ENGL 230 - Indigenous Narratives

This course provides a critical engagement with First Nations, Métis and Inuit narratives. While we will focus on Indigenous communities of North America, we will also hold space for global perspectives of Indigeneity to inform our study. We will interpret the term ‘text’ broadly to honour multiple ways-of-knowing, including contemporary literary fiction as well as poetry, drama, ceremony, song, film and visual art. We will take a critical look at selected texts to provide cultural, colonial and historical context. Key themes include identity, memory, time, authenticity, representation, appropriation, cultural stereotype, trauma, reconciliation, resilience, revitalization and healing within Indigenous communities. It is important to emphasise that this course may result in students experiencing, re-experiencing, and/or processing grief and trauma, and as such, self-support and emotional healing will come first. Through reading Indigenous literatures, students can expect to interpret and examine the effects of: colonization, forced assimilation, family, status, identity, multi-generational traumas, reconciliation, gender and sexuality.

An openness and willingness to strive towards a supportive and respectful community of learning is a must. As part of this community, all instructors of this course will work towards expanding their own cultural competencies, as well as drawing explicitly upon the resources available at Yukon University such as elders, ceremony, culturally appropriate student support, counselling services and community knowledge holders.

Instructors should explore the possibilities of team teaching this course with an Indigenous scholar or an elder (or elders). As a community we should strive to integrate culturally responsive supports into this classroom as institutional capacity allows.

ENGL 230
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