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This paper argues that a component of increasing the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youths completing their secondary education is having parents and teachers maintain heightened expectations of these children in achieving this goal. To understand this phenomenon, we investigate the importance of, and discrepancies between, primary caregiver and teacher outlooks regarding Indigenous youths completing year 12. For the purpose of this paper, we adopt the term ‘primary caregiver’ in place of parent. This is because the majority (87.7%) of P1s analysed are the biological mothers with the remainder being close female relatives. P2s analysed are all male, 93.3% are biological fathers; remainder are step-fathers or adoptive fathers. This paper uses quantitative data from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children to measure expectations from parents and teachers of Indigenous children. Results suggest that parents maintain exceptionally high expectations of their children, while teacher's expectations significantly decline over the course of Indigenous children's primary and secondary schooling years. We suggest that relationships and communication between parents and teachers, regarding expectations of students, are important to establishing an equilibrium in expectations of children, and that teachers may benefit from further training to address any underlying biases towards Indigenous children.
Culturally responsive approaches to schooling (CRS) aim to address pervasive inequities that exist in education. More specifically, CRS practices seek to improve the experiences and academic achievements of marginalised and minoritised learners, such as those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. In this paper, we consider the possibilities for CRS in the context of Australia where Indigenous students (along with their parents, peers and teachers) are consistently reminded, courtesy of the deficit government policies and ‘close the gap’ rhetoric, that they have the worst educational outcomes of any settler society. This paper does not seek to offer fixed solutions in response to this. Rather, based on shared experience researching and teaching together that draw on CRS, the paper foregrounds a collaborative culturally responsive dialogue between the authors. Together we discuss, deliberate and despair about the state of the education system for Indigenous students, we also remain tentatively hopeful about how CRS might become embedded in teaching and learning, through teacher professional learning, in ways that are relevant to the Australian context.
In charting how sovereignty has been defined in Indigenous literary studies, this chapter outlines some of the recent debates around the political and cultural meanings of the term. Through close readings of recent poems by Layli Long Soldier and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, this chapter further argues that resurgent Indigenous futures depend upon relationalities that resist state models of political sovereignty.
For much of the twentieth century, Indigenous writers faced daunting barriers in getting their books published; indeed, lack of access, delays in publishing, inadequate distribution, institutional racism, and precarious archiving practices have shaped the history of Indigenous writing in Canada. The obstacles to publishing reflect a larger reality in which the forces of appropriation continue to attempt to dispossess Indigenous people of lands, languages, communities, and families. Particularly since the 1990s, Indigenous writers have used strategies of reframing and de-framing in order to bring stories that have been overlooked back into circulation, and to tell new stories outside of the ever-adapting box of what is expected as “Indigenous literature.” Writers shift the frame to make stories more legible—or in some cases, to deliberately foreground silence and what is not (yet) told. This struggle to re-frame, de-frame, and shatter the existing frames of stories have opened up new spaces of freedom in Indigenous literary expression.
Indigenous North Americans, particularly those within the historical and current borders of the United States, were (and are) subjected to displacement and marginalisation by pre- and post-colonial government policies and practices. Initially focused on colonial land settlements and Indian removal to land reserves, many of these policies and practices live on through violations of treaties, challenges to sovereignty rights and ongoing existential threats. Today, the starkest visualisation of negative outcomes associated with these policies and practices exists across US systems of public education, especially higher education. Although American Indian college students are finding improved access points to higher education, they remain the least likely of all racial/ethnic groups to experience successful outcomes in secondary and post-secondary settings. Progress in these areas has been too slow and often fraught with tangible and intangible barriers negatively affecting success. This chapter will discuss direct consequences of marginalisation and displacement of Native peoples in the United States; current efforts to improve education outcomes; suggested steps for improving collegiate success for Native students; emerging national higher education initiatives, including those among tribal government education departments; and ethical considerations for collecting, analysing and reporting Native data.
The chapter argues strategic essentialism has become the prevailing mode of thinking among scholars in Native American discourse, and traces its development over the past few decades. I suggest this has produced a host of unintended consequences and is, generally speaking, a bad thing. Mainly because the scholars are reflecting and advancing ideas held by many Native Americans in the United States, not just those in the academy. I analyze this condition through a discussion of the HBO series “The Leftovers,” recent exhibitions at the National Museum of the American Indian, and the rise of the tea party movement in 2014.
What might a truly comparative Native American and Indigenous literary studies look like? Building from an extended contextualization and “literary” analysis of a work of carving, painting, inlay, and assemblage, this essay suggests a range of possible approaches to comparative, global, and/or trans-Indigenous projects based in engagements with alphabetic literatures. Both the sculptural and alphabetic examples expose ways in which the work of contemporary artists and writers elucidates neither Indigenous stasis nor Indigenous isolation—as colonial stereotypes continue to assert—but rather Indigenous connections to wider worlds, often in multiple ways simultaneously, and often explicitly within processes of real and imagined travel. In these examples, artists and writers center the Indigenous in their works in terms of the cultures, histories, and aesthetics they reference and engage, but also in the very conceptions of space, place, movement, and time their works evoke and, indeed, enact.
