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Beginning with an environmental impact report resulting from Nazko and Kluskus First Nations’ environmental protests in the 1970s, I engaged in a critical study of the archival history of this literacy event under the direction of Dr. Alanna Frost. I joined this project because of my interest in the intersections between writing and history, but my interest expanded into investigating the instances of what I call here “injustices in writing.” The report reveals that the writing surrounding this literacy event, regardless of intent, perpetuates the further colonizing of First Nations communities. We considered the particularly colonizing literary practices of the settler colonizers who wrote and/or contributed to these environmental protests to record First Nations’ land-use practices without establishing their communities as a cog in the machine of the dominant culture and economy. In my work, I constructed an environmental- and character-centered timeline and analyzed existing literacy sponsorship and decolonization scholarship to collaboratively consider a foundation for analyzing the history of this First Nations protest as an extended colonizing literacy event. We have found it necessary to center the protest’s literacy sponsors in our criticism, to emphasize the environmental transgression against First Nations communities, and to address potential intentions behind the incomplete archival history created and distributed by these sponsors. This work is crucial to reconsidering “well meaning” technical documents of the past as blueprints for the perpetuation of further injustices against marginalized communities.
Research and Creative Experience for Undergraduates (RCEU)
College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Literacy sponsorship, Literacy event, Decolonization
Smitherman, Cooper, "First Nations' Environmental Protests" (2023). Summer Community of Scholars Posters (RCEU and HCR Combined Programs). 437.