Smoke Signals

Dundurn Press, Toronto
Smoke Signals follows tobacco from its origins in South America's Andes through its checkered history as a "miracle cure," powerful addictive and poison, friend of government revenue departments, and enemy of law enforcement directed at contraband and tax diversion. It traces tobacco's sacredness among Natives, notably how the modern substance has changed Native lives, sometimes for the good, often for the bad, explores how the coffers of governments, now so dependent on tobacco revenue, will be affected if the plant's commercial use is eliminated, and examines how Native traditions, including tobacco as a holy herb, might survive in modern society and strengthen Natives.

The Reviews:

"Jim Poling Sr. has done us a favour by his overview of and acute insights into the tobacco debacle. Smoke Signals should be taken seriously." (Literary Review of Canada, April 2013)

“Smoke Signals” is the first, most comprehensive, well researched and very well written book on tobacco marketing among Natives in North America. It should be required reading by all government officials and police agencies who monitor this activity. For journalists, social scientists and teachers searching for information about the current status of the Iroquois, and particularly the Mohawks, “Smoke Signals” needs to be read.  Mr. Poling has, in this book, done a great service in reporting on one of the most significant factors in contemporary aboriginal society. (Indian Time - Doug George-Kanentiio)

"In Smoke Signals Poling documents tobacco’s role in the Canadian experience, and its long circuitous journey back to the First Nations peoples who first cultivated it. The result is a fascinating social history." (Blacklock’s Reporter )

"Informed, informative, superbly researched and deftly written, Smoke Signals: The Native Takeback of North America's Tobacco Industry is highly instructive reading and an especially recommended addition to both community and academic library collections." (Midwest Book Review

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