Autobiography as Indigenous Intellectual Tradition: nêhiyawak Life Writing


Author:
Deanna Reder
Grade Levels:
Ten, Eleven, Twelve
Nation:
Cree
Book Type:
Paperback
Pages:
200
Publisher:
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Copyright Data:
2022

Price:
Sale price$34.99

Description

Autobiography as Indigenous Intellectual Tradition by Deanna Reder, Cree-Métis, critiques ways of approaching Indigenous texts that are informed by the Western academic tradition and offers instead a new way of theorizing Indigenous literature based on the Indigenous practice of life writing. Since the 1970s non-Indigenous scholars have perpetrated the notion that Indigenous people were disinclined to talk about their lives and underscored the assumption that autobiography is a European invention. Deanna Reder challenges such long held assumptions by calling attention to longstanding autobiographical practices that are engrained in Cree and Métis, or nêhiyawak, culture and examining a series of examples of Indigenous life writing. Blended with family stories and drawing on original historical research, Reder examines censored and suppressed writing by nêhiyawak intellectuals such as Maria Campbell, Edward Ahenakew, and James Brady. Grounded in nêhiyawak ontologies and epistemologies that consider life stories to be an intergenerational conduit to pass on knowledge about a shared world, this study encourages a widespread re-evaluation of past and present engagement with Indigenous storytelling forms across scholarly disciplines.

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