Monday 11 January 2016

Book ~ "Peace Pipe Dreams: The Truth about Lies about Indians" (2014) Darrell Dennis

From Goodreads ~ Darrell Dennis is a stereotype-busting, politically incorrect Native American/Aboriginal/Shuswap (Only he’s allowed to call himself an “Indian.” Maybe. Under some circumstances.). With a large dose of humour and irreverence, he untangles some of the truths and myths about First Nations: Why do people think Natives get free trucks and why didn’t he ever get one? Why does the length of your hair determine whether you’re good or bad? By what ratio does the amount of rain in a year depend on the amount of cactus liquor you consume?

In addition to answering these burning questions, Dennis tackles some tougher subjects. He looks at European-Native interactions in North America from the moment of first contact, discussing the fur trade, treaty-signing and the implementation of residential schools. Addressing misconceptions still widely believed today, Dennis explains why Native people aren’t genetically any more predisposed to become alcoholics than Caucasians; that Native religion doesn’t consist of worshipping rocks, disappearing into thin air, or conversing with animals; and that tax exemptions are so limited and confusing that many people don’t even bother.

Employing pop culture examples, personal anecdote and a cutting wit, Darrell Dennis deftly weaves history with current events to entertain, inform and provide a convincing, readable overview of First Nations issues and why they matter today. 

Gord had read this book a couple weeks ago and said it was interesting so I thought I'd check it out.

The author is a First Nations Canadian comedian, actor, screenwriter and radio personality from the Secwepemc Nation in the interior of British Columbia.  He has written this book to describe the truths and untruths about the First Nations.

The chapters include:

  • Native Names - there was a lot of coverage on what is the politically correct way to refer to the First Nations
  • Native Perceptions: The European Point of View
  • Native Perceptions: The North American Point of View
  • Natives and Alcohol
  • Religion & Residential Schools
  • Treaties
  • Native Land
  • Native Government
  • The Future

There is a lot of serious indepth information but the writing style is funny and sardonic.  You either enjoy his sense of humour or you don't.  There is a lot of history and it's a definitely a book you want to read if you want to know more about the First Nations.  It gave me a better understanding of their situation ... they have definitely been ripped off over the centuries which is sad.

One thing that bugged me was I came across some information that was incorrect.  The author said the War of 1812 was between Canada and France.  Wrong!!  It was between Great Britain and the U.S.  When I read that, it made me start to wonder what else was incorrect in the book and I lost confidence in the author.

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