Cover image for Dreaming the dawn : conversations with native artists and activists
Dreaming the dawn : conversations with native artists and activists
Caldwell, E. K., 1954-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiii, 143 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E98.A7 C15 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Fresh, informative, and provocative, this collection of interviews showcases twelve leading Native artists and activists who have challenged and helped reshape prevailing expectations about Native cultures and identities during the late twentieth century: writers Sherman Alexie and James Welch, singer-songwriter and educator Buffy Sainte-Marie, poet Elizabeth Woody, activist and AIM member Dino Butler, musician and activist John Trudell, writer and activist Winona LaDuke, actor and musician Litefoot, the late aids activist Bonnie Blackwolf, and visual artists Rick Bartow, Jesse Hummingbird, and Norman Guardipee. nbsp; Engaging in their own right and offering substantive insights into individual careers and personalities, these interviews also explore a number of significant and often controversial intellectual, cultural, and political issues affecting Native peoples today. Among the topics discussed are the effects of the New Age movement and other forms of cultural appropriation, current conflicts and disagreements within Native communities, connections to the environment, alcohol and drug addiction, the American Indian Movement, the blood-quantum debate, religious freedom, the value of elders, and obligations to past cultural traditions.

Author Notes

The late E. K. Caldwell was a respected Native poet, musician, writer, and interviewer. Her poetry and short stories appeared in various anthologies, and she contributed articles and interviews to many magazines and newspapers.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The voices are eloquent, urgent, humorous, and brutally honest. They belong to a dozen Native Americans who have, in their art, in their song, and in their passionate activism, helped to forge the renaissance in Indian culture that is one of the unanticipated delights of the late twentieth century. There are 13 voices, as the late Caldwell, a respected Native poet and musician in her own right, leads her interview subjects to open and honest revelation about subjects of intense personal interest. Topics range from singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie's consideration of the uses of computer technology for tribal people, to activist Dino Butler's reflections on his personal and political evolution from hatred toward healing. These are Native voices with shared inflections and recurrent subjects: the appropriation of spiritual objects and beliefs by New Age practitioners and the question of blood quantum as centers of controversy in Indian country. This work affirms the enduring potency of Native oral traditions as it hints that our salvation may lie in that traditional wisdom. --Manny Skolnick

Library Journal Review

The late Caldwell was well known as a poet, musician, interviewer, and writer, and her works have been widely published. Here she presents an innovative and compelling study of Native American artists, activists, and writers. Caldwell employed the oral interview to explore the personal and traditional side of a very diverse group of people. This book taps into the psyche, spirit, and essence of Native American artists but does not present them in the typical fashion. Rather, the interviews are quite candid, exploring key social, intellectual, and spiritual issues. What results is a very informative and open exchange on creativity. This book is recommended for all public and academic libraries but would also be appropriate for specialized collections on Native American history and personalities.--John Dockall, Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.