This is an eclectic collection that celebrates First Nation, Metis, and Inuit dancers, chefs, painters, hunters, athletes, artists, designers, actors, comedians, photographers, musicians, models and politicians. Lisa Charleyboy (an Indigenous story-teller from Toronto) and Mary Beth Leatherdale (an award-winning editor) have teamed up to create a volume of truly interesting items. There are poems, artwork, photographic essays, short stories and autobiographies by and about Aboriginal people and Indigenous issues across Canada and the United States. For example, readers will find information on the Oka standoff, residential schools, Idle No More, and even Keesic Douglas’s tongue-in-cheek description of the four reserve food groups (Kam, Kool-Aid, Cheez Whiz, and Wonderbread!). More than sixty contributors supplied items for this work, and the breadth and quality of the pieces is impressive.
Dreaming in Indian is a non-fiction work aimed at students in grades 6 and up. This is a unique collection with wonderful photographs and delightful illustrations; certainly it belongs on the shelves of school libraries across the country since it showcases the accomplishments of such a broad swath of talent. Educators seeking to expose their students to the vibrant real lives of Indigenous people from various backgrounds will find many uses for this book (perhaps as a jumping off point for research on people like Joseph Boyden, as a template for a class project, or simply as a resource for information on contemporary FNMI issues and accomplishments).
[Review by George Sheppard.]