Friday, 4 September 2015

FIrst Nations Friday : Peace Pipe Dreams: The Truth about Lies about Indians by Darrell Dennis

First Nations Friday is an occasional post where I review books written by First Nations, Metis and Inuit authors.

Who are these people we live amongst. They live in towns, in cities and on reserves.  I say that we, the foreign arrivals to this land, live among them even though they are  the smaller population.  We used to call them Indians but now they are referred to as First Nations, Metis and Inuit, or by the proper name of their Nation.  They were here first and choose to share their  land with us, the newcomers.

With this being true, why is it that so many Canadians know so little about our neighbours and much of what we claim to know is wrong.  What little I learned in school was from fourth grade and comprised the role that some un-named Indians helped Laura Secord carry word to General Brock about an invasion across the Niagara River. Wow, not much.  Probably something was discussed about teepees and long houses and buffalo, but that was the end of it.

Talk about inadequate.

As an adult, I'm much wider read and have learned quite a bit, but still feel that I am missing the majority of this significant history.  Darrell Dennis's book Peace Pipe Dreams: The Truth about Lies About Indians has cleared up a lot of mis-information and gaps that I had.  This book should be required reading in all Canadian civics classes as well as for all persons desiring to become Canadian citizens.

It is well written, with clear explanations and examples where required.  Topics that could have been heavy and sleep inducing are kept to manageable bites of information. The depth of details should be suitable for most readers.  Source information is cited for those wanting further information.

Peace Pipe Dreams answered many questions I had about the First Nations and many more that I didn't even know I needed to ask.  It also had me laughing at un-expected points; who knew that Darrell is such a funny guy (he is a comedian when he's not a writer).

I highly recommend this book for all Canadians who love their country. It's important to learn the truth about where it came from.

 Thank-you to Douglas and McIntyre for use of the cover image.

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