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Exporting the White Saviour: The Colonial Textual Influence on Canadian/Indigenous relationships

Title:

Exporting the White Saviour: The Colonial Textual Influence on Canadian/Indigenous relationships

Stevens, Samantha ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3148-2386 (2020) Exporting the White Saviour: The Colonial Textual Influence on Canadian/Indigenous relationships. Conference: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Native American Symposium 2019: Native Legacies in the 21st Century . pp. 81-90.

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Abstract

As colonial powers imported written material commodities to their colonies, they also imported colonial ideals and values. One of these textual imports was the white savior trope, where forms of communication, including literature, from the imperial centre informed newspapers at the periphery, and vice-versa. This applied particularly to the treatment of non-white, non-English-speaking peoples. In Canada, primary concern was given to considerations of the ‘Indian problem,’ where depictions of Indigenous peoples were fraught with notions of helpless and savagery. Grounded in the affirmation that the colonizer’s way was the right way to live, the white savior informed the textual representations of Indigenous peoples. Through an examination of works by Rudyard Kipling, Henry Morton Stanley, and Duncan Campbell Scott, this papers examines how depictions of “Others” were imported into Canadian culture through works belonging to the imperial archive. By mobilizing concepts put forth by Harold Innis, Thomas Richards, David Spurr, and John Hartley, this paper also explores how through early Canadian residential school policy and newspaper representations spawned a fantasy of control that has been maintained through Canadian textual depictions of Indigenous peoples, which were exported to the colonial centre and acted to reinforce the white savior aspect of colonization. This paper is adapted from the literature review of my Masters in Journalism thesis, titled “Towards Reconciliation: The White Savior Trope in Canadian Newspaper coverage of Grassy Narrows First Nation between 1977 to 2019,” which is being completed at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Journalism
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Stevens, Samantha
Journal or Publication:Conference: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Native American Symposium 2019: Native Legacies in the 21st Century
Date:2020
Funders:
  • Concordia University Conference and Exposition Award
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.11573/spectrum.library.concordia.ca.00986885
Keywords:Indigenous studies, literary criticism, white saviour trope, Duncan Campbell Scott, Rudyard Kipling
ID Code:986885
Deposited By: Samantha Stevens
Deposited On:05 Jun 2020 20:22
Last Modified:06 Jun 2020 12:55
Related URLs:

References:

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Davin, Nicolas Flood. Report on Industrial Schools for Indians and Half-breeds.(Ottawa?: s.n.,1879), 1. http://eco.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.03651/1?r=0&s=1.
“Duncan Campbell Scott.” In An Anthology of Canadian Literature in English, 3rd ed.. Edited by Donna Bennett and Russell Brown. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University
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Stevens, Samantha. “Towards Reconciliation: The White Saviour Trope in Canadian Newspaper coverage of Grassy Narrows First Nation between 1977 to 2019.” (Unpublished master’s thesis, Concordia University, last modified December 6, 2019).
Titley, E. Brian. A Narrow Visions: Duncan Campbell Scott and the administration of Indian Affairs in Canada. Vancouver, BC: 1986.
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