From the earliest settler policies to deal with the “Indian problem,” to contemporary government-run programs ostensibly designed to help Indigenous people, public policy has played a major role in creating the historical trauma that so greatly impacts the lives of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples. Taking Back Our Spirits traces the link between Canadian public policies, the injuries they have inflicted on Indigenous people, and Indigenous literature’s ability to heal individuals and communities. Episkenew examines contemporary autobiography, fiction, and drama to reveal how these texts respond to and critique public policy, and how literature functions as “medicine” to help cure the colonial contagion.
About the Author
Jo-Ann Episkenew is an Associate Professor of English at the First Nations University of Canada, where she has served as Department Head of English, as Academic Dean, and as Associate Director of the Indigenous Peoples' Health Research Centre.