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Talking about Ourselves – the Literary Productions of the Native Women of Canada

Barbara Godard

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The CRIAW Papers comprises a continuing series of publications: original research papers advancing the knowledge and understanding of women’s experience.

In this paper presented at the 1982 CRIAW Conference, Godard suggests that it is time for a redefinition of the text to include oral narratives, particularly those of native women. The paper further explores the oral text as a model for the woman’s text. Although we have recognized that women in the past have created oral and written forms such as songs, poetry, diaries and letters, these forms have been marginalized and valued less than literature written according to socially constructed norms for public consumption. The paper draws a parallel between the invisibility of native cultural productions and women’s artistic activities, both of which have been hidden by Euro-American emphasis on the written form.

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