Survivance and Storytelling: Erdrich’s Tracks and Welch’s Winter in the Blood

When the victims talk back, they stop being victims.

Gerald Vizenor
Gerald Vizenor

For centuries, in cartoons, stories, songs and paintings, Native Americans have been culturally invented and represented from the outside. These invented narratives of decimation and victimry are described by Gerald Vizenor as ‘simulations of dominance’.[1] By moving away from the sentimentality that had characterised earlier periods of Native American fiction, contemporary American Indian writers have transcended their role as victim in their quest for cultural survivance.[2] Vizenor describes these writers as ‘postindian warriors’, a term coined by Vizenor and used to describe Native American people who pursue creative acts of resistance and are concerned with creating authentic counter-narratives of survivance.[3] Continue reading “Survivance and Storytelling: Erdrich’s Tracks and Welch’s Winter in the Blood”