chapter  10
13 Pages

Changing Minds and Hearts

Felt Theory and the Carceral Child in Indigenous Canadian Residential School Picture Books
ByDoris Wolf

The history of the Canadian Indian residential school system has become increasingly visible to mainstream publics, helping to break a long silence around the function, realities, and intergenerational legacies of the schools that was as much a product of ignorance of a past not commemorated or taught as well as of a general national disinterest in Indigenous issues more broadly. Defined broadly as a displacement of the centrality of cognition by Melissa Gregg and Gregory Seigworth in their introduction to The Affect Theory Reader, affect offers a way to conceptualise the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) call for the transformation of hearts. The repeated use of the bowed heads and downcast eyes for the family and other children is insistently multilayered so that the resultant stickiness is not simply tied to the emotions of shame and pain but ripples out to evoke specific moments as acts of resilience and resistance.