________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 36. . . .May 22, 2015


Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices.

Lisa Charleyboy & Mary Beth Leatherdale.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2014.
128 pp., hc., pdf & epub, $19.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55451-687-2 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-55451-689-6 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-55451-688-9 (epub).

Subject Headings:
Native artists-Canada-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Indian artists-United States-Biography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 8 and up / Ages 13 and up.

Review by Gail de Vos.

**** 4



medicine war love

witko lover
heart as cold as ice

the winter in our bed
is here to stay

make way make treaty

make medicine
war love

a ceremony
to keep in the dark

inside a cold
government house

under wood smoke
& gifted blankets

---we will burn it all
return it in the end

it always comes back
stronger in the end

(Written by Kris Statnyk who is Ch’ichyaa (Wolf Clan) from the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation in Old Crow, Yukon Territory. He is currently a guest in Coast Salish Territory where he practices oonjit (white man) law in Vancouver, BC. [p. 105])


In the “Foreword”, by Lee Maracle (Salish and Cree Sto:lo Nation), she writes:

All the works in the following pages are part of that amazing struggle to go forward, into modernity, onto the global stage, without leaving our ancient selves behind.... They sing out loud in verses, plain and compelling. They cry freedom in words commanding and unapologetic. They do so with tender insistence, bravery, and beauty.

internal art     Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices is a vibrant collection or, perhaps more precisely, a pulsating collage of personal stories told through words, images, and structure from an extensive range of creative people challenging their readers and viewers about what it means to be a young aboriginal person in today’s world. The entries are organized according to four major topics: roots, battles, medicines and dreamcatchers. The energy and tone of each of these sections are unswerving but flowing, with the entries in “roots” demonstrating strength while those in the next section,” battles,” are much more strident. The next two sections are reflective of healing and hope for the future. The editors, Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale, have selected and organized these entries effectively, resulting in a unified narrative. But it is also a book that can be dipped into at will, allowing readers and viewers, to taste and plot an individual path through the entries without losing form and structure.

internal art      The more than sixty authors, dancers, filmmakers and illustrators are from all over North America and represent a wide variety of tribal affiliations, all acknowledged in both the entries and the succinct notes about the contributors in the back matter. The age range of the contributors is also wide and varied, including high school students and elders. Dreaming in Indian is a powerful book, celebrating stories wrapped in sensually creative page layouts and book design, belongs in every middle school, high school and public library.

Highly Recommended.

Gail de Vos, the author of nine books on storytelling and folklore, teaches at the School of Library and Information Studies for the University of Alberta.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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