Dozens of young Native Americans who have made cities their homes offer glimpses of their lives, dreams, work, and attitudes toward themselves and others.
It’s a busy whirl of street art and portrait photos, testimonials, interviews, miniprofiles, tweets, poetry, statistics, pull quotes, and editorial commentary. There are some commonalities: nearly all of the contributors are Canadians, living (with a few exceptions) in Canadian cities, and many express a desire to live in the modern world without losing track of their tribal heritage and values. The relationship to that heritage varies. Russell Means’ actor/activist son Tatanka writes of the importance of getting away from the rez, while two Saskatoon teenagers declare, “We hang out with both Native and Non-Native kids.” Cree-Trinidadian Tasha Spillett embraces both “Ceremony” and elaborate ceremonial regalia, Diné Roanna Shebala wryly offers the caustic lyric “Love You Some Indians,” and, beyond issues of identity and assimilation, Cherokee doctor Adrienne Keene pens a passionate blog post in the wake of a Native student’s suicide at Stanford. Whether or not the students, artists, professionals, and academics here are a true cross section of the rapidly growing Native American urban population, they are, as social organizer Jessica Balduc (Anishinaabe, Batchewana First Nation) puts it, “Edgewalkers,” poised to work changes in the world.
A stereotype-dispelling companion to Dreaming in Indian (2014). (bibliography) (Nonfiction. 12-18)