Dreaming the Dawn


Dreaming the Dawn

Conversations with Native Artists and Activists

E. K. Caldwell
Introduction by Elizabeth Woody

American Indian Lives Series

145 pages


August 1999


$30.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

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.
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 Bio

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.


Dreaming the Dawn is unusual because it uses oral interviews to bring together the Native oral traditions of diverse people and nations. Kim Caldwell quietly and modestly draws out important statements from each of her subjects, forming a dialogue between interviewer and interviewee that not only creates a necessary objectivity but also captures an informality and directness unavailable in most other anthologies. For anyone interested in Native America or the formation of identities, this collection is essential and, more important, enjoyable.”—W. S. Penn, author of All My Sins Are Relatives