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date: 23 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In Canada, criticism of Indigenous literatures has been intertwined with cultural and political continuance. In 1983, Plains Cree Métis scholar Emma LaRocque explained how Métis literature helps ensure the survival of Métis communities and argued that the proliferation of Indigenous literary production would foster Indigenous “endurance” in Canada. LaRocque later modified her statements, claiming that “endurance” is an inadequate aspiration for Indigenous literary artists or critics. This chapter examines the change in LaRocque’s perspective and discusses how literary criticism can elucidate the relationship between specific instances of Indigenous literary articulation and the “affirmation” of particular Indigenous communities. It also considers how Canadian literature gained institutional legitimacy in the 1970s, a period that saw the rise to prominence of the discourse of multiculturalism in Canadian politics and public life. Finally, the chapter offers a reading of Robinson’s 2006 novel, Blood Sports (2006), particularly how it delineates the contours of a criticism dedicated to moving beyond continuance.

Keywords: Canada, continuance, Emma LaRocque, Métis literature, multiculturalism, Indigenous literature, endurance, literary criticism, Eden Robinson, Blood Sports

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