Maps and Dreams

by Hugh Brody. Pantheon, $15.95. Mr. Brody was sent to northeast British Columbia to procure maps of the hunting and fishing areas of a group of Beaver Indians whose territory lies in the path of a projected oil pipeline. The assignment was to be short, but Mr. Brody, an anthropologist, became fascinated by the Beaver and lingered on for months. He fished with them, hunted with them, talked with them, and observed the workings of a society that, although it may look feckless to a European eye, actually maintains a satisfactory economy and an intelligent use of natural resources. The Beaver have defended their way of life with subtlety, adaptability, and determination. Mr. Brody admires them and so will the reader, but the odds are against them. Their hunting maps conflict with the white man’s golden dreams.