Tag Archives: Indigenous Literature

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, […]

Blue Marrow, White Page: White Space in Indigenous Poetry

Almost halfway through the Coteau edition of Louise Bernice Halfe’s Blue Marrow, right before the narrator delves into her Métis history, the text is interrupted by a blank, white page (what would be page 66). At first, the page reads as an error, something that went wrong on the printing room floor. It doesn’t seem to […]