Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Acknowledgements

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pp. xi-xii

We are immensely grateful to all those who attended “How Shall We Teach These?,” the workshop staged at Simon Fraser University in February 2014, and who provided us with invaluable feedback that contributed to the shape and content of this anthology: Caitlin Barter, Tracy Bear, Lesley Belleau, Kristina Fagan Bidwell, Blake Bilmer, Miriam Brown-Spiers, Tenille Campbell, Warren Cariou, Adar Charlton, Francesca Courtade, Lindsey Cornum, Michelle Coupal, Jonathan Dewar, Renate Eigenbrod, Jo-Ann Episkenew, Jeff Fedoruk, Margery Fee, Marc André Fortin, David Gaertner, Emily Gingera, Allison Hargreaves,...

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Introduction: Learn, Teach, Challenge

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pp. 1-4

I distinctly remember the moment, in summer 2013, when Linda and I were talking on the phone about balancing our respective research projects with the particular demands of teaching Indigenous literatures in the university; it was then that we decided to work together to produce this anthology. At the time, we were discussing the fact that teaching Indigenous literatures so often involves having to complete the administrative work required to create such a course before we can even begin offering it to our students. Often, this administrative work grows beyond what one might imagine. For example, because there was no such course related to Indigenous literatures at Bishop’s University, Linda ended up not only creating her course but also joining forces...

I: POSITION

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pp. 5-6

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1 Introduction: Position

Deanna Reder

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pp. 7-18

At the beginning of every term I follow local Coast Salish customs and introduce myself to my students by acknowledging the four First Nations on whose territories my school, Simon Fraser University, is built. Following the expected formula, I acknowledge that I am a guest in the territory, not to suggest that I was ever invited here, but rather a turn of phrase to recognize that even though I have lived in British Columbia’s lower mainland for most of my adult life, this does not give me the same relationship to this land as those whose...

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2 Iskwewak Kah’ Ki Yaw Ni Wahkomakanak: Re-membering Being to Signifying Female Relations

Janice Acoose

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pp. 19-36

Throughout my life I have been visited by powerful Spirits. During one visit, the Spirits of two old Koochums (grandmothers) came to me in a dream and beckoned me home. I responded to their Spiritual counsel by returning to my Nehiowe-Metis and Anishinaabe homelands. When at last my feet touched the earth from which I came, I felt the Spirits of Kah’ Ki Yaw Ni Wahkomakanak (all my relations) welcome me home....

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3 “Introduction” from How Should I Read These? Native Women Writers in Canada

Helen Hoy

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pp. 37-54

In “Queen of the North,” a short story by Haisla-Heiltsuk writer Eden Robinson, Adelaine, a disaffected Haisla teenager, has to contend with the familiarities of a white powwow spectator hungry for sexual and cultural stimulation. Eyeing her bare legs and arms, subjecting her to a sequence of increasingly personal questions, Arnold slaps down one twenty-dollar bill after another to enforce his desire for bannock, after the booth where Adelaine is volunteering has closed down:...

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4 Teaching Aboriginal Literature: The Discourse of Margins and Mainstreams

Emma LaRocque

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pp. 55-72

Ashcroft, Griffiths, and Tiffin (1989) have argued that the study of history and English and the growth of Empire... proceeded from a single ideological climate and that the development of the one is intrinsically bound up with the development of the other, both at the level of simple utility (as propaganda for instance) and at the unconscious level, where it leads to the naturalizing of constructed values (e.g., “savagery,” “native,” “primitive,” as their antithesis and as the object of a reforming zeal) (7)....

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5 “Preface” from Travelling Knowledges: Positioning the Im/Migrant Reader of Aboriginal Literatures in Canada

Renate Eigenbrod

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pp. 73-78

In this book, you will follow the different paths I took in order to come to an understanding of Canadian Aboriginal literatures. 1 I started with a phrase from the title of an article by Sto:lo writer Lee Maracle, “Oratory: Coming to Theory” (1990). From the point of view of orally communicated knowledge, she argues in favour of the contextualized story, or “oratory,” instead of decontextualized theorizing. Aligning myself with her reasoning, I introduce my own work in the personal storytelling mode, this way “speaking” to you, the reader, not just through the persuasiveness of my intellectual arguments but also through my lived experience. Or, “hijacking” literary critic Brill de Ramirez’s “conversive” approach, I place my scholarship within “the oral engagement” (6) of assisting you to become a participatory listener/reader of literary texts rather than to remain a distanced critic....

