North American Indigenous Perceptions of the Apocalypse and a Renewal of Kinship Relationships through the Imagination

  • Francesca Mussi
Keywords: Apoalypse, Climate change, Settler colonialism, Canada, Indian resident schools, Indigenous kinship, Imagination


Interweaving ecocriticism, settler-colonial studies, and Indigenous studies, this essay interrogates the concepts of climate change and the apocalypse, repositioning them alongside Indigenous experiences of broken kinship relationships. Focusing on the Canadian Indigenous context, first, I discuss the settler-colonial implications of environmental apocalypse, arguing that Indigenous peoples are already living in a post-apocalyptic condition. Secondly, I explore the Indian Residential School policy as an example of how settler-colonialism contributed to creating the post-apocalyptic situation with which Indigenous peoples live today. Thirdly, through analysis of Lee Maracle’s “The Void” and Daniel H. Justice’s “The Boys Who Became the Hummingbirds”, I discuss how both stories employ imagination to place environmental disasters in conversation with settler-colonial practices, thus re-shaping understandings of the past, present, and future. Ultimately, both stories, as I argue, promote Indigenous traditional knowledge systems and kinship values as a way to maintain respectful and reciprocal kinship relationships among humans and between humans and the land.


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How to Cite
Mussi, F. (2022). North American Indigenous Perceptions of the Apocalypse and a Renewal of Kinship Relationships through the Imagination. Between, 12(24), 401-422.