Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask: Young Readers Edition

Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask

Young Readers Edition

2012 • 383 pages


Average rating4.3


As the title suggests, this book contains answers to common questions non-Native people have about Native Americans–everything from “What are coming of age ceremonies?” and “Should Leonard Peltier be freed?” to questions that seem downright rude, like “Why do Indians have so many kids?” The questions are answered by the author in a personal tone. He is careful to say that he is answering from his own perspective and that if you ask a different person the same questions, you are likely to get some different answers. The book is divided into chapters on terminology, history, religion and culture, education, politics, etc., so you can skip straight to the topics that interest you, or you can read straight through (like I did).

I enjoyed reading this book. I learned plenty that I didn't know (and that I would have been afraid to ask), and I appreciated Treuer's matter of fact approach to all of the questions he addresses. In fact, I would say this is a gracious book. In his conclusion, he writes, “Don't imagine Indians, understand them. Keep asking questions, reading, listening and advocating for change. Don't tolerate stereotypes, and don't be afraid to ask everything you wanted to know about Indians. And if you're native, give a meaningful response to those questions rather than an angry rebuke. It really does make a difference.” This book models that spirit of welcoming honest questions and giving meaningful answers.

January 25, 2013Report this review