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Surviving childhood trauma: First Nations novels and the Indian residential school
Jay Lewyn (author)Dee Horne (thesis advisor)University of Northern British Columbia College of Arts, Social, and Health Sciences (Degree granting institution)Blanca Schorcht (committee member)Antonia Mills (committee member)
Master of Arts (MA)
Number of pages in document: 141
Indian Residential Schools were a “central element” in “Canada’s Aboriginal policy” for over a century, contributing to what is now referred to as “cultural genocide,” the attempted “destruction” of “the political and social institutions” of Aboriginal peoples (Truth and Reconciliation 1). This thesis examines the literary representation of the traumatic effects of residential schools in three Canadian novels by three Aboriginal authors: Robert Arthur Alexie’s Porcupines and China Dolls (Gwich’in); Tomson Highway’s Kiss of the Fur Queen (Cree); and Richard Wagamese’s Indian Horse (Ojibway). The life journeys of the male protagonists in these novels structure my analysis: their response to trauma in childhood; the destructive behaviors they develop in adulthood; and the processes of healing that conclude the novels. Residential schools severely disrupted the health of interpersonal and communal relations amongst Aboriginal peoples, and interrupted cultural continuity. ...
Indian residential schools
Robert Arthur Alexie