British Journal of Canadian Studies

‘Translators of the old ways’: the reinvention of Canadian English in ‘Jacob’ by Maria Campbell (Métis)

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2015), 28, (2), 247–263.

Abstract

The aim of this article is to highlight the strategies of defamiliarisation of Canadian English adopted by the contemporary Métis writer, Maria Campbell, in her story ‘Jacob’ (1995). Campbell appropriates and re-maps Canadian English into an ‘alterNative’ variety that can translate the memories of her nation while retaining traces of the colonial trauma: ‘Village English’, as the writer defines this new code, constitutes an example of the creative transformation of Canadian English and shows its ability to ‘carry’ the weight of Indigenous cultural memory.

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Ahenakew, Freda, 1987, Cree Language Structures: A Cree Approach (Winnipeg: Pemmican Publications). Cree Language Structures: A Cree Approach Google Scholar

Anzaldúa, Gloria, 1987, ‘How to Tame a Wild Tongue’, in Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (San Francisco: Spinsters), pp. 53–64. How to Tame a Wild Tongue Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza 53 64 Google Scholar

Armstrong, Jeannette C., 1990, ‘Words’, in Lee Maracle and Marlatt Warland (eds), Telling It: Women and Languages Across Cultures (Vancouver: Press Gang Publishers), pp. 23–9. Words Telling It: Women and Languages Across Cultures 23 9 Google Scholar

Armstrong, Jeannette C., 1991, Breath Tracks (Stratford: Williams-Wallace Publishers). Breath Tracks Google Scholar

Armstrong, Jeannette C. 1998, ‘Land Speaking’, in Simon J. Ortiz (ed.), Speaking for the Generations: Native Writers on Writing (Tucson: University of Arizona Press), pp. 175–94. Land Speaking Speaking for the Generations: Native Writers on Writing 175 94 Google Scholar

Ashcroft, Bill, 2001, Post-colonial Transformation (London: Routledge). Post-colonial Transformation Google Scholar

Ashcroft, Bill, 2008, Caliban’s Voice: The Transformation of English in Post-Colonial Literatures (London: Routledge). Caliban’s Voice: The Transformation of English in Post-Colonial Literatures Google Scholar

Ashcroft, Bill, 2011, ‘Translation and Transformation’, in Oriana Palusci, Traduttrici: Female Voices Across Languages (Trento: Tangram Edizioni Scientifiche), pp. 25–46. Translation and Transformation Traduttrici: Female Voices Across Languages 25 46 Google Scholar

Bakker, Peter, 1997, A Language of Our Own: The Genesis of Michif, the Mixed Cree-French Language of the Canadian Métis (New York: Oxford University Press). A Language of Our Own: The Genesis of Michif, the Mixed Cree-French Language of the Canadian Métis Google Scholar

Battiste, Marie (ed.), 2000, Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision (Vancouver: UBC Press). Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision Google Scholar

Bhabha, Homi, 1994, ‘The Other Question. Stereotype, Discrimination and the Discourse of Colonialism’, in Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London: Routledge), pp. 66–84. The Other Question. Stereotype, Discrimination and the Discourse of Colonialism The Location of Culture 66 84 Google Scholar

Boberg, Charles, 2008, ‘Regional Phonetic Differentiation in Standard Canadian English’, Journal of English Linguistics, 36:2, 129–54. Regional Phonetic Differentiation in Standard Canadian English Journal of English Linguistics 36 129 54 Google Scholar

Boberg, Charles, 2010, The English Language in Canada: Status, History, and Comparative Analysis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). The English Language in Canada: Status, History, and Comparative Analysis Google Scholar

Briggs, Charles, and Richard Bauman, 1999, ‘“The Foundation of All Future Researches”: Franz Boas, George Hunt, Native American Texts, and the Construction of Modernity’, American Quarterly, 51:3, 479–528. “The Foundation of All Future Researches”: Franz Boas, George Hunt, Native American Texts, and the Construction of Modernity American Quarterly 51 479 528 Google Scholar

Campbell, Maria, 1973, Halfbreed (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart). Halfbreed Google Scholar

Campbell, Maria, 1985, Achimoona (Saskatoon: Fifth House). Achimoona Google Scholar

Campbell, Maria, [1995] 2011, Stories of the Road Allowance People (Penticton, BC: Theytus Books). Stories of the Road Allowance People Google Scholar

Chambers, Iain, 1994, Migrancy, Culture, Identity (New York: Routledge). Migrancy, Culture, Identity Google Scholar

Chambers, J.K., 2010, ‘English in Canada’, in Elaine Gold and Janice McAlpine (eds), Canadian English: A Linguistic Reader (Kingston: Queen’s University), pp. 1–37. English in Canada Canadian English: A Linguistic Reader 1 37 Google Scholar

