“My wife Barbara and I share blood memory through generations of our people. The Creator gives me dreams. In one dream, the Creator showed me the woman I would share my life with and, seven years later, we met and married. We now have seven children and 14 grandchildren. Often in life, though, we lose our way. For more than a decade now, I have counseled men and women suffering the residual effects of the nation’s infamous Indian boarding school system. My father, Warren Frank Petoskey, was one of the children forced into those schools. So was my grandfather, Cornelius Joseph Petoskey. The Creator directed me to write this book out of love and honor for humanity, but especially for my Red Brothers and Sisters, and most especially for the generation that is coming. This coming generation whose members, I worry, feel no responsibility for the words of their great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers.
I have also written this book to validate our experience as Native Indigenous People. For too long, we have remained silent and have internalized our feelings. I welcome all people to come and share this journey with me. We all come from a spiritual origin and we are on our way to a spiritual destination. I am walking the Red Road. It is a good path to travel.” – Warren Petoskey
Review by Terry M. Wildman
“I first met Warren Petoskey a few years ago at an event in Indian River, Michigan. His contribution to the circle of Natives and Non-natives gathered there was a gift to all. He is a storyteller and poet, and carries a prophetic word for those who have ears to hear. Without bitterness but with a cutting edge clarity he tells the story of not only his family but of Native Americans across this continent as they struggle to come to grips with a forgotten past.
“Warren reminds us of things that should never be forgotten and offers a spiritual answer that can bring healing to the Native and understanding to the Non-native. Books like this are rare and priceless–don’t miss it!”
Terry M. Wildman
Author of Sign Language: A Look at the Historic and Prophetic Landscape of America
Review by Patricia Chargot
“IN MY 75 YEARS, I have read countless autobiographies and spiritual works. Warren Petoskey’s uplifting memoir ranks among the best. Dancing My Dream is written simply, flowingly and lovingly by a man of immense dignity and hard-won spirituality. It meshes the Native American with the Christian. It is for believers and nonbelievers, for those of any religion or none. It is a basic Book of Existence; reading it is like ingesting the food of life,” wrote Javan Kienzle, the talented spiritual biographer who wrote about the life of her Catholic-priest-turned-mystery-author husband in Judged by Love: A Biography of William X Kienzle.
Some readers have fallen in love with Warren’s poetry, including Morning Song of an Odawa and Peace Is, both of which are included in this autobiography. Others love his evocative description of the American Indian relationship to the landscape of the Great Lakes, where even the great rocks along the shore are recognized as loving grandparents.
Many readers have thanked Warren for his honesty about the long-running tragedy of Indian boarding schools. This is a story that is all too familiar to Indians across the United States and Canada. The story, however, is unfamiliar to white America. It is a story that needs to be told and Warren includes several chapters about how these policies scarred his own family. Through several generations of Indian families, U.S. policy forced young children to leave their families and live in boarding schools where they were punished until they gave up Indian ways.
From his lyric poetry that will awaken your connection to the natural world, to his authentic window into Indian culture—to the honesty of Warren’s account of overcoming historic trauma—this book will move you and transform your vision of what America means. In the end, you may find yourself purchasing several copies to read and discuss with friends.
“Warren’s inner peace is palpable and rubs off, like the Dalai Lama’s. He may not be as well known and doesn’t claim to be a shaman, but I personally have no doubt that he possesses the gift of healing. He struggled to heal his own spirit over many years, and is now able to help heal the spirits of others.”
Journalist and author of Balto: the Untold Story of Alaska’s Famous Iditarod Sled Dog