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ERIC Number: EJ762204
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 25
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-0730-3238
"I Liked It so Much I E-mailed Him and Told Him": Teaching "The Lesser Blessed" at the University of California
Haladay, Jane
Studies in American Indian Literatures, v19 n1 p66-90 Spr 2007
This essay is just one story in the ongoing conversation of how to approach teaching indigenous literatures in colonial educational institutions. Through sharing her experiences in teaching Richard Van Camp's "The Lesser Blessed," the author hopes to reveal the power of this particular text and the way its effects on students who willingly engage it can create a collaborative learning atmosphere that is transformative. This collaborative environment requires her to relinquish primary authority (not always easy) to open a space for student vulnerability and voice, while simultaneously remaining an active moderator and guide shaping the direction of the class. In such a space, students, author, and educator share power in the discussion and comprehension of culture and story. She and her students' interactions with the novel's author, Richard Van Camp, a member of the Tlicho, or Dogrib, Nation, have become another strand braided into the collaborative process of teaching "The Lesser Blessed." "The Lesser Blessed", a complex, painful, hilarious story informed by raw poetics and deep humanity, is now taught in only a smattering of U.S. and Canadian high schools, colleges, and universities, and to date there is a dearth of literary criticism on the novel. The author expresses her hope that this essay may add to a growing body of discussion around this vital text and encourage other educators to include it in their aboriginal/Native and other literature curricula. (Contains 6 notes.)
University of Nebraska Press. 1111 Lincoln Mall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0630. Tel: 800-755-1105; Fax: 800-526-2617; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California