During the last twenty-five years of his life, Drew Hayden Taylor has done many things, most of which he is proud of. An Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario, he has worn many hats in his literary career, from performing stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., to being Artistic Director of Canada’s premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. He has been an award-winning playwright (with over 70 productions of his work), a journalist/columnist (appearing regularly in several Canadian newspapers and magazines), short-story writer, novelist, television scriptwriter, and has worked on over 17 documentaries exploring the Native experience. Most notably, he wrote and directed REDSKINS, TRICKSTERS AND PUPPY STEW, a documentary on Native humour for the National Film Board of Canada.
Chasing Painted Horses has a magical, fable-like quality. It is the story of four unlikely friends who live in Otter Lake, a reserve north of Toronto. Ralph and his sister, Shelley, live with their parents. One day, their mother brings home a chalkboard and installs in prominently in the kitchen. She wants her children and their friends to draw something every week, at the end of which there’ll be a vote as to which is the best artwork. Danielle, a small and quiet girl from school, draws a horse – a breathtakingly beautiful horse. And while she wins the competition, the reactions to her work set in motion a series of actions and reactions that will shape the lives of the brother and sister and William, Shelley’s would-be-boyfriend, that rarity, a bully who bullies other bullies.