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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 th 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.


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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 th 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.

30 review for Peace Pipe Dreams: The Truth about Lies about Indians

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Yes, this book should definitely be required reading in all Canadian schools. The way I learned about First Nations people was pretty much all pre-colonial. Before settlers came, there were Native folk! In high school, I learned a little bit about how Aboriginal people were screwed over, but nothing about how they are living now. It definitely felt like they all disappeared at some point. As an adult, of course I've heard all the stereotypes that First Nations people get government handouts that Yes, this book should definitely be required reading in all Canadian schools. The way I learned about First Nations people was pretty much all pre-colonial. Before settlers came, there were Native folk! In high school, I learned a little bit about how Aboriginal people were screwed over, but nothing about how they are living now. It definitely felt like they all disappeared at some point. As an adult, of course I've heard all the stereotypes that First Nations people get government handouts that the rest of us don't get, they don't have to pay taxes, their leadership is corrupt and that's why all the money sent their way is wasted, they're alcoholics, they should just accept the fact that Canada exists now and stop complaining about things that happened so long ago. I've always tried to argue against these stereotypes and opinions while not really understanding how the treaties worked or how to explain that tax exemptions aren't worth all the other bullshit. Next time, I'm just going to refer everyone to this book. The subtitle of this book is exactly right; I learned so much that I didn't know about "the truth about lies about Indians". I also love the tone of this book. It's surprisingly light for being so sarcastic and about something so heavy. Here's a passage that explains how the land and treaty process works: "Let's say you walk into McDonald's and order a Big Mac. You hand over your money and get a receipt. You now have an agreement that in exchange for your money you will receive a Big Mac. Five minutes goes by, then another five minutes, and before you know it you have been waiting over three centuries. Finally you approach the cashier and demand your delinquent Big Mac. The cashier asks to see your receipt, which you promptly display. He then informs you that you need to prove that the original intent of the receipt was a promise to provide you with a Big Mac. 'After all, that receipt is from three centuries ago. It could have meant anything.' To top it off, the other customers around you are receiving their Big Macs, no questions asked, and they're shouting at you: 'Get over it and move on. Quit looking for free handouts!' So you take McDonald's to court and their lawyers are happy to stretch out the proceedings until you are flat broke because they know if you could actually afford a legal battle, you wouldn't be eating at McDonald's in the first place."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Teena in Toronto

    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 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. Blog review post: http://www.teenaintoronto.com/2016/01...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jim Davis

    Sardonuc humour and grim facts refute myths about First Nations people A great first book for people who want to understand the history of and present challenges for First Nations/Aboriginal/Native people. It's hard to talk about genocide without bitterness, Dennis makes you laugh or at least groan at his jokes, but the topic is serious. The only downside is that sometimes he uses the jokes get repetive and even disruptive to the narrative. This book focused more on Canada then the US or the rest Sardonuc humour and grim facts refute myths about First Nations people A great first book for people who want to understand the history of and present challenges for First Nations/Aboriginal/Native people. It's hard to talk about genocide without bitterness, Dennis makes you laugh or at least groan at his jokes, but the topic is serious. The only downside is that sometimes he uses the jokes get repetive and even disruptive to the narrative. This book focused more on Canada then the US or the rest of the continent, but even Americans can benefit from it. Read it and then demand that your government honour the existing treaties.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Magdelanye

