Indigenous Literature : An Ongoing Controversial Debate

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Literature heals the mind and helps retain ancient cultures, specifically the Indigenous communities. Despite this, Indigenous literature is an ongoing controversial debate; weather it has done more harm than good is questionable for many people. Many Canadian’s claim that Indigenous literature is stuck in the past, which hinders the progress of the Indigenous community. They state that in order to move on into a successful future, one needs to let go of the past. However, the Indigenous community believes otherwise. It is through literature that the pain inflicted in the past is resolved. Literature has restorative powers; it keeps the past alive and helps the Indigenous community reach a sense of achievement, individualism, and an…show more content…
Moreover, Bev Sellars in her memoir “They called Me Number One,” uninhibitedly shares her experiences with the world. Her motive to writing the memoir is to reach out to other residential survivors whom had faced similar circumstances as her in the residential schools (Turmel). She is a medium through which other Indigenous people can heal their wounds. She acts as an incentive for other Indigenous people to come out and share their feelings and it is through this that they can work towards collective improvement. Turmel claims, “She is a testament that survivors can leave a positive legacy, despite the horrors experienced, and her story is a positive contribution to the growing literature on Canadian Indian residential schools.” Bev Sellars memoir is an inspiration to many Indigenous people who struggled to live a life of contentment after their experiences with residential schools. On the other hand, with an increase in Indigenous writers, their work exposes to more people, which leads to a wider coverage of their work. Indigenous literature has helped influence peoples thoughts, which is an accomplishment in itself. It was not until Indigenous stories became public and familiar to the Canadian people that the healing process began. An attempt to “civilize” the Indigenous community left considerable wounds on the people that faced residential schools (Episkenew 11). Later, Indigenous writers enforced
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