Magic Weapons: Aboriginal Writers Remaking Community After Residential School

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Univ. of Manitoba Press, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 241 pages
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The legacy of the residential school system ripples throughout Native Canada, its fingerprints on the domestic violence, poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide rates that continue to cripple many Native communities. Magic Weapons is the first major survey of Indigenous writings on the residential school system, and provides groundbreaking readings of life writings by Rita Joe (Mi'kmaq) and Anthony Apakark Thrasher (Inuit) as well as in-depth critical studies of better known life writings by Basil Johnston (Ojibway) and Tomson Highway (Cree). Magic Weapons examines the ways in which Indigenous survivors of residential school mobilize narrative in their struggles for personal and communal empowerment in the shadow of attempted cultural genocide. By treating Indigenous life-writings as carefully crafted aesthetic creations and interrogating their relationship to more overtly politicized historical discourses, Sam McKegney argues that Indigenous life-writings are culturally generative in ways that go beyond disclosure and recompense, re-envisioning what it means to live and write as Indigenous individuals in post-residential school Canada.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
3
Acculturation through Education The Inherent Limits of Assimilationist Policy
11
Reading Residential School Native Literary Theory and the Survival Narrative
31
We have been silent too long Linguistic Play in Anthony Apakark Thrashers Prison Writings
59
Analyze if you wish but listen The Affirmatist Literary Methodology of Rita Joe
101
From Trickster Poetics to Transgressive Politics Substantiating Survivance in Tomson Highways Kiss of the Fur Queen
137
Creative Interventions in the Residential School Legacy
175
Endnotes
183
BIBLIOGRAPHY
221
INDEX
235
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Sam McKegney is a teacher and scholar of Indigenous and Canadian literature at Queen's University.

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