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date: 03 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In her 1988 historical novel Tracks, Louise Erdrich focuses on dispossession on an Anishinaabe reservation in the early twentieth century and tackles social dimensions of space that evoke political meanings in colonial territorial disputes. The central project of Tracks becomes evident as Erdrich highlights the politics of space to contest colonial and capitalist appropriations of Indigenous lands. This chapter examines Tracks along with another text that also takes up historical and contemporary land conflicts: Leslie Marmon Silko’s Sacred Water (1993). Tracks narrates the devastating aftermath of the General Allotment Act and exposes the gendered violence of dispossession, while Sacred Water reworks the visual conventions of landscape and looks at current regional debates surrounding water rights. Both texts reveal fundamental connections between patriarchy and dispossession to demonstrate the central role of gender in an Indigenous anticolonial project.

Keywords: Tracks, Louise Erdrich, dispossession, space, Indigenous lands, land conflicts, Leslie Marmon Silko, Sacred Water, gender, politics

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