Chambers, J.K. (ed.), 1975, Canadian English: Origins and Structures (Toronto: Methuen). Canadian English: Origins and Structures Google Scholar

David, Jennifer, ‘Aboriginal Language Broadcasting in Canada: An Overview and Recommendations to the Task Force on Aboriginal Languages and Cultures’. Available from: http://aptn.ca/corporate/PDFs/Aboriginal_Language_and Broadcasting_2004.pdf (accessed 27 August 2015). Google Scholar

David, Jennifer, 2004, ‘An Overview and Recommendations to the Task Force on Aboriginal Languages and Cultures’, Report for Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, (26 November), pp. 1–45. Available at: http://aptn.ca/corporate/PDFs/Aboriginal_Language_and_Broadcasting_2004.pdf (accessed 19 October 2012). Google Scholar

Derrida, Jacques, [1996] 2004, Monolinguisme de l’autre, It. trans. Graziella Berto, Il monolinguismo dell’altro (Milano: Cortina). Monolinguisme de l’autre Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel, 1975, Surveiller et punir: naissance de la prison (Paris: Éditions Gallimard). Surveiller et punir: naissance de la prison Google Scholar

Gingell, Susan, 1998, ‘When X Equals Zero: The Politics of Voice in Indigenous Women’s Poetry in Canada’, English Studies in Canada, 24:4, 447–66. Available from: http://www.academia.edu/440318/_When_X_Equals_Zero_The_Politics_of_Voice_in_First_Peoples_Poetry_by_Women (accessed 27 August 2015). Google Scholar

Gingell, Susan, 2010, ‘Lips’Inking: Cree and Cree-Métis Authors’ Writings of the Oral and What They Might Tell Educators’, Canadian Journal of Native Education, 32, 35–61. Lips’Inking: Cree and Cree-Métis Authors’ Writings of the Oral and What They Might Tell Educators Canadian Journal of Native Education 32 35 61 Google Scholar

Haig-Brown, Celia, 1998, Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press). Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School Google Scholar

Harjo, Joy, and Gloria Bird, 1997, ‘Introduction’, in Joy Harjo and Gloria Bird (eds), Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: Contemporary Native Women’s Writings of North America (New York: W.W. Norton & Co.), pp. 19–31. Introduction Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: Contemporary Native Women’s Writings of North America 19 31 Google Scholar

Henderson, James Youngblood, 2000, ‘Ayukpachi: Empowering Aboriginal Thought’, in Marie Battiste (ed.), Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision (Vancouver: UBC Press), pp. 248–78. Ayukpachi: Empowering Aboriginal Thought Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision 248 78 Google Scholar

Jacknis, Ira, 1991, ‘George Hunt, Collector of Indian Specimens’, in Aldona Jonaitis (ed.), Chiefly Feasts: The Enduring Kwakiutl Potlatch (Seattle: University of Washington Press), pp. 177–224. George Hunt, Collector of Indian Specimens Chiefly Feasts: The Enduring Kwakiutl Potlatch 177 224 Google Scholar

Lutz, Hartmut, 1991, Contemporary Challenges: Conversations with Canadian Native Authors (Saskatoon: Fifth House Publishers). Contemporary Challenges: Conversations with Canadian Native Authors Google Scholar

Momaday, Scott N., [1969] 1997, ‘The Native Voice in American Literature’, in The Man Made of Words: Essays, Stories, Passages (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin), pp. 13–20. The Native Voice in American Literature The Man Made of Words: Essays, Stories, Passages 13 20 Google Scholar

Mongibello, Anna, 2013, Geografie alterNative: scrittrici indigene del Canada anglofono (Trento: Tangram). Geografie alterNative: scrittrici indigene del Canada anglofono Google Scholar

Myers-Scotton, Carol, 2003, ‘What Lies Beneath: Split (Mixed) Languages as Contact Phenomena’, in Yaron Matras and Peter Bakker (eds), The Mixed Language Debate: Theoretical and Empirical Advances (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter), pp. 73–106. What Lies Beneath: Split (Mixed) Languages as Contact Phenomena The Mixed Language Debate: Theoretical and Empirical Advances 73 106 Google Scholar

Pennycook, Alastair, 1998, English and the Discourses of Colonialism (New York: Routledge). English and the Discourses of Colonialism Google Scholar

Pennycook, Alastair, 2007,Global Englishes and Transcultural Flows (New York: Routledge). Global Englishes and Transcultural Flows Google Scholar

Wolfart, H.C., 1996, ‘Sketch of Cree, an Algonquian Language’, in Ives Goddard (ed.), Handbook of North American Indians, Vol 17, pp. 391–8. Sketch of Cree, an Algonquian Language Handbook of North American Indians 17 391 8 Google Scholar

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Mongibello, Anna