    Those with nothing to say usually say it the loudest,and there is no shortage of bellowers who love to educate the masses with their ignorance. p198 One could quibble with the above statement, or anything else DD contends in this sweeping presentation. The truth is, DD comes across loud and clear, underscoring the fact that authenticity and integrity eloquently articulated rise above bullshit in the end. Plus! DD kindly does not bludgeon his readers with the truth. His sense of humor fluctuates f Those with nothing to say usually say it the loudest,and there is no shortage of bellowers who love to educate the masses with their ignorance. p198 One could quibble with the above statement, or anything else DD contends in this sweeping presentation. The truth is, DD comes across loud and clear, underscoring the fact that authenticity and integrity eloquently articulated rise above bullshit in the end. Plus! DD kindly does not bludgeon his readers with the truth. His sense of humor fluctuates from subtle through ironic to screamingly funny. You might fear to kill yourself laughing or maybe from embarrasment. As more aboriginals take to the airwaves, internet, and social media sites, they are slowly guaranteeing that the Canadian public is no longer able to ignore a centuries worth of shady dealings they have endured from contact to present day. p227 And this is a good thing!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    I would say this is a book that all settler Canadians should read, but I feel that it borrowed too heavily from The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King for me to give it that distinction. The excerpt on the back cover of Peace Pipe Dreams, the joke about about Tolkien and "One word to rule them all and in political correctness bind them"? Yeah, pretty much that exact same joke is on page 83 of The Inconvenient Indian. The books are similar in other regards, although Dennis does cover different te I would say this is a book that all settler Canadians should read, but I feel that it borrowed too heavily from The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King for me to give it that distinction. The excerpt on the back cover of Peace Pipe Dreams, the joke about about Tolkien and "One word to rule them all and in political correctness bind them"? Yeah, pretty much that exact same joke is on page 83 of The Inconvenient Indian. The books are similar in other regards, although Dennis does cover different territory; he delves more deeply into treaties and current day conditions on reserves, which I appreciated. The writing wasn't particularly strong; the humour wasn't very funny, so this ended up being much more of a straight-up nonfiction look at Indigenous-settler relations, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I definitely learned quite a bit, and would probably still recommend it (although I would recommend Thomas King first!).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mortira

    First and foremost, I feel that this book ought to be required reading for anyone that teaches social studies in Canadian schools. Otherwise, I think any and every Canadian should sit down and read Peace Pipe Dreams. It was all at once informative, infuriating, charming and hilarious. How Darrell Dennis manages to tackle intense and often tragic topics with such wit and grace is beyond me. I was grinding my teeth one moment, and guffawing or giggling the next. The satirical delivery of our twiste First and foremost, I feel that this book ought to be required reading for anyone that teaches social studies in Canadian schools. Otherwise, I think any and every Canadian should sit down and read Peace Pipe Dreams. It was all at once informative, infuriating, charming and hilarious. How Darrell Dennis manages to tackle intense and often tragic topics with such wit and grace is beyond me. I was grinding my teeth one moment, and guffawing or giggling the next. The satirical delivery of our twisted history was enlightening to say the least, and I finished the book feeling like I was a slightly more useful member of our unique society for having done so.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Phoenix

    Myth Conceptions In a book that's funny, angry, laid back and informative at the same time, Darrel Dennis rants, riffs and puns his way through a minefield of harmful stereotypes that have been held about North America's largest invisible visible minority. His first subject is the problem of politically correct naming of First Nations, and even he has run into problems. "Indian" for the non-native is totally un-PC, as one of my children recently and vociferously reminded a tour guide, but accepta Myth Conceptions In a book that's funny, angry, laid back and informative at the same time, Darrel Dennis rants, riffs and puns his way through a minefield of harmful stereotypes that have been held about North America's largest invisible visible minority. His first subject is the problem of politically correct naming of First Nations, and even he has run into problems. "Indian" for the non-native is totally un-PC, as one of my children recently and vociferously reminded a tour guide, but acceptable within native communities, and at times even embraced, especially as the term is legally embedded into treaty rights with Canadian and American governments. One of Dennis' big issues is stereotypes about drugs and alcohol. Natives are statistically no better or worse than northern Europeans in this respect, nor is there a genetic disposition. Another is the too high suicide rate in native populations attributed to structural social and economic disadvantages. No less important is his discussion abuse of native children and their communities perpetrated by the system of residential schools which occurred in Canada, the US and Australia. This is a shameful episode in our collective history on this continent that needs to be acknowledged. There's lots of good information and argumentation. Recommended for personal reading and school libraries where it should be put on display so that both teachers and students get a chance to see it and read it. The argumentation excellent, but it could be improved with a more extensive bibliography of sources used instead of Dennis' advice to just look it up on the Internet. Many of the examples of legal inequality that Dennis covers are Canadian, so possibly he should consider an edition with more Americanized references for the US market. Recommended!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cathryn Wellner

