ABSTRACT

What does it mean to do autobiographical studies within the realm of Inter-American studies? What does it mean to study the story of a self within the context of such a huge terrain-geographic, cultural, linguistic, ethnic? In this chapter, I look briefly at two Indigenous bilingual texts from Canada, using both Cree narrative theory and testimonial theories to show how different perspectives change our understanding of those life narratives and to underscore our responsibilities as scholars to read the texts within “the living web of the people and tradition from which they both arose” (Allen xi). The texts chosen are bilingual texts, life narratives of Cree women, printed in Cree and English. I argue that recognition of literary and rhetorical sovereignty means that we do not impose critical terms from other cultural traditions in our readings of Indigenous texts.