Itwestamakewin: the invitation to dialogue with writers of Cree ancestry
This study explores the effects of engaging with contemporary dual language texts, specifically Cree texts, as a non-Cree educator intent on using the literature classroom as a place in which to explore cross-cultural communication. It considers how the in/accessibility of meaning when reading across cultural boundaries may be read as a challenge or a bridge for non-Cree readers. An interdisciplinary approach was employed as a research methodology to explore the potential interstices and intersections of Aboriginal epistemologies, decolonizing pedagogies, literary theories, and contemporary dual language texts. In order to begin defining the manner in which one perceives the significance of the code-switching and the varied translation practices within dual language texts, a reader response theory was developed and termed construal inquiry. As a decolonizing pedagogy that employs dialogic engagement with a text, construal inquiry is undrepinned by a self-reflective approach to meaning-making that is grounded in Luis Urrieta, Jr.'s (2007) notion of figured worlds, Jerome Bruner's (1991) model of narrative inquiry, and Mikhail Bakhtin's (1981) concept of heteroglossia. The research explores a collaborative approach to meaning-making with an awareness of how forms of subjectivities can affect reading practices. Texts that range from picture books to junior novels to autobiographical fiction are examined for the forms in which code-switching, culture, and identity can shape reader response and the dialogic discourse of cross-cultural communication. The research proposes experiential and contextual influences shape reading and interpretation and seeks to engage with how subjectivities affects pedagogical perspective, which negates a singular approach to linguistic and cultural representations and their interpretation. The research suggests that the complexities of negotiating meaning cross-culturally necessitiates relationship building with community members of the culture represented in a text and that engaging with code-switching in dual language texts using construal inquiry as a decolonizing pedagogy offers an opportunity to transform one's own subjectivity.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
SupervisorWason-Ellam, Linda; Findlay, Len
CommitteeInnes, Robert; Carr-Stewart, Sheila; Balzer, Geraldine; Vargo, Lisa
Copyright DateMarch 2013
dual language texts
reader response theory