    Darrell Dennis comes from people whose unceded land is not far from where I have been living for the past decade and a half. So I was particularly interested in reading what he had to see about the "truth about lies about Indians" so prevalent in settler culture. The bad news is, I came away totally mystified as to how we will ever reach true reconciliation. The good news, I finished the book determined to figure out my own complicity and what part I can play in reconciliation. Dennis is a humori Darrell Dennis comes from people whose unceded land is not far from where I have been living for the past decade and a half. So I was particularly interested in reading what he had to see about the "truth about lies about Indians" so prevalent in settler culture. The bad news is, I came away totally mystified as to how we will ever reach true reconciliation. The good news, I finished the book determined to figure out my own complicity and what part I can play in reconciliation. Dennis is a humorist and throws a lot of laugh-worthy curve balls while he lays out his arguments. His anger bubbles below the surface and regularly explodes. I get it. I come from a long line of people whose beliefs were such triggers for the people around them they were perpetually on the run. My people helped invade the Americas because they were not tolerated where they were. That does not excuse their cluelessness toward the people they encountered. So here we are, occupiers in a land that was never meant to be ours. We've done a pretty thorough job of trashing it. And somehow the indigenous people around us have been resilient enough to hang onto some pretty excellent ideas as to how we can treasure this land and each other. Canada likes to think of itself as color blind, but that doesn't extend to indigenous peoples or people of color. So...we need talented, passionate writers like Darrell Dennis to give us a swift kick in the patoot. We are on this land together, but we are not sharing this land as we should. Thanks to writers like Dennis, we may learn enough to shake us out of complacency and onto the path of real reconciliation.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hélène

    I wanted to have a better understanding of what is going on with the aboriginals on reserve and off reserve in Canada and how it works with the government and Aboriginal (Indigenous now) "special rights". And also the story behind this complicated relationship between our communities. I'm not from Canada so I don't know well Canada history. Thank to that book, it's more clear and I'm glad for that. But! It was so hard to read...the author took a sarcastic tone most of the time and sometimes it was I wanted to have a better understanding of what is going on with the aboriginals on reserve and off reserve in Canada and how it works with the government and Aboriginal (Indigenous now) "special rights". And also the story behind this complicated relationship between our communities. I'm not from Canada so I don't know well Canada history. Thank to that book, it's more clear and I'm glad for that. But! It was so hard to read...the author took a sarcastic tone most of the time and sometimes it was a bit annoying, really. Also a lot of repetitions and of course a lot of references to laws and treaties which is normal to explain the history and all the political things we tried to do to assimilate them. Because of that, I find it hard to stay focus but the subject was really important for me so I persevered. Now I am more knowledgeable and I can talk about it with less fear of saying something stupid or disrespectful. That's why I recommend this book for all the knowledge you will get even if it's not a cake walk ;)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    In Peace Pipe Dreams, Darrell Dennis attempts to dispel lies and stereotypes about First Nations with an engaging and humorous irreverence. He is informative but not overbearing, which is not to say any issue this book explores is simple. These concerns involve multiple communities with distinct cultural, political, geographic, bureaucratic, and legal details and histories -- this list of adjectives could be expanded. I worry that malice contributes to these stereotypes, as do indifference and i In Peace Pipe Dreams, Darrell Dennis attempts to dispel lies and stereotypes about First Nations with an engaging and humorous irreverence. He is informative but not overbearing, which is not to say any issue this book explores is simple. These concerns involve multiple communities with distinct cultural, political, geographic, bureaucratic, and legal details and histories -- this list of adjectives could be expanded. I worry that malice contributes to these stereotypes, as do indifference and ignorance, but nearly every issue Dennis explores here surprised me in its complexity. In other words, one takeaway that I expect to endure having read this book is to be wary of the "pan-Indian" concept. I have also recently read Lynda Gray's First Nations 101, and I found this the more readable primer.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anna Bunce

    This book is excellent. While previously I was recommending "Inconvenient Indian" Thomas King to people who were interested in developing a better understanding of Indigenous issues in Canada/North America, I think this book will be the one I recommend first. Humorous and EXTREMELY accessible, this is the book you could recommend to your offensive uncle and he'd probably enjoy it. Great read, even for someone who has a good knowledge base on Indigenous issues. This book is excellent. While previously I was recommending "Inconvenient Indian" Thomas King to people who were interested in developing a better understanding of Indigenous issues in Canada/North America, I think this book will be the one I recommend first. Humorous and EXTREMELY accessible, this is the book you could recommend to your offensive uncle and he'd probably enjoy it. Great read, even for someone who has a good knowledge base on Indigenous issues.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Darlene

    The author's relaxed tone and dry wit makes the busting of stereotypes less volatile and more an opportunity to understand just how nonsensical some of the things out there are. At the same time, you get a good understanding about how belief in these stereotypes has shaped Canadian policy for the worse. 4.5 stars The author's relaxed tone and dry wit makes the busting of stereotypes less volatile and more an opportunity to understand just how nonsensical some of the things out there are. At the same time, you get a good understanding about how belief in these stereotypes has shaped Canadian policy for the worse. 4.5 stars

