“This study represents a significant step towards understanding an important social phenomenon in Canada at the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first century. Throughout much of the twentieth century the life of virtually all Aboriginal people had been marked by a set of policies directed from Ottawa. These had contributed to undermining both their traditional cultures and also the familial bonds vital for the development of a positive self-image and a healthy relationship with other members of society, as also with society as a whole. The negative impact of such policies is now very widely recognised and documented. The study does not set out to shed further light on this set of causes and effects. What it does do, successfully, is investigate a number of the linguistic strategies based partly on aboriginal discursive models, partly on positive presentation of a range of topics handled very differently in Euro-Canadian media, and partly on the propagation and consistent use of key items of terminology, some of which have begun to enter at least some of the Euro-Canadian media and strands of political discourse.”
Prof. Robert Gould Carleton University Ottawa
The analytical framework employed in this study is Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). CDA is said to focus on relevant social, cultural and political problems and processes. Accordingly, its task is both deconstructive and constructive. However, the emphasis of research in CDA is mainly on ‘problems’ and the deconstructive moment, which aims at revealing hidden and not-so-hidden linguistic strategies and how dominant discourses are appropriated or ‘naturalized’. The analysis presented in this book runs counter to this generally employed CDA practice. It pays attention to constructive moments. The focus is on counter-discourses as they are used by Aboriginal people in Canada to resist ingrained hegemonic practices, to build and develop new power relations as well as social and political identities.