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    Joseph Boyden: Celebrating Indigenous Cultures

    “This place, it belongs to no one, to everyone”
    From Mushkegowuk to New Orleans: A Mixed-Blood highway

    Indigenous stories have long been pigeon-holed into harmful stereotypes: violence, drunkenness, poverty, obesity; the wise elder, the noble savage, the Indian princess. While the most brazen stereotypes may have disappeared, insidious misrepresentations remain in popular media in the form of oversimplification, omission and romanticization. Stereotypes hurt society as a whole. For indigenous people, stereotypes instill limiting beliefs and decreases cultural pride. For non-indigenous people, stereotypes dehumanize indigenous individuals and diminish respect for their cultural heritage.

    For Joseph Boyden, these pressing concerns were at the forefront of his writing process. He sought to show the multi-faceted lives of First Nations’ individuals through his novels, screenplays, essays, and speaking engagements. The Canadian novelist is best known for his immensely popular and award-winning trilogy about the Bird family. The novels, as well as his poems and essays, must be taken in the context of historical displacement, family separation, colonization, and efforts to eradicate indigenous culture through assimilation. His writing examines the poverty, substance abuse and violence, through this causal lens, presenting the power of indigenous culture as well, such as cooperation, solidarity, family and social bonds, and humor. He balances collective memory with connection to the earth, and respect for it.

    READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

    Don’t miss Joseph Boyden in Conversation with Hal Wake at the San Miguel writers’ Conference on Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. Tickets and packages are available at: sanmiguelwritersconference.org/store
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  • Reminder Bunny
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    Reminder: This is happening Saturday October 17.
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