Told-to narratives, or collaboratively produced texts by Aboriginal storytellers and (usually) non-Aboriginal writers, often confound traditional literary understandings of voice and authorship. In this innovative exploration, these unique narratives are not romanticized as unmediated translations of oral documents, nor are they dismissed as corruptions of original works. Rather, the approach emphasizes the interpenetration of authorship and collaboration.
Discussing a wide range of told-to narratives, including ethnography, recorded (auto)biography, testimonial life narrative, documentary, myth, legend, and song, Sophie McCall explores the multifaceted implications of the choices that editors, translators, narrators, and filmmakers make as they channel these narratives into new forms. Focused on the 1990s, when debates over voice and representation were particularly explosive, this comprehensive study examines collaboratively produced texts in conjunction with key political events that have shaped the struggle for Aboriginal rights in Canada. Emphasizing the scope rather than the limits of the told-to narrative, McCall considers how Aboriginal voices have been represented in a range of forums such as public inquiries, commissioners' reports, and land claims court cases.
A captivating inquiry, First Person Plural offers a vital, interdisciplinary discussion of how told-to narratives contribute to larger debates about Indigenous voice and literary and political sovereignty.