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    3/5 stars A very informative book. I enjoyed some parts more the others but this book for sure filled many gaps in my Canadian history education.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Michaud

    Great book, funny and informative - this was just what I needed when and how I needed it :) thank you Darrell f sharing your message

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Definitely worth the read. The hypocrisy in our governments dealings with our First Nations is beyond comprehension.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Wendell Hennan

    EVERY non native Canadian needs to read this humorous book, especially those who believe the widely subscribed thinking that first nations people pay no taxes, receive free housing, and are alcoholics. Written with a sharp sense of humour, those myths are dispelled one by one. I must confess that I grew weary about two thirds through as I realized that not only was Canada guilty of inhuman treatment of natives for several centuries, the situation today with bureaucracy that renders the whole sit EVERY non native Canadian needs to read this humorous book, especially those who believe the widely subscribed thinking that first nations people pay no taxes, receive free housing, and are alcoholics. Written with a sharp sense of humour, those myths are dispelled one by one. I must confess that I grew weary about two thirds through as I realized that not only was Canada guilty of inhuman treatment of natives for several centuries, the situation today with bureaucracy that renders the whole situation uncorrectable. Two year political terms for band Chiefs and councillors and heavy administration costs deducted from band income when placed in Third Party Management make solutions/improvements impossible. However, the book closes with a significant resounding ray of hope. More and more natives are becoming well educated and entering politics and speaking out. Natives like Darrell Dennis and Wab Kinew are doing their part to ensure that Canada understands the depths of issues and who is responsibile for centuries of oppression. Idle No More and the Natives staunch opposition to environmental activities that endanger the resources and health of all Canadians is slowly swinging the pendulum of recognition that Canada as a people have erred horrendously in the treatment of its First Nation citizens.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    "We also don't hear that European medicines were often useless in saving Europeans from from their own diseases, who instead relied heavily on natural immunities built up from centuries living in overcrowded and disease-ridden centres of Europe. The fact that Native people lacked immunity to those diseases is often used to suggest a Darwinian-like Native weakness, as if Natives only had themselves to blame for not living a constant state of filth and pollution." Sometimes there almost too much le "We also don't hear that European medicines were often useless in saving Europeans from from their own diseases, who instead relied heavily on natural immunities built up from centuries living in overcrowded and disease-ridden centres of Europe. The fact that Native people lacked immunity to those diseases is often used to suggest a Darwinian-like Native weakness, as if Natives only had themselves to blame for not living a constant state of filth and pollution." Sometimes there almost too much levity injected into the rage- and despair-inducing topics, but often it helps make the point so much more clearly than you've ever heard it before.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Miles

    If you've ever wondered why "Native people just can't get over it" or what the fuss is about faux headdresses at folk festivals, well, allow Darrell Dennis to explain. Dennis is an original--and not just in the First Nations sense of the word. An actor, comedian, playwright, screenwriter, radio host, and member of the Shushwap Nation in British Columbia, Dennis is also the author of Peace Pipe Dreams: The Truth About Lies About Indians (Douglas & McIntyre, 2014). In busting through the myths and If you've ever wondered why "Native people just can't get over it" or what the fuss is about faux headdresses at folk festivals, well, allow Darrell Dennis to explain. Dennis is an original--and not just in the First Nations sense of the word. An actor, comedian, playwright, screenwriter, radio host, and member of the Shushwap Nation in British Columbia, Dennis is also the author of Peace Pipe Dreams: The Truth About Lies About Indians (Douglas & McIntyre, 2014). In busting through the myths and misconceptions surrounding First Nations people, Dennis leaves no stone unturned. Sports mascots, substance abuse statistics, the Christopher Columbus narrative, movies featuring the noble savage ("Always-Helps-The-White-Man"); movies featuring the nasty savage (think eat-your-heart-out Magua from "The Last of the Mohicans") are all ripe for a rethink. Then there's Canada as the ultimate "deadbeat dad" when it comes to honouring treaties and land claims, band chief and council paycheques; what the heck's in those peace pipes anyway; and the "most annoying and derisive of all Native stereotypes… that Aboriginals don't pay taxes." There is also the no-small-matter of residential schools, where children were "told that their parents were ignorant savages, their communities were irrelevant, and their culture, religion and language were the work of the devil. The children were to renounce everything Indian or burn in hell for all eternity…. Now I ask," writes Dennis, "if the residential school legacy had been inflicted on non-Native children instead of Aboriginal children, how many people would still insist that they should just 'get over it"? I'm guessing not too many." Just when it all gets too heavy, Dennis spurs things along with his trademark irreverence and helpful hints for all of us in "regular-people Canada" trying to bridge the gulf created by a 400-year history of First Nations relations that's been more or less written, up until now, by the dominant culture. Case in point: "For best results, try to call Native individuals by their original name in their original language. There are over 350 of these names in Canada alone, so if you want to go this route, you should start cramming." Thank you, Mr. D. Consider Peace Pipe Dreams a timely primer to the 2015 release of the 500-plus page Executive Summary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's 94 Calls to Action. The Actions are nobody's idea of a cake walk, but #10 (asking the "…federal government to draft new Aboriginal education legislation with the full participation and informed consent of Aboriginal peoples…" and "Developing culturally appropriate curricula.") would benefit from a major boost if Peace Pipe Dreams were introduced to secondary schools nation-wide.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Heather Pearson

