Dreaming in Indian

Dreaming in Indian

Contemporary Native American Voices

Book - 2014
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Anthology of art and writings from some of the most groundbreaking Native artists working in North America today. Emerging and established Native artists, including acclaimed author Joseph Boyden, renowned visual artist Bunky Echo Hawk, and stand-up comedian Ryan McMahon, contribute thoughtful and heartfelt pieces on their experiences growing up Indigenous, expressing them through such mediums as art, food, the written word, sport, dance, and fashion. Renowned chef Aaron Bear Robe explains how he introduces restaurant customers to his culture by reinventing traditional dishes. And in a dramatic photo spread, model Ashley Callingbull and photographer Thosh Collins reappropriate the trend of wearing 'Native' clothing. Whether addressing the effects of residential schools, calling out bullies through personal manifestos, or simply citing hopes for the future, Dreaming In Indian refuses to shy away from difficult topics.
Published: Toronto :, Annick Press,, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781554516865
Branch Call Number: YA704.0397 DRE
Characteristics: 128 pages :,color illustrations ;,29 cm


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Mar 01, 2017

A big disappointment!

Most tellingly, the authors fail to include the requisite thanks to the Canadian arts agencies that so generously funded what must have been a very expensive project - a large hardcover book that includes a complicated interplay of photos and artwork. No thanks, either, to the multiple editors and publishing assistants, who must have contributed long, weary hours to the project. Not surprising, of course. Such omissions are in keeping with the hostile sense of entitlement contributors parade so shamelessly, the result of a bundle of unearned special rights based entirely on racial ancestry. Such rights, which have been exploited with a rapine that would make a banker blush, were intended to compensate Indians for the development of civilization as it grew up around them quite often in spite of them and almost if not entirely without any contribution from them.

Canada since confederation has spent trillions in subsidies directed only at Indians - tax-free real estate, income assistance for life necessaries and a host of other perks not available to all Canadians equally - so contributors' failure to recognize their unjust enrichment or to connect it to the individual taxpaying citizens on whom they prevail is, again, not surprising.

What is surprising is the barely literate stream of consciousness pity fest characterizing almost every tired, tiresome selection. Writers and artists, few of whom are worthy of the moniker, almost invariably describe feelings of awkwardness and despair after having established a pattern of failure beginning in a small homogeneous, remote village of origin among others who were also similarly, equally failing.

Of course they feel discouraged! Self-esteem comes from achievement - prevailing against the odds to achieve a worthy goal, such as finally standing joyfully on the shoulders of giants as an equal. These contributors almost without exception describe meeting each challenge in their lives with almost complete surrender. Many ran away, others tried to commit suicide, which is also running away. Yet they use words like brave and strong in capital letters as if saying the words somehow makes it so.

I laughed out loud at the proud assertions of 'traditional ways,' which somehow included Indigenous Canadian and Indigenous American canned meat and fried bologna sandwiches on white bread!

Despite the over-rehearsed racist blame doggerel infecting the book, one would be hard-pressed not to wish contributors would partake on their own initiative of the wonderful gifts of the wide world now available free on the Internet. As the great Auntie Mame famously put it: 'Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.'

This book is evidence if more was required that Canada's apartheid system has failed utterly both the Indians and the beleaguered, spent taxpayers forced to lavish the treasury on them so thanklessly, so fruitlessly. Time to declare fiasco, extinguish special rights, including all the unearned, unfair subsidies, and offer incentives toward integration/assimilation as full participants and equal contributors. Canada might consider offering a life estate to current reserve occupants after which the land escheats to the Crown for the benefit of all Canadians, who have already paid for it in full - more than once.

multcolib_susannel Jan 31, 2015

Youth from Canadian American Indian tribes express their culture through remarkable art and poetry.


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