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We'd rather be 'red' than dead: embracing one's diference through selected Native Canadian fiction for children and young adults

Author(s): Amante, Susana

Date: 2011

Persistent ID:

Origin: Repositório Científico do Instituto Politécnico de Viseu

Subject(s): Literatura para a infância; Literatura pós-colonial


Native Canadian fiction for children and young adults can be viewed as an important means of cultural transmission and socialisation that contributes, to a great extent, to a community‟s collective identity. Here begins the first problem posed to us: trying to define the concept of culture and to examine in what way(s) oral heritage forms a part of it. Then, some other questions arise because in Canada, the haven of multiple cultures and ethnicities, debates about national identity re-surface repeatedly and continue to haunt the collective imagiNation of the country. Finding out the place of Native peoples and their literatures is even a greater difficulty, due to the legacy of colonialism. Despite the difficulties, new voices are currently being authorised as Canadian, and difference has now turned into the distinctive feature of the national literature. Jeannette Armstrong, an Okanagan writer, artist and educator, is well aware of the strength that stems from this variety of cultures and, in her works, she advocates for a plurality of voices within and outside of her community. Using Armstrong‟s fiction for children and young adults, and looking briefly at some other works by Tomson Highway, George Littlechild, Thomas King and C. J. Taylor, this dissertation examines how literature can be read as a site of resistance and/or of cross-cultural exchange connecting diverse people of different nationalities, generations, languages, religions, genders and social conditions.

Document Type Doctoral thesis
Language English
Advisor(s) Celada, Antonio Rodríguez; Caldeira, Isabel; Tavares, Maria Teresa
Contributor(s) Amante, Susana
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