- From the Editorstânisi kiyawôw
June Scudeler nitisiyihkâson. nichâpanak Red River Manitoba, Batoche Saskatchewan êkwa Castelfrance- Veneto, Italy ohci niya. My maternal Métis ancestors come from Red River, Manitoba, in what is now known as Winnipeg, Batoche, Saskatchewan, and my father is from Castelfranco Veneto, Italy. I am honored to live and work on the ancestral and traditional territories of the Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm), Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw), and Tsleil- Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ) Nations. I am excited to be the new coeditor at Studies in American Indian Literatures and to work with Siobhan Senier; its editorial board; and its editorial assistants, Jeremy Carnes and Shanae Aurora Martinez.
My research is at the intersections of queer Indigeneity, Indigenous ways of knowing, literature, and film. My current project explores Indigenous Gothic, horror, and science fiction film and literature. Being the 2017–20 Shadbolt Fellow at Simon Fraser University and term assistant professor in First Nations studies enables me to pursue these various research and community interests. I have chapters in Performing Indigeneity (Playwrights Canada Press) and Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature (University of Arizona Press) and articles in Native American and Indigenous Studies, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Canadian Literature, and Studies in Canadian Literature.
Although most Indigenous people do not acknowledge national boundaries, the reality is that there is often a disconnect between Indigenous literatures in the Americas. I hope to bring more linkage to Indigenous literatures in Canada to SAIL. In 2013 I attended the first- ever Indigenous Editors Circle workshop in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Treaty 6 territory and the homeland of the Métis Nation. We pondered how to "Indigenize" publishing. What does it mean to treat manuscripts like gifts? How do we center Indigenous literatures? What do ethical [End Page vii] approaches to Indigenous literatures entail? The Indigenous Literary Studies Association, founded in 2013 at the University of British Columbia on Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) territory, provides a motivating governing code on its website:
To honour the history and promote the ongoing production of Indigenous literatures in all forms; to advance the ethical and vigorous study and teaching of those literatures; to reaffirm the value of Indigenous knowledges and methodologies within literary expression and study; to foster respectful relationships within and between academic and non- academic communities; to facilitate mentorship and professional development; and to advocate for responsible institutional transformation.
The 1991 ASAIL bylaws state that the purpose of the organization is "to promote study, criticism, and research on the oral traditions and written literatures of Native Americans; to promote the teaching of such traditions and literatures; and to support and encourage contemporary Native American writers and the continuity of Native oral traditions." While the field of literary studies has changed and evolved, the similarities between the principles, which are twenty- two years apart, still ask us to honor wâhkôhtowin, or the Cree concept of kinship or interrelatedness. In other words, how are we good relatives to Indigenous literatures?
This issue questions how the past impacts the future and how stories of and by Indigenous people counteract dominant narratives. More importantly, rather than reacting to colonization, how are Indigenous people writing their own narratives? Of course, dominant narratives always need to be challenged, but some of the essays place the onus on non- Indigenous people to do the necessary work of decolonization.
Salma Monani's "The Cosmological Liveliness of Terril Calder's The Lodge: Animating Our Relations and Unsettling Our Cinematic Spaces" explores how bringing together ecocinema and Indigenous studies, particularly in animated works, illustrates how Métis filmmaker Calder's stop- motion film asks us to rethink boundaries between the human and other- than- human worlds. Most importantly, Calder's film is a specifically Métis film in its critique of the Eurowestern objectification of other- than- humans and its use of nonlinear narratives. [End Page viii]
Similarly, in "Inhabiting Indianness: Sherman Alexie's Indian Killer and the Phenomenology of White Sincerity," Zachary S. Laminack employs an underutilized critical lens to argue that Alexie's novel "takes aim" at white masculinity. Moving...