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6 Strategies for Ethical Engagement: An Open Letter Concerning Non-Native Scholars of Native Literatures

Sam McKegney

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pp. 79-88

Reacting to violence perpetrated against Indigenous texts by decades of literary criticism dominated by non-Native academics wielding analytical strategies developed outside Native communities, much recent criticism of Indigenous literatures has been intensely self-reflexive about the position of the critic, whether non-Native or otherwise. Declaration of ties to particular Indigenous communities or, perhaps more crucially, confession of lack of community ties and non-Native status have become near obligatory elements of contemporary Indigenous literary criticism, and rightly so given the general desire of such criticism to intervene in and destabilize unequal power relations and the...

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7 A Response to Sam McKegney’s “Strategies for Ethical Engagement: An Open Letter Concerning Non-Native Scholars of Native Literatures”

Robert Appleford

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pp. 89-94

First off, I would like to thank both the editors of SAIL and literary critic Sam McKegney for asking questions about ethical engagement with Aboriginal literature that are both profoundly and historically vital. That said, my response to Sam’s diagnosis of the malaise currently afflicting non-Aboriginal critics of this literature is an attempt to consider the “cure” Sam offers (albeit provision- ally) for this malaise in relation to the symptoms he diagnoses. But I will put aside my medical metaphors for now and take up the more exciting—and apt, I think—“sporting” metaphorical register that Sam uses. My gloves are on, and I hear the bell!...

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8 Situating Self, Culture and Purpose in Indigenous Inquiry

Margaret Kovach

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pp. 95-106

I have returned home from the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations’ annual powwow. As the Elder gave a prayer and the carriers raised the pipe, I stood watching the grand entry. Then the dancers enter the stadium in regalia, viscerally knowing their role in maintaining culture. I thought about my research journey, why I located as a Nêhíyaw and Saulteaux researcher. Deep down, I wanted my research journey to help uphold culture, for it certainly gave occasion to come home, and this in itself made it purposeful. From my current vantage point, I am thankful for this opportunity, yet there were days during the research when my gratitude was tempered. Indigenous inquiry is holistically demanding, and knowing purpose in what can be emotionally challenging work matters when spirits are low....

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9. Final Section Response: “The lake is the people and life that come to it”: Location as Critical Practice”

Allison Hargreaves

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pp. 107-110

Located at the north end of Kelowna’s downtown, Knox Mountain is crisscrossed with hiking paths that converge at various lookout points, and again at the top. It’s a popular destination for trail runners, mountain bikers, and casual hikers alike—and, on this summer evening, a colleague and I join the legions of after-work walkers all looking to complement a brisk bit of cardio with the reward of stunning Okanagan Valley vistas. At the top, we lean wearily on a guardrail (we’ve hiked one of the more athletic routes) and take in the view. The city of Kelowna is spread at our feet and Lake Okanagan stretches in either direction. Several of Kelowna’s landmark buildings, beachfronts, and orchards...

II: IMAGINING BEYOND IMAGES AND MYTHS

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pp. 111-112

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10 Introduction: Imagining Beyond Images and Myths

Linda M. Morra

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pp. 113-120

As the title of this section suggests, imagining beyond images and myths has been a preoccupation of both Indigenous literary writing and criticism for more than a century. In “Popular Images of Nativeness,” for example, Cree- Métis poet Marilyn Dumont examines the ideological straightjackets by which the Indigenous had been held in the past, sometimes being identified as “ too Indian ” or “ not Indian enough ” (48). Misrepresentation, she astutely observes, is a form of domination. Elsewhere, in her poem “Circle the Wagons,” she dem- onstrates how the process of colonization may be reinvoked when images are not subjected to careful critique: pandering to expectation will generate stereo- types, she notes, but addressing them directly also risks their reinscription....

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11. A Strong Race Opinion: On the Indian Girl in Modern Fiction

E. Pauline Johnson

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pp. 121-128

Every race in the world enjoys its own peculiar characteristics, but it scarcely follows that every individual of a nation must possess these prescribed singularities, or otherwise forfeit in the eyes of the world their nationality. Individual personality is one of the most charming things to be met with, either in a flesh and blood existence, or upon the pages of fiction, and it matters little to what race an author’s heroine belongs, if he makes her character distinct, unique and natural....

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12 Indian Love Call

Drew Hayden Taylor

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pp. 129-138

The dominant culture’s skewed perception of Native sexuality dates back many centuries, perhaps to the very point of contact. And the results were usually unpleasant. In the early 1500s, Hernándo Cortés had an Aztec interpreter and mistress named Malinche who, according to history, was instrumental in the downfall of Aztec civilization. Ever since, Mexicans have smeared her for her traitorous acts by giving her the unpleasant nickname “La Chingada,” which loosely translates as “the Fucked One.” The term is still a common insult in Mexico today. It was not an auspicious beginning....

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13 “Introduction” and “Marketing the Imaginary Indian” from The Imaginary Indian: The Image of the Indian in Canadian Culture

Daniel Francis

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pp. 139-154

Some years ago a friend and I decided to pay a visit to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. Located where the prairie meets the foothills in southwestern Alberta, Head-Smashed-In is a high cliff over which Native people stampeded the great herds of buffalo hundreds of years ago. Archaeologists believe that people used this place as a slaughterhouse for almost 6,000 years. The United Nations has declared it a World Heritage Site, one of the most culturally significant places in the world....

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14 Postindian Warriors

Gerald Vizenor

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pp. 155-168

President Thomas Jefferson envisioned a water course to the western coast of the nation a decade before he proposed the expedition that would become the most notable literature of tribal survivance.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were instructed that the objective of their mission was to explore the land west of the Missouri River that “may offer the most direct & practicable water communication across the continent, for the purposes of commerce.”...

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15 Postcolonial Ghost Dancing: Diagnosing European Colonialism

James (Sákéj) Youngblood Henderson

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pp. 169-188

Many different strategies and techniques comprise colonialism. These strategies and techniques are a maladroit manifestation by colonialists of their inherited European culture and values. These colonialists saw themselves as continuing the work of the great seventeenth-century European thinkers who created the idea of an artificial society. In remote places, they constructed colonialism on their heritage of Eurocentrism, universality, and a strategy of difference. In the process, they either rejected or overlooked the Crown’s vision of treaty commonwealth in international law....

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16 The Trickster Moment, Cultural Appropriation, and the Liberal Imagination

Margery Fee

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pp. 189-200

Writing about the trickster or about a specific incarnation, such as Nanabush, the Ojibwa trickster, can be dangerous. As Drew Hayden Taylor points out in “Academia Mania,” literary critics tend to over-interpret. About a critic who was sure that a crow in one of his plays represented Nanabush, Taylor writes: “If he thinks a crow is Nanabush, let him. There’s a whole flock of Nanabushes living around my mother’s house. He’ll have a field day” (87). Taylor goes on to quote Daniel David Moses about academic literary critics: “They all like to play ‘Spot the Trickster’” (88). As an academic, I am fated, paradoxically, to take the...

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17 Myth, Policy, and Health

Jo-Ann Episkenew

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pp. 201-214

In my second year as an undergraduate student, I had an epiphany. 1 I realized that all knowledge worth knowing—or, more specifically, knowledge that my university considered worth teaching—was created by the Greeks, appropri- ated by the Romans, disseminated throughout western Europe, and through colonialism eventually made its way to the rest of the people of the world, who apparently were sitting on their thumbs waiting for enlightenment. This was the subtext of the curriculum in all classes with the exception of Indigenous Studies. Given that my experience does not differ substantially from that of students at other universities in the West, I consider myself lucky to have attended a university that offered Indigenous Studies....

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18 Final Section Response: Imagining Beyond Images and Myths

Renae Watchman

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pp. 215-218

My maternal grandmother was originally from Shiprock, New Mexico: home of the Shiprock Chieftains. She was usually in the stands, cheering fanatically when the Lady Chiefs basketball team played on home court at the Chieftain Pit, which holds up to four thousand people. Evidence of her fanaticism and Diné Pride are captured in a few scenes of the 2001 documentary Rocks with Wings , by Rick Derby, as the camera pans horizontally across the crowd of Lady Chiefs fans, and at times focuses on the image of the indian 1 chief, which is visible on the basketball court. This image is not one that accurately represents...

III: DELIBERATING INDIGENOUS LITERARY APPROACHES

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pp. 219-220

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19 Introduction: Deliberating Indigenous Literary Approaches

Natalie Knight

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pp. 221-228

Jeannette Armstrong’s edited collection, Looking at the Words of Our People: First Nations Analysis of Literature , is the first anthology of Indigenous critics writing on Indigenous authors in Canada. It was published as recently as 1993, and not only did this volume open up space for critics to engage on cultural and political terms with Indigenous literatures, it also anticipated debates in the field of Indigenous literary criticism in the years that followed....

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20 “Editor’s Note” from Looking at the Words of Our People: First Nations Analysis of Literature

Jeannette C. Armstrong

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pp. 229-230

In the past two years I have been invited to address conferences convened by English departments, participate on panels about Native literature in Native Studies programs, and attend forums on postcolonialist literature and women’s studies. I accepted such invitations with a certain amount of trepidation. My concern arose from my need in such circumstances to clearly express the fact that I am not an authority on First Nations literature, that I depend upon Native critical thought, and draw on it in order to contribute in a valuable way to such a dialogue....

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21 Native Literature: Seeking a Critical Centre”

Kimberly M. Blaeser

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pp. 231-238

Uncle Luther, a character in Louis Owens’ The Sharpest Sight , offers some advice Indian intellectuals should take to heart. In Owens’ novel, the old man gives his own reading of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and identifies the central failing of Melville’s protagonist, claiming that the “storyteller in the book forgot his own story” (91). The antidote to this failing involves a balance: “You see, man’s got to know the stories of his people, and then he’s got to make his own story too” (91). But the stakes get higher and the tasks more difficult for Native Americans and mixed-bloods; not only must we “know the stories of our people” and “make our own story,” but, as Luther says, “We got to be aware of the stories we already know” (91). We must know the stories of other people—stories...

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22 Introduction. American Indian Literary Self-Determination

Craig S. Womack

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pp. 239-254

My purpose in writing Red on Red is to contribute, probably in a small way, toward opening up a dialogue among Creek people, specifically, and Native people, more generally, regarding what constitutes meaningful literary efforts. My attempts toward such a conversation, I hope, are more suggestive than prescriptive, more a working-out of beginnings rather than endings, more gauged toward encouraging tribal people to talk about literature rather than dictating the terms of such a dialogue. My greatest wish is that tribes, and tribal members, will have an increasingly important role in evaluating tribal literatures. It...

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23 “Introduction” from Towards a Native American Critical Theory

Elvira Pulitano

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pp. 255-266

One of the assumptions most frequently made about critical theory is that it is the elite language of the social and culturally privileged. Attacks against such a monolithic, hegemonic form of discourse—whether it is called pure theory , or academic jargon , or simply incomprehensible language —have characterized most critical and cultural debates in the past few decades. It is said that to do theory means to be working in an Olympian realm, a realm safely located within the confines of an imperialistic West, and thus to ignore the historical realities...

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24 Afterword: At the Gathering Place

Lisa Brooks

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pp. 267-288

There was a time, in the early 1990s, when anyone who wanted to write to me, whether family, friend, or bill collector, had to address their correspondence to the Sovereign Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi, which had a zip code that matched that of Swanton, Vermont, but was (and has always been), in many ways, an entirely different space. 1 I have been thinking lately about the mean- ing of such an act. We know the power of words. N. Scott Momaday reminds us in his landmark essay that “we are all” people “made of words” (“The Man...

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25 Gdi-nweninaa: Our Sound, Our Voice

Leanne Simpson

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pp. 289-300

Indigenous languages carry rich meanings, theory, and philosophies within their structures. Our languages house our teachings and bring the practice of those teachings to life in our daily existence. The process of speaking Nishnaabemowin, then, inherently communicates certain values and philosophies that are important to Nishnaabeg being. Breaking down words into the “little words” they are composed of often reveals a deeper conceptual—yet widely held—meaning. This part of the language and language learning holds a wealth of knowledge and inspiration in terms of Aanji Maajitaawin. That is...

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26 Responsible and Ethical Criticisms of Indigenous Literatures

Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair

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pp. 301-308

If Thomas King is right, and “the truth about stories is that’s all we are,” as Justice points out, “then the work of the literary scholar has profound ethical implications. Our vocation is the telling, preservation, interpretation, and creation of stories. Stories are what we do , as much as what we are” ( Our Fire Survives the Storm 206; original emphasis)....

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27 Final Section Response: Many Communities and the Full Humanity of Indigenous People: A Dialogue

Kristina Fagan Bidwell and Sam McKegney

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pp. 309-314

Kristina Bidwell: You know, when we look at this section of the anthology, it’s called “Deliberating Indigenous Literary Approaches,” but don’t you think that it really revolves around the emergence of Indigenous Literary Nationalism?
Sam McKegney: Looking back, it’s really quite striking how much Jeannette Armstrong, who starts the section, predicted what was basically going to unfold in the two decades that follow. She was calling for a literary criticism that builds from Indigenous worldviews and reaches to the experts within the cultures themselves....

IV: CONTEMPORARY CONCERNS

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pp. 315-316

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28 Introduction

Daniel Morley Johnson

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pp. 317-324

If the contemporary period of Indigenous studies in Canada—and Indigenous literary studies in particular—were to be defined by dominant themes, these would arguably be: (1) the resurgence of Indigenous nationhood and nationalism (and again, specifically, literary nationalism), (2) the emergence of settler-colonialism as the leading theory for analyzing ongoing histories of colonialism, (3) discourses of reconciliation, set in motion most visibly by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), (4) the interrelated study of Indigenous genders and sexualities, and (5) activism and scholarship about the well over one thousand recorded murdered and missing Indigenous women (MMIW) in Canada since 1980....

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29 Appropriating Guilt: Reconciliation in an Indigenous Canadian Context

Deena Rymhs

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pp. 325-340

If the twentieth century was, in Elie Wiesel’s words, “the age of testimony,” the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries might be called “the age of forgiveness.” In the last twenty years, forgiveness and reconciliation have become part of an international discourse. South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (1995–98), Tasmania’s apology to the Stolen Generation (2006), and Britain’s apology to the Maori (1995) are just a few recent instances of reconciliation across different national contexts. In Canada, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) represented a similar gesture, as the country confronted its colonial past and awakened to the insistence of that past in the...

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30 Moving Beyond ‘Stock Narratives’ of Murdered or Missing Indigenous Women: Reading the Poetry and Life Writing of Sarah de Vries

Amber Dean

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pp. 341-348

By 2007, sixty-five women who lived or worked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood were listed by a police task force as missing. Today, the common phrase “Vancouver’s Missing Women” tends to evoke a kind of stock narrative about the lives of the women the phrase is meant to represent. Although one could never hope to specify all of what “Vancouver’s Missing Women” might signify, depending on context, audience, and framing, it is often made to stand in for a set of assumptions about a shared life narrative (troubled childhood, “broken” family, abuse, children’s services, adolescent rebelliousness,...

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31 “Go Away Water!” Kinship Criticism and the Decolonization Imperative

Daniel Heath Justice

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pp. 349-372

This essay is written in Fire; it’s about relationships and the attentive care we give to the ongoing processes of balanced rights and responsibilities that keep kinship going in a good way. Kinship, like Fire, is about life and living; it’s not about something that is in itself so much as something we do —actively, thoughtfully, respectfully....

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32 Indigenous Storytelling, Truth-Telling, and Community Approaches to Reconciliation

Jeff Corntassel, Chaw-win-is, and T’lakwadzi

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pp. 373-392

Indigenous storytelling is connected to our homelands and is crucial to the cultural and political resurgence of Indigenous nations. According to Maori scholar Linda Smith, “‘The talk’ about the colonial past is embedded in our political discourses, our humour, poetry, music, storytelling, and other common sense ways of passing on both a narrative of history and an attitude about history” (19). For example, when conveying community narratives of history...

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33 Erotica, Indigenous Style

Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm

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pp. 393-400

About five years ago, I started thinking about sex. Seriously. I started thinking seriously about sex and sexuality and the utter lack of it in Indigenous writing. Or so it seemed to me. I’ve since realized that, of course, there was some erotic writing by Indigenous writers around—it just took some searching. A lot of searching. Too much searching. A person could reach puberty, live her entire adult life, go through menopause, and still not have stumbled across a single erotic poem or story by a First Nations writer. Or, to make it even more depressing, I realized one could live and die as an Indigenous person and not come...

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34 Doubleweaving Two-Spirit Critiques: Building Alliances between Native and Queer Studies

Qwo-Li Driskill

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pp. 401-422

In the beginning of the twenty-first century, Indigenous Two-Spirit/GLBTQ people are asserting uniquely Native-centred and tribally specific understandings of gender and sexuality as a way to critique colonialism, queerphobia, racism, and misogyny as part of decolonial struggles. Radical Two-Spirit cultural work in the United States and Canada during the late twentieth century cleared a path for Two-Spirit people to form our own modes of critique and creativity suited for Native-focused decolonial struggles. 1 While our traditional understandings of gender and sexuality are as diverse as our nations, Native Two-Spirit/GLBTQ people share experiences under heteropatriarchal, gender-polarized colonial regimes that attempt to control Native nations....

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35 Finding your Voice: Cultural Resurgence and Power in Political Movement

Katsisorokwas Curran Jacobs

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pp. 423-428

My people have never really been idle; in fact, protest and political movement are at the forefront of my daily life, from the moment I present my status card to a store clerk, to the moment I disclose my ethnicity and cultural beliefs to a stranger. I do believe that my people are all born fighting the system. In the past, we have seen mobilization and solidarity among the First Nation’s population in the wake of trauma and disagreement. I was born Mohawk, in the midst of Oka, yet I have no personal recollection of the events, but rather a...

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36 Final Section Response: From haa-huu-pah to the Decolonization Imperative: Responding to Contemporary Issues through the TRC

Laura Moss

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pp. 429-436

As one in a series of seven National Events, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) came to Vancouver in the fall of 2013. The event was intended for survivors to tell their stories, and for others to learn more about the history of the Indian Residential Schools (IRS) system and the leg- acies of the Indian Act. The University of British Columbia’s Faculty Senate “voted to suspend classes on September 18th to honour the opening of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s BC National Event and to help develop a better awareness and understanding of the Indian Residential School system that operated in Canada from 1875–1996, and how its effects are still with us...

V: CLASSROOM CONSIDERATIONS

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pp. 437-438

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37 Introduction

Deanna Reder and Linda M. Morra

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pp. 439-444

In support and celebration of the Idle No More movement, Kwakwaka’wak artist Sonny Assu created a series of panels called There Is Hope, If We Rise . 1 Most of the panels share the same abstract Northwest Coast First Nations image. At the bottom of each is an imperative: Rise; Round Dance; Confront; Resist. The first line on this series of panels is “Idle No More,” which becomes by the second line, “Idle Know More.” Subsequent instructions have to do with education: Teach, Learn, Challenge the Stereotypes. This call by Assu to “Know More” poses several challenges to Indigenous literary critics who live within, even as they push the limits of, the field....

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38 On the Hunting and Harvesting of Inuit Literature

Keavy Martin

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pp. 445-458

This iviusiq—an embarrassing song meant to expose or correct bad behaviour—was recorded by Knud Rasmussen in Angmagssalik, Greenland, as it was sung to a man who had “been in the habit of fetching meat from his store during the night while other people in the house were asleep” (quoted in Lowenstein 46). 1 This particular composition fulfills its function—in this case, embarrassing a miserly person—while also telling its listeners something about the value and importance of songs themselves. The “little song” described here is being hidden and hoarded, restricted for personal use, rather than properly...