    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 mu 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.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gordon Jones

    I've always been curious about the issues that face native peoples in Canada so was happy to pick up a copy of Peace Pipe Dreams: The Truth about Lies about Indians. Although the description from Goodreads calls author, Darrell Dennis a native American, he actually is a Canadian comedian, actor, screenwriter and radio personality from the Secwepemc Nation in the interior of British Columbia. The first issue is what they are comfortable being called. According to the author: "First Nations" is the p I've always been curious about the issues that face native peoples in Canada so was happy to pick up a copy of Peace Pipe Dreams: The Truth about Lies about Indians. Although the description from Goodreads calls author, Darrell Dennis a native American, he actually is a Canadian comedian, actor, screenwriter and radio personality from the Secwepemc Nation in the interior of British Columbia. The first issue is what they are comfortable being called. According to the author: "First Nations" is the popular term in Canada, "Native American" or "American Indian" in the US and you should stay away from plain old "Indian" in both countries... it's impossible to provide a term that all native people can be comfortable with. For example, the word "Indian" is used amongst fellow "Indians" but there will always be "Indians" who are offended by the word "Indian" even though they support their fellow "Indians" using the word "Indian". It's generally considered bad for to call an "Indian" if you yourself are not an "Indian" and that includes "Indians" from India. Got it? The book is very well researched and Mr. Dennis says the book is meant to be a quick and dirty introduction to the truth behind the stereotypes, and one of the messages is, Don't believe everything you read about Indians. The book is filled with humour, which makes the material sink in more. The chapters includes such topics as Native Names, Native Perceptions: The European Point of View, Native Perceptions: The North American Point of View, Natives and Alcohol, Religion & Residential Schools (the one very serious chapter in the the book with no attempts at humour), Treaties, Native Land, Native Government and The Future. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It's entertaining, informative and I think it is an important read, a book that should be read by every Canadian.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I think that the information in this book is exceptionally important for all people, especially Canadians, to read. Many Aboriginal stereotypes are still so prominent today, with no basis other than simple ignorant racism. I definitely agree with the author when I say that this info should be taught in schools, and the revisionist history skipped over instead. However, this book is so poorly written. Many passages were downright boring, and the author had a tendency to repeat simple concepts ove I think that the information in this book is exceptionally important for all people, especially Canadians, to read. Many Aboriginal stereotypes are still so prominent today, with no basis other than simple ignorant racism. I definitely agree with the author when I say that this info should be taught in schools, and the revisionist history skipped over instead. However, this book is so poorly written. Many passages were downright boring, and the author had a tendency to repeat simple concepts over and over, while simultaneously throwing in random vague sentences that I had to reread over multiple times (to no avail, mostly). The author also tried to use humour... I didn't find any of his jokes funny, just simply annoying and ill-fitting for the purpose of the book. Additionally, I like to consider myself a liberal, open-minded person, but part of that is accepting other cultures even if their beliefs etc. don't make much sense from my perspective. However, this author was so anti-Christianity that it was very frustrating to read. Many digs and 'jokes' seemed quite offensive, and I felt they didn't fit in a book that promotes acceptance of others... How could an author persuading people to be more tolerant possibly gain any support if they bash another religion? This author would fail any creative writing course on persuasive technique. This book is an interesting read and the info is fascinating. However, the author is weak so be prepared for that.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Vontel

