Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices
Editors: Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Leatherdale
Published: July 24, 2014 by Annick Press
Summary: A powerful and visually stunning anthology from some of the most groundbreaking Native artists working in North America today.
Truly universal in its themes, “Dreaming In Indian” will shatter commonly held stereotypes and challenge readers to rethink their own place in the world. Divided into four sections, ‘Roots, ‘ ‘Battles, ‘ ‘Medicines, ‘ and ‘Dreamcatchers, ‘ this book offers readers a unique insight into a community often misunderstood and misrepresented by the mainstream media.
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, for example, 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. Insightful, thought-provoking, and beautifully honest, this book will to appeal to young adult readers. An innovative and captivating design enhances each contribution and makes for a truly unique reading experience.
Review: I fell in love with the stunning illustrations and beautiful language of this book. I read two to three pages per night because I wanted to leave time to absorb the authors’ words and artists’ work. The eclectic mix of forms makes for a very powerful anthology that will prove enduring for readers. It features a variety of tribes, and the differing formats and content give readers a sense of both a unity across tribes and a distinctness of individuals from the different tribes. I found it to be truly inspiring and wish I could donate this book to every middle and high school classroom.
Teacher’s Tools for Navigation: This text is obviously a great resource for teachers. It need not be used in its entirety because this text would be excellent for close readings. Whatever the format, it would be preferable to avoid using this book solely during the month of November—“Native American Heritage Month.” I align with scholars who believe that diverse cultures should be highlighted year-round and integrated within curricula, rather than solely within designated months.
Discussion Questions: In what ways are the themes of this book universal? In what way are they distinct?; What themes can you find across the works?; How does this book shed light on Indian culture?; How is the text structured? Do you find the style to be effective?
From the Authors: