youth marauding about the downtown Starbucks and brandishing a spear when he is refused extra mocha for his latt?. However, author Danny Quintana's first book addresses the very serious problems facing Indian youth in modern society.
Quintana, Mexican-American, is a self-described pseudo-socialist. He attended the University of Utah College of Law, started his own law firm and was the Skull Valley Band of Goshutes' tribal attorney for several years.
"I kept seeing young people ruining their lives over and over again ? I kept seeing old people whose lives were failures from poor financial planning. [I] wanted to give advice on a macro-economic scale," said Quintana when asked about his motivation for writing the book in a Nov. 18 interview with Indian Country Today.
The book is a blueprint for Native youth on how to survive and prosper amidst the cold materialism of capitalist America. The 221-page paperback is available from Beckham Publications. A slightly more comprehensive version is available completely free of charge on the Internet.
"Hunting & Gathering" is broken down into three major themes; economics, the war on drugs and environmental issues. Quintana personalizes the generic concepts by relating them to historic American Indian culture - specifically the Goshutes of Utah.
The book begins by explaining what money is, how to make it and how it really works. Quintana not only explains basic economics but also offers practical advice on buying a car, finding a place to live and investing wisely.
Chapter five advises "beware of the human animal." Quintana relates statistics on violence in the cities and the connection to drugs. "The result of this quagmire is more government spending on a failed [drug prevention] policy and more people on public assistance and greater costs for businessmen with more dangerous streets and higher taxes," said Quintana. He recommends complete abstinence from substance abuse as the only remedy.
The subject of the book then moves on to environmental awareness. Quintana feels many underprivileged reservations are being taken advantage of because the residents don't fully understand the issues. As one of the originators of the controversial Spent Nuclear Fuel Project, Quintana does his best to remedy environmental naivety with chapters like "The Glowing Goshutes."
"The challenges of the modern world require courage. The same courage of warriors of the Indian nations in the last two centuries enabled what remains of Native American nations and all of us to survive," said Quintana. "Today's warriors must reach within and use the courage of our ancestors to overcome the alcoholism, crime, drugs and domestic violence on and off the reservations and the desperation of the city streets and prisons."
When asked to boil down "Hunting & Gathering's" message Quintana said "Eat less, eat right and exercise more. Never use alcohol or illegal drugs. Treat your money like your great-grandfathers treated their hunting tools. Like arrows, money is hard to make and easy to lose. Use your tools with care and you will never go hungry."
Visit www.huntingandgathering.org to access the book on the Internet. For more information about where to purchase the book write to Beckham Publications Group, Inc., P.O. Box 4066 Silver Springs, MD 20914, go to www.beckhamhouse.com or phone (800) 431-1579.