From the uncanny werewolf families and zombie border patrol guards in the novels of Stephen Graham Jones (Blackfeet) to the digital citizens and virtually-enhanced tourists in Cherokee writer Blake Hausman's novel Riding the Trail of Tears, Native Americans are creating strange and scintillating new worlds of unforeseen horrors and possibilities. Such works engage the popular genres of horror and fantasy in order to mobilize sophisticated political critiques of capitalism, globalization, and the colonial imbrications of Indigenous peoples, albeit in surprising, genre-bending forms. This chapter explores the features of this new and vibrant field, offering readings of some of its most provocative titles and suggesting ways that such works can help critics and readers chart fresh, productive pathways into both the histories and the futures of North American Indigenous populations. In the very act of strengthening and deepening the connections between the speculative and the real, Native writers craft methodologies of resistance.
From the eighteenth century, Indigenous women have produced texts in English that reflect and re-inscribe Indigenous principles of law and social order, as well as challenge the force of settler colonial law. Native women writers have made visible the burdens and structures of violence that make Indigenous women and children particularly vulnerable to state disciplinary power (such as public execution, military warfare, massacres, state-sanctioned starvation, and the removal of indigenous children from their families) and extra-judicial violence (land theft, fraud, murder, rape). This essay reviews major works and criticism, organized in three overlapping categories: writing about the law and criminality; writing about prison and carcerality; and writing Indigenous law. These writers mastered new languages and genres to assert Native rights and make legible multiple forms of violence against Native communities. Across time and circumstance, Native women’s writing has had very little distance from the law, or from the law’s claim over their bodies, families, and futures.
This essay explores the multiple literacies of Indigenous writers from the earliest moments of American settlement, with a particular focus on early New England. The chapter sketches out the contours of early New England Native writing: its principal figures; its plural etiologies and intent; and its contested emergence at the fractious join of Native and settler spaces, institutions, and worldviews. Moving from John Eliot and his earliest missionary attempts to produce a new kind of alphabetic literacy for Indigenous converts, the essay documents the tensions between missionary-driven literacy projects and Indigenous uses of such literacy for specific political and cultural reasons. From 18th century figures like Samson Occom, Joseph Johnson to the 19th century writer and activist William Apess, Native writers produced rhetorically sophisticated texts that expressed a deep commitment to the continuity of Native peoples.
Opening with a programmatic glimpse at Chris Pappan’s interventional exhibition Drawing on Tradition at the Field Museum in Chicago (2017), this chapter provides an introduction to, and a historical and thematic overview of, the genre of contemporary Indigenous drama and performance in the United States and Canada. The defining features of a fascinating and expanding genre are exemplarily highlighted with reference to plays by Spiderwoman Theater, Tomson Highway, Mary Kathryn Nagle, and Bruce King, among others. Locating Native North American drama in relation to academic approaches of the past decade, the chapter takes up Yvette Nolan’s reading of Native theater as a form of medicine and particularly examines the characteristics of multilingualism and heteroglossia, as well as a diversity of media and representational modes.
Louise Erdrich’s 2010 novel Shadow Tag, a story about an artist who obsessively paints his Native wife, emphasizes the connections among gender, colonialism, and representation at the heart of indigenous feminism. In the novel, this essay argues, the relationship between Gil and Irene, along with the ways that Gil paints Irene’s body, underscores the centrality of gender in colonialism, the ways that patriarchy has served as both instrument and rationale for colonial processes that carry particular consequences for indigenous women. The novel thus gestures towards the consequent necessity of feminism in anticolonial projects and scrutinizes the role of representation in colonial power and Native resistance. In Erdrich’s story, contests over power and possession unfold in part as contests over representation, and by illustrating the ways that representation is bound up with social power, Shadow Tag ultimately reflects on the political possibilities of Native American literature itself.
For nearly a century now Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer, and/or Two-Spirit Indigenous writers have addressed the ways the intellectual sovereignty of their lives and art strengthens understandings of Indigenous nationhood. This chapter considers how and why these intersections of queerness and sovereignty have informed the fast-growing canon of queer Indigenous literatures in English. To do so, it examines the rise of queer Indigenous activism and health sovereignty work in HIV education alongside the history of queer Indigenous literatures in what is currently the U.S. and Canada. Looking across the work of writers like Beth Brant, Carole laFavor, Craig Womack, Daniel Heath Justice, Deborah Miranda, Gwen Benaway, Billy-Ray Belcourt, M. Carmen Lane, Tommy Pico, and Joshua Whitehead, the chapter highlights the range and breadth of sovereign embodiments from the 1960s to 2020 and argues that in the present day queer sovereignty holds a radical promise for Indigenous futures.
Native Hawaiian literature has always provided a foundation of knowledge suggesting a course of action, particularly in times of tremendous social, cultural, and political upheaval. In this way, such literature has always been intertwined with politics. Despite settler colonial attempts to appropriate or subvert the political power of Hawaiian literature, Native Hawaiians continue to evoke traditional orature and compose new literature to directly respond to conditions of settler colonialism, while celebrating the beauty, complexity and continuity of our people and our connection to our land and culture. This essay traces the origins and development of Hawaiian literature as a strategy of national political and cultural consciousness. Reclaiming Indigenous literature from the settler colonial imaginary is an integral part of Hawaiian identity, sovereignty, and nation building. In practice and performance, contemporary Hawaiian literature is an expression of kū mau mau, standing together with a cohesive political purpose to uplift the nation.
