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Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices

Annick Press 2014. 128 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9781554516872 (hardcover)
9781554516865 (paperback)
9781554516889 (e-book)
Original language: English
Dewey: 704
Book type: Anthology

Text Elements:

conflict, evocative language, figurative language, multigenre, multimodal, point of view, stance

Award

USBBY Outstanding International Books List – 2015

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This important collection of contemporary Indigenous voices features autobiographical poetry, prose, photo essays and visual art on topics such as music, fashion, food, identity, racism, poverty and ancestral cultures.

Under the section “Roots,” Keesic Douglas contributes photography that depicts tidy arrays of white bread, Cheez Whiz, tinned meat and drink-mix crystals (“4 Reservation Food Groups”). In the section “Battles,” fashion journalist Christian Allaire reflects on the strength he draws from his heritage, as well as his clashes with it. “Medicines” includes a text/photo spread by Sokolum, featuring her wild-makeup beauty tutorials on YouTube. Under the section “Dreamcatchers,” Shari Mustatia writes about meeting the child she gave up for adoption.

Contributors identify their cultural heritage—or the mix of cultures in their backgrounds: “Ojibway, Mnjikaning First Nation;” “Yellowknives, Déné First Nation;” “Pima, Seneca-Cayuga.” This highlights the extreme variance of cultures that exist under the generic heading of First Nations.

Dynamic layouts encourage browsing through these fascinating pages. Established contributors (such as author Joseph Boyden, actor Michelle Thrush and chef Bear Robe) provide positive examples of role models.

  •  

    Issues of culture, identity, racism and poverty are expressed through different modes and lenses. The diverse life experiences of Indigenous youth are filtered through the headings of “Roots,” “Battles,” “Medicines” and “Dreamcatchers.”

  •  

    Consider “4 Reservation Food Groups” by Keesic Douglas. Discuss the images and text, and the way the two work together to make meaning. What is the message?

  •  

    In a small group, identify and choose an issue or idea in the “Roots” section and trace its evolution through the other sections of the anthology. What are the editors saying about the way the issue has been treated from its origins to its modern representations? Create a graphic or written representation of the issue over time.

  •  

    The book is divided into four sections: “Roots,” “Battles,” “Medicines” and “Dreamcatchers.” In small groups, brainstorm what each chapter will be about.

  •  

    Select a favourite artist from the book. Explain your choice. What connects you to his or her story?

  •  

    Much of Native American art is rooted in life itself: its beauty and its pain. Prepare a two-sided poster, inspired by books, songs, poems and art, that best represents the urban Native American young adult trying not to lose sight of the past.

  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use information and communications technologies
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Media Literacy
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Social Sciences
  • Visual Arts
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian (S. Alexie) (Topic)
    Urban Tribes (L. Charleyboy) (Topic)