- From the Editors
tawâw! Welcome to volume 32, issues 1–2, of Studies in American Indian Literatures. The idea of space and who is deemed worthy of support is something we've been thinking about. So-called polite Canadians wrung their hands over the "inconvenience" of Indigenous peoples and accomplices occupying entrances to ports, intersections, and railways. It didn't take long to see how settlers really feel about Indigenous peoples asserting sovereignty. And we're in the middle of a pandemic, which will also significantly impact reserves and remote communities without access to clean drinking water and grocery stores. In 2009, the Canadian government sent body bags to remote Manitoba communities when they demanded more help with the H1N1 flu outbreak. And so many reserves in Canada don't have clean drinking water, which alongside the calls for continuing governmental hostility to land sovereignty, shows how little "reconciliation" means in Canada.
It's not surprising that many of our contributors echo the necessity for Indigenous self-representation and sovereignty. Sophie McCall's "Re-Framing, De-Framing, and Shattering the Frames: Indigenous Writers and Artists on Representing Residential School Narratives" uses late Cree editor Greg Younging's (who wrote Best Practices in Indigenous Publishing) assertion that appropriating Indigenous stories is akin to the extraction of resources from Indigenous lands and children from Indigenous families and communities. McCall argues for a reframing of residential school literature, particularly for settler scholars, in order to center how Indigenous writers are shattering the frames of residential school representation. In "U nojil a ch'i'ibal: Briceida Cuevas Cob's Poetic Empowerment of Yucatec Maya Women," Hannah Palmer examines Yucatec Maya identity in light of transnational impulses in Indigenous women's writing. Similarly, in "'Language To Reach With': Layli Long Soldier's WHEREAS Connects Words to Reality," Rachel Griffis explores how Long Soldier uses language to trouble official apologies, stressing [End Page vii] the strength of Indigenous languages to uphold powerful anti-colonial realities.
"What Looks Like a Grave: Native and Anarchist Place-Making in New England" by Theresa Warburton analyzes the long so-called New England to examine how both anarchist and settler stories of the land supplant Indigenous place-making, particularly during the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower. Rachel Brown shows how Anglo-Cheyenne writer George Bent's six-part autobiography Forty Years with the Cheyennes, published from October 1905 to March 1906 in the Colorado Springs periodical The Frontier: A Journal of Early Days and Their Thrilling Events, writes against the discourse of western expansion. "'Now for the Indian Story': Reconceiving George Bent as a Warrior-Writer" shows how Bent uses Cheyenne ways of knowing, particularly warrior culture, as an active agent of history. Jen Shook's "Unghosting Bones: Resistant Play(s) versus the Legacy of Carlisle Indian Industrial School" examines how The Moon in Two Windows (2006) by N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa) and My Father's Bones (2013) by Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne/Hodulgee Muscogee) and Mary Kathryn Nagle (Cherokee) make visible what should not be hidden: residential schools and the looting of sacred remains and objects. "The Necessity of Lived Resistance: Reading Leslie Marmon Silko's Gardens in the Dunes in An Era of Rapid Climate Change" by Rebecca Tillett illuminates how Silko's novel envisions Indigenous ways of knowing as an alternative to climate change, an alternative that some non-Indigenous peoples are now starting to understand. Janet Dean's "Getting on with Things: Ojibwe Ontology and the Material in Louise Erdrich's The Painted Drum" also illustrates the importance of Indigenous ways of knowing and imagines an Indigenous-centered ecological praxis, echoing this issue's call for a (re)turn to Indigenous ways of knowing. [End Page viii]