What is it about?
The diminishment of the ancient North American grasslands on both sides of the forty-ninth parallel and the undermining of Indigenous ways of life are among the most disheartening histories of the western states and provinces. When trying to understand how such an alteration of the grasslands happened, writers and historians use words such as catastrophe, ecological holocaust, and unmitigated tragedy. In the centuries since European contact and the radical transformations of European settlement, the Great Plains of North America has endured a thorny, difficult, disruptive historical passage that has significantly tested Indigenous communities and the grasslands biome. In this essay, I focus on non-Native late twentieth- and early twenty-first- century essayists from the Plains of Canada and the United States who are helping to shift the paradigm and define restorative narrative.
Photo by Raychel Sanner on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Reconciliation is an important process of decolonization in its nascent years in both Canada and the United States. Reconciliation brings Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities together to find a way into a better future, acknowledging the contested, often brutal history of settler colonialism and creating trust out of generations of distrust and betrayal. Restorative narrative is one way that writers from the Great Plains can contribute to this reconciliation process.
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This page is a summary of: Restorative Narrative: Nonfiction and the Resetting of the Grasslands' Future, Great Plains Quarterly, January 2020, Project Muse,
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