Indigenous Canadian Women’s Fiction of the 21st Century: The Coming of Age Novel

DOUTORANDA Alba Seara Domínguez
TITULO Indigenous Canadian Women’s Fiction of the 21st Century: The Coming of Age Novel

Belén Martín Lucas


This thesis introduces a literary corpus that includes different coming of age novels written by Indigenous Canadian women in the 21st century. This selection of narratives proceeds to be scrutinised under a feminist and decolonised perspective. Even though scholars have widely produced a massive amount of research about the impact that colonialism has caused on Indigenous Canadian communities, there appear to be research gaps around a specific issue: Indigenous young girls’ own realities. In 21st-century-Canada, a blatant structural violence keeps affecting Indigenous girls and women, who are forced to endure the inefficacy of a system that attempts to perpetuate historical colonial violence. As their childhood, girlhood and adulthood are shaped by the legacies of colonialism, Indigenous girls and women eventually end up in common patterns of intergenerational trauma, addiction, sexual abuse, self-deprecation or job precariousness. This thesis reflects upon these novels’ young Indigenous protagonists, who are entangled in precarious situations. Nevertheless, it does not intend to feed the cycle of victimhood that Indigenous girls are continuously relegated to. Rather, it focuses on the protagonists’ resilience and their tenacious fight against a system that allows the everyday murder and disappearance of Indigenous girls and women. Hence, this thesis discusses not only the contemporary consequences of historical colonial violence, put also Canada’s perpetuation of abuse and oppression towards Indigenous girls from their early childhood. The coming of age genre has been selected in order to delve deeper into these girls’ life experiences as they grow up dealing with trauma, sexism, racism and identity struggles.


PALABRAS CLAVE Indigenous, Girls, Decolonial, Coming of Age, Canada