Tag Archives: Indigenous Literature

Book Review: The Break, Katherena Vermette

The cover of The Break, Katherena Vermette’s masterful debut novel, features a portion of a painting by Métis and Mennonite artist Corinna Wollf. In the painting, a middle-aged woman stands directly facing her audience in a full-length, black dress detailed in subtle, but vibrant floral print inspired by Métis artist Christi Belcourt (“Corinna Wollf”). The […]

Why We Need to Talk About Indigenous Literature in the Digital Humanities

Will cyberspace enable old knowledge to be experienced and expanded or will cyberspace create the the present anew each day, so that there never again is tradition or a past? –Loretta Todd Over the holiday break, while the in-laws were transporting my family and I to an outdoor light show, I found myself caught up in […]

“Riding English”: Tradition and Innovation in Louise Bernice Halfe’s Blue Marrow

At the beginning of the long poem Blue Marrow, âcimowinis (the keeper of the stories) imagines and introduces nôhkom Emma, a strong-willed, adventurous, grandmother whom, because of her own light skin, the narrator guesses married a white man. âcimowinis has never met nôhkom Emma, and colonialism has fragmented and buried much of her Indigenous history, but she uses what she knows of her from […]

Narrative Tectonics: A Settler Scholar in Indigenous Studies

My name is David Gaertner and I live and work as a guest on the unceeded, traditional and ancestral territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking Musqueam people. This is a true story of how a white guy started working in Indigenous studies. It’s important to tell your own story, and I value the opportunity. According to the […]

sehtoskakew: “Aboriginal Principles of Witnessing” in the Canadian TRC

Witnessing and testimony are an essential component of every Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Canadian TRC is no exception. However, these key terms are ideologically loaded and have historically excluded Indigenous knowledge systems (for instance Delgamuukw v. British Columbia). While “Schedule ‘N’” (which contains the Canadian TRC mandate) gestures towards “Aboriginal principles of witnessing,” there […]

“Memories and Songs”: The Work of Mourning in I Knew Two Métis Women

Gregory Scofield’s I Knew Two Métis Women mourns the loss of a mother and an aunt. The title itself, in its use of the past tense, alerts the reader to the book’s function as eulogy. The series of poems that follow re-tell the lives of two people Scofield loved, tracing the moments that make up his […]

“Language, Family, Community, Ceremony”: Decolonizing the Literary Anthology

Compared to the Social Sciences, which contends more directly with human subjects, the humanities do not have a deep relationship with research ethics–as they are developed institutionally. However, in the case of anthology compiling, a practice that has been historically connected to nation-building and citizenship, the ethics of the humanities becomes a much thornier issue, […]