    A good place to start if you aren't very familiar with issues and concerns to First Nations/Aboriginal people, particularly in Canada. It is written, with some humour, to provide a basis for 'demythologizing' many of the stereotypes in the public domain. The humour sometimes detracts from the seriousness of the message, but perhaps is an attempt to defuse the seriousness and impact of the information and presentation on some people. There are many other excellent non-fiction, as well as fiction, A good place to start if you aren't very familiar with issues and concerns to First Nations/Aboriginal people, particularly in Canada. It is written, with some humour, to provide a basis for 'demythologizing' many of the stereotypes in the public domain. The humour sometimes detracts from the seriousness of the message, but perhaps is an attempt to defuse the seriousness and impact of the information and presentation on some people. There are many other excellent non-fiction, as well as fiction, sources for further reading, such as "Up Ghost River" by Edwin Metatawabin, Bev Sellars "They Called Me Number One", and "Where the Pavement Ends" by Marie Wadden.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Fischwife

    This is going to be my new textbook for Native Studies. Every Canadian should read this book. Darrell Dennis discusses Aboriginal Issues in an engaging and straightforward manner, laced with humour. He was the host of CBC's RevisionQuest, also, which is another excellent resource. From stereotypes to funding and accountability to residential schools to identity and more, this explores many of the issues plaguing Canada's indigenous people today and examines the history of these issues. It's not th This is going to be my new textbook for Native Studies. Every Canadian should read this book. Darrell Dennis discusses Aboriginal Issues in an engaging and straightforward manner, laced with humour. He was the host of CBC's RevisionQuest, also, which is another excellent resource. From stereotypes to funding and accountability to residential schools to identity and more, this explores many of the issues plaguing Canada's indigenous people today and examines the history of these issues. It's not the only such book to do so, but it is one of the more accessible and appealing ones, in my opinion.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dale White

    Peace Pipe Dreams by Darrell Dennis is an easy to read summary of the misconceptions held by many about First Nations people. While covering a wide range of topics - self government, treaties, residential schools to name a few - it doesn't get bogged down in the complexities of historical events or legal rulings. In other words, it is a great introduction to the topic, giving readers enough understanding to delve deeper if so inclined. My only complaint: Some times Dennis tries too hard to be fun Peace Pipe Dreams by Darrell Dennis is an easy to read summary of the misconceptions held by many about First Nations people. While covering a wide range of topics - self government, treaties, residential schools to name a few - it doesn't get bogged down in the complexities of historical events or legal rulings. In other words, it is a great introduction to the topic, giving readers enough understanding to delve deeper if so inclined. My only complaint: Some times Dennis tries too hard to be funny. When it works, it adds emphasis to the point he is trying to make. When it doesn't, the text sounds less serious and becomes more of a distraction than a help.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shanna Schaefer

    I really enjoyed this book. Although there are American historical points, being Canadian, it was easier to pay attention to what Dennis was writing due to it being more applicable. Living in a community where every day you are witnessing the effects of stereotypes against Natives, and seeing the actual effects of government "funding", this book allowed me to make sense of why the conditions in my town and other smaller communities in the NWT are the way they are. I want everyone I know to read I really enjoyed this book. Although there are American historical points, being Canadian, it was easier to pay attention to what Dennis was writing due to it being more applicable. Living in a community where every day you are witnessing the effects of stereotypes against Natives, and seeing the actual effects of government "funding", this book allowed me to make sense of why the conditions in my town and other smaller communities in the NWT are the way they are. I want everyone I know to read this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kali

    Absolutely loved this book. Couldn't help but start recommending it to friends and family before I was even finished reading so I definitely recommend you give it a read. Dennis' witty humour makes this book so enjoyable and easy to read despite all the heavy facts of true North American history. This is knowledge every person should learn. Absolutely loved this book. Couldn't help but start recommending it to friends and family before I was even finished reading so I definitely recommend you give it a read. Dennis' witty humour makes this book so enjoyable and easy to read despite all the heavy facts of true North American history. This is knowledge every person should learn.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dayna

    Very good writing style that keeps you interested in the areas your less interested in but are important to know. Highly recommend to those that you find assuming the native stereotype to explain why they are so wrong.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Funny, insightful, informative. Should be required reading for every North American. Thank you Mr. Dennis

  29. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bianca

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