Alternative (hi)stories in stolen generation and residential school narratives : reading indigenous life writings by Doris Pilkington and Shirley Sterling

Zdrojový dokument: Brno studies in English. 2008, roč. 33, č. 1, s. [143]-156
Rozsah
[143]-156
  • ISSN
    1211-1791
Type: Článek
Jazyk
anglicky
Licence: Neurčená licence
Abstrakt(y)
The article analyzes two life writing narratives by Indigenous women writers from Australia and Canada in order to demonstrate the ways in which they present alternative (hi)stories of removed Indigenous children. Doris Pilkington's Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence (1996) and Shirley Sterling's My Name is Seepeetza (1992) formulate an effective counter-discourse which undermines the power of the Australian and Canadian authorities to exercise absolute control over the lives of Indigenous children and their families. In her account, Pilkington celebrates active resistance in the form of a seemingly impossible escape from the River Moore Native Settlement, and records the symbolic journey home. Her alternative (hi)story consists in interweaving the pre-contact/early-contact history of Indigenous people in Western Australia and the nationally accepted history of European settlement in Australia, as well as in appropriating official archival materials and creating a counter-archive of traditional Aboriginal knowledge. Similarly, Sterling's narrator asserts her cultural identity through a series of juxtaposed contrasts between the abusive residential school regime and the harmonious, functional family environment at home, contrasts that bring to the foreground the memories of times spent with the extended family, the daily activities ensuring the survival of the community, and generally the happy moments outside the range of state intervention.
Document
Reference:
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