It’s a Dream

My head is wrapped around grant applications for my work in science communication: so much so that I’m dreaming about it.

Serves me right.I read an article on learning and teaching that pointed out Indian ways-of-knowing embrace dreams as part of epistemology. “Great significance is attributed to dreams and vision quests as ways for an individual to find his or her purpose of life.”

When I pulled up the covers last night I had Native Science on the brain.

I dreamt that my daughter and I were at a summer fair, trapped inside a vendor’s booth. The booth was constructed like a large chicken coop so people could observe but we couldn’t get out.

It was the Indian coop.

I found myself able to be inside and outside simultaneously: caught inside the chicken wire yet able to peer from the outside in. But my daughter couldn’t break free.

Metaphors in dreams are rarely this clean, and if I were to insert the dream into a novel or film, critics would moan that it’s trite and all-too convenient.

But my account of the dream is true. And I made a blog-promise to write the truth in this space.

Life in the “in betweenness” of Western and Native worlds—the liminal space– is never smooth and easy, much less for my relatives who live in Indian communities. They face it daily. I dream it.


About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in authenticity, framing, Indian, Native Science, science and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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