U.S. Native American literature corresponds in the first instance with the anticolonial literatures of what used to be called the Third World. As such its periodization cannot be made to fit within the periodizations of U.S. American literature, either in terms of centuries or moments (modern/post-modern). More properly, one might begin to think of this literature, if one wants to periodize it at all, in terms of pre-and post-invasion. In this paper, I look at one instance of this correspondence of resistance in Acoma poet Simon Ortiz’s Fight Back: For the Sake of the Land/ For the Sake of the People and Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish’s Journal of an Ordinary Grief. I undertake this project both to reorient our thinking about the global place of U.S. Native American Literature and to think about the way this reorientation effects the hegemony of the current periodization of U.S. American literature.
Todd Downing (Choctaw), John Joseph Mathews (Osage), John Milton Oskison (Cherokee), Lynn Riggs (Cherokee), and Will Rogers (Cherokee) developed a transindigenous and transborder imaginary while travelling in Mexico in the 1920s and 1930s. The work of Riggs and Downing especially coheres in their conception of Indigenous Mexicans as political inspiration for (and, potentially, anti-colonial allies of) Native Americans, and in their critical challenge to modernist aesthetics, including primitivism. With its recent history of revolution, a new constitution with an article sanctioning land redistribution from large haciendas to communally owned ejidos, and a national commitment to indigenismo and mestizaje, which appeared to affirm the centrality of Indigenous Mexican culture and history to the nation’s identity, Mexico offered fertile political ground for American Indian writers looking for a path forward for their tribal nations in the final years of the assimilation era and the first years of the Indian New Deal in the mid-1930s.
As part of the ongoing project of decolonization and cultural critique, indigenous artists and writers take on the role of autobiographers, ethnographers, historians, activists, and visionaries, often in the form of visual autobiography. Their storytelling crosses fields of study (art practice, history, anthropology, and literature), media (text, photographs, drawings, paintings, and maps), as well as geographies and cultures. Collectively they bear witness to transgenerational trauma, challenge official settler-colonial myths, share tribal stories and epistemologies as well as personal narratives, and insist on indigenous presence, witness, and continuity. This essay traces indigenous visual self-narrative forms from pre-contact pictography to ledger book art to their adaptation into contemporary modes as well as the indigenization of Western forms such as comics and memoir. Two streams—one arising from and referring to earlier pictography and a second arising from Western literary or artistic traditions, but with indigenous inflections—are discussed.
The authors of the article ‘Did DI do it? The impact of a programme designed to improve literacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in remote schools’ respond to a critique of their analysis of work.
Traditional custodians of the Martuwarra (Fitzroy River) derive their identity and existence from this globally significant river. The First Laws of the Martuwarra are shared by Martuwarra Nations through a common songline, which sets out community and individual rights and duties. First Law recognizes the River as the Rainbow Serpent: a living ancestral being from source to sea. On 3 November 2016, the Fitzroy River Declaration was concluded between Martuwarra Nations. This marked the first time in Australia when both First Law and the rights of nature were recognized explicitly in a negotiated instrument. This article argues for legal recognition within colonial state laws of the Martuwarra as a living ancestral being by close analogy with the case concerning the Whanganui River. We seek to advance the scope of native title water rights in Australia and contend that implementation of First Law is fundamental for the protection of the right to life of the Martuwarra.
The current study undertook a systematic scoping review on the drivers and implications of dietary changes among Inuit in the Canadian Arctic.
A keyword search of peer-reviewed articles was performed using PubMed, Web of Science, CINAHL, Academic Search Premier, Circumpolar Health Bibliographic Database and High North Research Documents. Eligibility criteria included all full-text articles of any design reporting on research on food consumption, nutrient intake, dietary adequacy, dietary change, food security, nutrition-related chronic diseases or traditional food harvesting and consumption among Inuit populations residing in Canada. Articles reporting on in vivo and in vitro experiments or on health impacts of environmental contaminants were excluded.
A total of 162 studies were included. Studies indicated declining country food (CF) consumption in favour of market food (MF). Drivers of this transition include colonial processes, poverty and socio-economic factors, changing food preferences and knowledge, and climate change. Health implications of the dietary transition are complex. Micro-nutrient deficiencies and dietary inadequacy are serious concerns and likely exacerbated by increased consumption of non-nutrient dense MF. Food insecurity, overweight, obesity and related cardiometabolic health outcomes are growing public health concerns. Meanwhile, declining CF consumption is entangled with shifting culture and traditional knowledge, with potential implications for psychological, spiritual, social and cultural health and well-being.
By exploring and synthesising published literature, this review provides insight into the complex factors influencing Inuit diet and health. Findings may be informative for future research, decision-making and intersectoral actions around risk assessment, food policy and innovative community programmes.