Hello everyone! My name is Mia Calder and I will be going into my fourth year at UBC starting in September 2016. I like to read and collect old books — I just came back from a two-week trip in England, and my suitcase was noticeably more book-shaped than it was when I left. I also like to write, and hope one day to be published.
On this blog I will be documenting my progress through English 470A, a course dedicated to disentangling traditional and imposed narratives of Canadian history. This course also focuses on the many stories and voices of the Indigenous populations which have been distorted or silenced through Canadian history to present day. I know that I will be learning a lot, as well as reading many authors of whom I have never heard. I also know that this process will be an uncomfortable one at times, as any thing is when it causes reflection and introspection.
My only experience so far with stories focused on Indigenous peoples is Initiation by Virginia Frances Schwartz. Interestingly enough, Virginia Frances Schwartz is not Indigenous herself, so I can honestly say that to my knowledge I have not read anything written by an Indigenous Canadian. I prefer — or I guess prefer is too strong a word, but rather tend to — read authors from the mid-to-late Victorian period, as well as modern day fantasy and science fiction authors such as Tamora Pierce and Sir Terry Pratchett (R.I.P).
As I’m reading over what I’ve written so far, I’m having trouble deciding which words to use, or which are appropriate — Indigenous? Native? Is one offensive? Is it offensive that I’m unsure? I hope that this course will help to clear up my confusion.
I am also hopeless with online technological wizardry. It took me longer than I care to admit to even figure out how to start writing this post. That, too, is something I hope will clear up in the coming weeks.
(I saw a first edition Jane Eyre on my trip in the National Gallery, so it was the first thing that came to mind when I was thinking of an image to post).
“A Biography of Sir Terry Pratchett”. www.terrypratchettbooks.com. Transworld Publishers, n.d. Web. Accessed May 13, 2016.
Google Books. “Initiation.” www.books.google.ca. Web. Accessed May 13, 2016.
viaLibri. “Jane Eyre first edition.” www.viaLibri.net. Web. Accessed May 13, 2016.