Peace Pipe Dreams: The Truth About Lies About Indians, by Darrell Dennis

A non-fiction selection by Jean-Louis

Douglas and McIntyre, 2013
Douglas and McIntyre, 2013

Darrell Dennis is a playwright, broadcaster, actor and comedian. In Peace Pipe Dreams he has set himself the task of unpacking the truth about stereotypes about Indians in North America. This is of course, a HUGE task.

Right off the hop, he has to deal with the question of what is the politically correct word to use when speaking about his people and ancestors. He approaches his task with a light touch, smart very smart discussion, and a minimum of bitterness. All of this is no small feat as the depths of misunderstanding and prejudice run deep.

From names, Dennis moves on to contrasting European and Native points of view, to treaties, land issues, native government, and the legacy of residential schools. If these topics seem dry at first, Dennis makes a good effort to maintain his intelligent and accessible tone. The goal is to initiate his reader into the issues and challenges facing First nations peoples. The book is for anyone who wants to learn and hopefully re-examine what they thought they already knew about this subject.

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