President's Faculty Lecture with Deanna Reder
The Obligations of Stories: Missing Jim Brady and Abbie Halkett
The President’s Faculty Lecture Series is a public program aimed at showcasing outstanding SFU faculty and their research, and strengthening relationships between the university and the many communities we serve. Come join us for a lecture with Deanne Reder about stories and the responsibilities that come with them.
Cree-Métis scholar Deanna Reder is the Chair of the Department of First Nations Studies, and an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Simon Fraser University. Her research focuses on the understudied archive of Indigenous literary work in Canada up to 1992 (see The People and The Text). She is a founding member of the Indigenous Literary Studies Association, also called ILSA, a co-chair of the Indigenous Voices Awards, and the Series Editor for the Indigenous Studies Series at Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
As a literary scholar I’ve learned techniques to read and analyze stories. But I’ve always been taught to use different ways to listen to the stories shared with me by my family—that Cree and Métis stories are not so easy to hammer down, that they ask you to take responsibility for your interpretations, that stories can incur obligations.
In this lecture I will remember the 1967 unexplained disappearance of Métis leader Jim Brady and Cree councilor Abbie Halkett. I think about the stories I’ve heard and learned about them and think about the responsibilities I hold because I listened.