Witnessing Public Mourning in Haudenosaunee Youth Theatre

in Girlhood Studies
Author:
Margot Francis Brock University, Canada mfrancis@brocku.ca

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Abstract

While the Indigenous youth suicide crisis in Canada is widely acknowledged, there is little scholarly attention given to writers who reflect on this from the perspective of being suicide survivors. In this article, I consider the play, And She Split the Sky in Two, by Aleria McKay, a youth survivor from Six Nations. I explore how her work functions as an anti-colonial text that re-envisions the suicide crisis at Six Nations through mourning the gendered, affective, systemic, and spatial legacies of colonial violence. McKay's characters are learning to tell their own stories to completion, depathologizing experiences of despair and entrapment. This work provides a girl's perspective on the long slow process of staying alive to create a different future.

Contributor Notes

Margot Francis (ORCID: 0000-0002-5219-1043) has research and teaching interests in the areas of Indigenous resurgence through artistic and community mobilization, feminist, decolonial and anti-racist activism that challenges sexual/racial violence, and queer and intersectional approaches to sexualities. Email: mfrancis@brocku.ca

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