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Title: Native writers resisting colonizing practices in Canadian historiography and literature
Authors: LaRocque, Emma
Issue Date: 1-Sep-1999
Abstract: This dissertation begins with the recognition that the Euro-Canadian colonization of Aboriginal peoples is the ground upon which we, the colonizer-colonialist and the Native colonized, have built our discourse. This dissertation examines the Native writer's resistance response to the problem of gross misrepresentation of Aboriginal peoples in Canadian historiography and literature, particularly, the problem of dehumanization inherent in the civilization-savagery construct which has provided the basis for the colonizer's treatment. A survey of the chronological development of Native writing locates it as Resistance Literature within both indigenous and post-colonial intellectual and cultural contexts. My engaged research is situated within resistance discourse. The focus on selected historical and literary texts demonstrates how they are constructed to serve as techniques of mastery in the social, cultural and political life of the colonialist. The Native counter-discourse is the last section. While there is a remarkable unity of fact, process and experience in the Native writer's exposition of political and textual disempowerment, the writing is complicated by problems of internalization and notions of difference. These problems are also evident in white intellectual reading of Native writing. I interrogate both Native and white responses and call for an intellectual direction which moves beyond ethnological typologies and ideological paradigms which plague the study of Native peoples. The conclusion is that Native writers have indeed produced Native resistance literature, a production that is based on and informed by contemporary indigenous ethos and epistemologies. While much is in the process of changing in white scholarly, critical and constitutional treatment of Native peoples, much more work remains to be done. Aboriginal scholarship and creative writing is in a unique position of advancing this work; however, all scholars and other intellectuals are challenged to attend to decolonization in keeping with our respective legacies.
Appears in Collection(s):FGS - Electronic Theses & Dissertations (Public)

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