When “I” Equals More Than “Me”: Constructions of (Constructions of) Indigenous Identity
This chapter fcouses on indigenous theory and works towards a criticism that, in accordance with the precepts of such theory, is community-based. It argues for a criticism that examines literature in terms of what it is doing for the people. The chapter examines some dominant trends and voices in the criticism of Aboriginal autobiographies in the continuing process of working toward an indigenous-centered critical approach, and finish with a demonstration of such a criticism by conducting a brief analysis of Mankiller: A Chief and Her People. It attempts to support rather than to silence that work theoretically, though it must begin by clearing away some misconceptions of some foundational criticism. Autobiographies by Indians, however, are indeed self-written lives; there is no compositeness to their composition, although inasmuch as their subject, in order to write a life, must have become ‘civilized’, there remains the element of biculturalism.