Dawn Dumont

Dawn Dumont is a Plains Cree comedian and actor born and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada. She says of her reservation, the Okanese First Nation, that it  is "quite possibly the smallest reservation in the world but what it doesn’t have in terms of land area, the people make up for in sheer head size". Dawn has made people laugh at comedy clubs across North American, including New York’s Comic Strip, the New York Comedy Club, and the Improv. She began her comedy career in Toronto on stages such as Yuk Yuk’s and the Laugh Resort. Dawn is currently a comedy writer for CBC Radio and the Edmonton Journal, and is a Story Editor for By the Rapids, an animation comedy series on APTN.


Her writing has been published in the anthologies Native Women in the Arts and Gatherings, as well as in Rampage Literary Journal. Her personal essay “Transformations” was published by Toronto’s Now Magazine. Most recently her play, Nicimis (Little Brother) was workshopped at Native Earth’s Performing Arts Weesageechak Begins to Dance Festival in Toronto, with artistic director Alanis King. Dumont lives in Saskatoon.


Books


 

SHORT FICTION

196 pages/trade paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available

reviews

ISBN: 978-1-77187-126-6
List Price: $20.00

Dawn Dumont

These twenty short stories interconnect the friendships of four First Nations people — Everett Kaiswatim, Nellie Gordon, Julie Papequash, and Nathan (Taz) Mosquito — as the collection evolves over two decades against the cultural, political, and historical backdrop of the 90s and early 2000s.

These young people are among the first of their families to live off the reserve for most of their adult lives, and must adapt and evolve. In stories like “Stranger Danger”, we watch how shy Julie, though supported by her roomies, is filled with apprehension as she goes on her first white-guy date, while years later in “Two Years Less A Day” we witness her change as her worries and vulnerability are put to the test when she is unjustly convicted in a violent melee and must serve some jail time. As well as developing her characters experientially, Dawn Dumont carefully contrasts them, as we see in the fragile and uncertain Everett and the culturally strong and independent but reckless Taz.

As the four friends experience family catastrophes, broken friendships, travel to Mexico, and the aftermath of the great tragedy of 9/11, readers are intimately connected with each struggle, whether it is with racism, isolation, finding their cultural identity, or repairing the wounds of their upbringing.
 

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NOVEL

244 pages / paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available


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REVIEWS

ISBN: 978-1-927068-81-6
List Price: $19.95

Dawn Dumont

Rose Okanese, a single mother with two kids, has been pushed into a corner by Rez citizens to claim some self-respect, and decides that the fastest way to do that is to run the reserve’s annual marathon. Though Rose hasn’t run in twenty years, smokes, and initially has little motivation, she announces her intention to run the race. One quality Rose doesn’t lack is spontaneity which sometimes clashes with her iron will and, though she has initial regrets about opening her mouth, her life begins to dictate that she must follow through. But as fate will have it, one rather huge unforeseen outcome of her decision is that she will have to do battle with an old inadvertently conjured demon that feeds off the strength of women and can have them do her bidding. In no time the Rez is in an uproar.

Rose discovers, that the old demon has been unintentionally called forth by her teen daughter, Sarah, which complicates Rose’s life just a little more. The spirit woman creates a reign of fear and havoc by appearing to people on the reserve and freaking them out, all of which leads to incidents of extreme humour and plot-twisting bemusement, liberally sprinkled with some jittery acts of valour. With a cast of unusual and unfamiliar characters, Dumont interweaves a tale of motherly love, friendship, lustful longing, wîhtikow lore, and Rez humour, and keeps the hoopla going until the race is done.

Will Rose send the demon back to where it came from before the spirit claims her teen daughter? Will she get back together with her philandering, rock musician husband before her girls grow up? More importantly, will she get this all done before her big, face-saving race with Dahlia Ingram, a woman whom God has designed for one purpose: to run long distances at high speeds with effortless grace?

  • Winner of the 2015 Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction
  • Shortlisted: SBA Book of the Year, Aboriginal Peoples' Writing, and City of Saskatoon Award
  • Shortlisted for 2015-16 First Nation Communities Read Award

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novel
200 pages / paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available


Buy an eBook version of this book at KoboAmazon Kindle Storeor your favourite eBook store


REVIEWS

 

ISBN: 978-1-897235-84-3
List Price: $15.95

Dawn Dumont

In Nobody Cries At Bingo, the narrator, Dawn, invites the reader to witness first hand Dumont family life on the Okanese First Nation. Beyond the sterotypes and clichés of Rez dogs, drinking, and bingos, the story of a girl who loved to read begins to unfold. It is her hopes, dreams, and indomitable humour that lay bear the beauty and love within her family. It is her unerring eye that reveals the great bond of family expressed in the actions and affections of her sisters, aunties, uncles, brothers, cousins, nieces, nephews, and ultimately her ancestors.

It’s all here — life on the Rez in rich technicolour — as Dawn emerges from home life, through school life, and into the promise of a great future. Nobody Cries At Bingo embraces cultural differences and does it with the great traditional medicine of laughter.

  • Shortlisted for the 2013-14 First Nation Communities READ Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2012 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2012 Alberta Readers Choice Award
  • Chosen for inclusion in the Best Books for Kids and Teens 2012 edition (starred selection)

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