Identity Texts as Decolonized Writing
Beyond the Cowboys and Indians Meta-Narrative
Keywords:Aboriginal languages, dual language books, representations, identity texts, meta-narratives, decolonized writing
Research indicates that when students’ identities are affirmed in micro-interactions between themselves and teachers, they are more likely to invest themselves academically (Cummins, 2001). Aboriginal students faced with pedagogical materials that negatively represent their culture are loath to invest themselves in their schooling. This reflection on practice describes the implementation of a dual language book project designed to produce positive identity texts to counter damaging representations of marginalized group members. The participant-authors were Aboriginal parents who wrote books intended for their preschool-aged children in their ancestral language and English. These parents created identity texts to reflect their children’s identities back to them in a positive light (Cummins, this volume) and, in so doing, they engaged in a form of “decolonized writing.”
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