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39 “Ought We to Teach These?” Ethical, Responsible, and Aboriginal Cultural Protocols in the Classroom

Marc André Fortin

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pp. 459-466

When I first began the process of producing an edition of The Downfall of Temlaham (1928), a text infused with oral stories from the Git xsan people but published by distinguished anthropologist Marius Barbeau, I set forth with the traditional Western understanding of the procedures and practices of such an undertaking in relation to copyright law. I began by contacting a number of institutions and individuals to determine who owned the copyright to the novel. It was first published by Macmillan Publishers in 1928; a second edition was published by Hurtig Publishers in 1973, for which they paid $100 to lease the rights. Macmillan Publishers no longer exists as a publishing house in Canada, but their records indicate that Barbeau signed a contract for the...

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40 Who Is the Text in This Class? Story, Archive, and Pedagogy in Indigenous Contexts

Warren Cariou

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pp. 467-476

I am trying to remember the story. It’s there somewhere, waiting to be unpacked, tracked down, navigated, activated. I’ve carried it with me all these months, a weightless invisible thing, a gift, a spirit maybe, and now I want to call it back so I can tell you about it, so I can offer an interpretation. Or, at least, so I can cite my sources.
It was about Weesakaytsak, I know that—Weesakaytsak and the herd of caribou. The season was winter, and Weesakaytsak was cold and hungry as usual, and as he wandered through the north he stumbled on a group of caribou digging down through the snow to find something to eat. And when we...

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41 Teaching Literature as Testimony: Porcupines and China Dolls and the Testimonial Imaginary

Michelle Coupal

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pp. 477-486

Although not all Indigenous literatures in Canada fall into the category of what I call fictional testimony , my contention is that much of it does. Indigenous fictional testimony is literature that gives evidence to the experiences of individuals or communities, often with pedagogical, therapeutic, or activist impulses for a broad, that is, both Native and non-Native, reading public. What follows is a précis of some of the strategies I employ when I teach Indigenous literature as a form of testimony, which I anchor, for the purposes of this discussion, in Robert Arthur Alexie’s Porcupines and China Dolls (2002). I ask students to reflect upon the following questions: can a semi-autobiographical fiction...

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42 “Betwixt and Between”: alternative genres, language, and indigeneity

Sarah Henzi

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pp. 487-492

As the different essays in this anthology show, Indigenous literary production has exploded across Canada. Whereas criticism of the 1980s and 1990s saw the past predominating thematically with a clear emphasis on the socio-political, more and more authors are looking toward the future and making use of different media and modes of intervention; critics are thus privileging the aesthetic, genre experimentation, language revitalization, and intermediality. It has become clear that learning to read across and beyond boundaries—whether literary, linguistic, or national—is a necessity if one is to articulate Indigenous literary and political concerns properly. Although the colonial language has...

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43 A Landless Territory? Augmented Reality, Land, and Indigenous Storytelling in Cyberspace

David Gaertner

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pp. 493-498

“How do we articulate cyberspace (a landless territory) within the discourse of Critical Indigenous Studies?” This is the question I begin and end my Indigenous New Media course with. As “a world that is both everywhere and nowhere” (Barlow), cyberspace throws into sharp relief questions of sovereignty, agency, identity, and territoriality, and asks particularly resonant questions about the digital “frontier” and Indigenous contestations of these storytelling spaces. For good reason, however, Critical Indigenous Studies (CIS) remains a land-based field—while cyberspace is still largely conceived as placeless. This essay looks at the intersections between cyberspace and land, and illustrates how the former can be used to articulate key issues of CIS in the classroom....

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44 Final Section Response: Positioning Knowledges, Building Relationships, Practising Self-Reflection, Collaborating Across Differences

Sophie McCall

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pp. 499-502

A recent panel discussion in Vancouver entitled “Resurgence: New Directions in Indigenous Literary Studies” was organized to celebrate the publication of new books in the field. The panelists, who included the scholars and writers Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Neal McLeod, Daniel Heath Justice, Joanne Arnott, and Sarah Henzi, were asked the following questions: are we witnessing a renewed momentum in Indigenous literary studies? What do you see as possible new directions? The participants responded in wide-ranging ways and explored the relationship between their research and their personal histories, the connections between land, story, and community, their commitments to...

Works Cited

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pp. 503-538

About the Contributors

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pp. 539-548