Missing is not a destination: Bringing the indigenous woman home in MMIW literature
This article underscores the relevance of literature within the current Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman movement, which denounces the high rates of violence suffered by Indigenous women in Canada and the USA. As I argue, MMIW literature is a particularly useful form of activism because it makes the problem more visible as it offers a diversity of images that challenge the settler colonial silencing, dehumanizing and pathologizing of the Indigenous woman. Literary texts examine the multiple layers of the MMIW issue and its settler colonial sexist/racist roots, and simultaneously search for an emotional response that boosts engagement. The article offers a contextualization of literature within the MMIW movement in connection to activism, it reflects on the challenges of approaching the issue from a non-Indigenous perspective, and it engages in a close reading of works by Tanaya Winder and Linda LeGarde Grover to illustrate the most significant features of MMIW poetry and fiction. Both authors challenge the Western narrative of survivorism, moving beyond the passive or guilty victim roles in settler colonial representations, and positing relationality as a key value to refute the silencing and invisibility of Indigenous women.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, settler colonialism, survivorism, artivism, relationality, Marcie Rendon, Tanaya Winder, Linda LeGarde Grover
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