Native Canadian Literature

Below is the reading for this course. The page numbers refer to An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English, available fromm the departmental library. The Rez Sisters can also be borrowed there.

Each week the readings for that week are indicated, as well as the report. The report is to be an oral report on the assigned work done by a student; it should last about 10-15 minutes NO MORE and done so as to give the class a clear idea of what the book is about, as well as a critical view of the work; ideally, it should be done in such a way as to allow questions to be asked by other students. Those who do not give a report scheduled for a class will give it to me personally, at some time during my office hours. In both cases, it I feel the report has not been satisfactory, I will ask you to repeat it for me. At the end of the semester, there will also be an essay on a topic of your choosing; it would be best to consult with me beforehand.

The assessment of the course will be class participation 25%, report 25%, and essay 50%.

Dr Don SparlingSummer semester 1997/98
Week of
Feb 16

Introduction - historical background

Feb 23 Historical background (cont'd)
Issues in Native literature
Moses and Goldie: "Preface" to the anthology p.xii
Larocque: "Preface" to Writing the Circle xerox

March 2 Orature
Johnston: "One Generation from Extinction p.99"
and "Is That All There Is? p.105"
Traditional Orature pp.8-13
Robinson: "An Okanagan Indian ... p.54"
Tappage pp.39-42
Report Francis: The Imaginary Indian

March 9 Tricksters
Trickster stories xerox
Armstrong: "This Is a Story" xerox
King: "The One About Coyote" p.180
Bryant: "Coyote Learns a New Trick" p.148
Report Johnston: The Manitous (legends)

March 16

No class

March 23 Life on the Rez
Highway: The Rez Sisters
Report Cheechoo: Path With No Moccasions (play)

March 30 Growing up
Wolfe: "The Last Grass Dance" p.92
Slipperjack: "Blueberry Days" p.303
Moses: "King of the Raft" p.300
Report King: Medicine River

April 6

Reading week

April 13 Natives and Whites
Culleton: from April Raintree p.212
Kane: "Moonlodge" p.278
Report Campbell: Halfbreed (autobiography)

April 20

Lecture by Ted Johns, Canadian actor and playwright, on Native Canadian theathre

April 27 Contemporary problems
Robinson: "Traplines" xerox
Maracle: "Polka Partners, Uptown Indians and White Folks" xerox
Report Maracle: Ravensong (novel)

May 4 Being Indian and "Being Indian"
Warrior: "Compatriots" p.160
McNab: "The Porcupine Quill Saga" xerox
Geyshick: "Inside me" p.175
"To bless a child before the name" p.175
"Around the world in a big trout" p.177
"Vision quest" xerox
Report Armstrong: The Book of Jessica (play and dialogue with non-Native on putting in on)

May 11

No class (Dies academicus)

May 18 Healing
Bryant: "This Place" xerox
Wheeler: "Hearse in Snow" p.341
Report Waganese: Keeper 'n Me (novel)

Other titles for reports

Armstrong: Slash (novel)
King: Green Grass, Running Water (anthology); Gatherings (anthology)
Robinson: Reservations Are for Indians (historical study)
Slipperjack: Honour the Sun (novel / autobiography)
Robinson: Write It On Your Heart (oral narrative)
Maracle: Sundogs (novel)
Highway: Dry Lips Oughta Do to Kapuskasing (play)