Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Historically, the issue of representation in postcolonial studies is one of some contention. While scholarship might recognize the necessity for highlighting the plights and struggles attendant to postcolonial societies, the primary literature being studied is most often written by natives of those societies themselves. This gap is especially evident with Indigenous cultures, because there are relatively few Indigenous scholars working in the academy. We are at the point now when we have a multiplicity (but not a plurality) of Indigenous voices writing literature (poetry, memoir, fiction, film, etc.) and academic criticism. However, there is value in non-Natives reading and writing about Indigenous artworks, just as there is value in the communities from which these writers originate engaging with these creative expressions as well. Certainly, when Indigenous writing is being read, taught, and written about, the perspectives of Indigenous writers stand for themselves and are able to combat and decolonize settler perceptions of Indigenous life and culture. In North America, there are hundreds of distinct Indigenous tribes and nations, each with its own culture and language. No study of Indigenous literature can be so comprehensive as to do justice to these diverse cultures, so in this thesis I have chosen to focus upon one.