Chapter 8 Lesson 1: Indigenous Fantasy and SF

“Tatterborn” (2017), Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee, 1975– )
“Men on the Moon” (1978, 1999), Simon Ortiz (Acoma Pueblo, 1941– )
“Father, Son, Holy Rabbit” (2010), Stephen Graham Jones (Blackfeet, 1972– )
“Terminal Avenue” (2004), Eden Robinson (Haisla/ Heiltsuk, 1968– ) “On Drowning Pond” (2010), Allison Hedge Coke (Cherokee/Huron, 1958– )
“The Space NDN’s Star Map” (2015, 2017), L. Catherine Cornum (Diné, 1989– )

The Context
Genre fiction, using Fantasy and SF, to indigenize and decolonize literature. “Indigenous futurisms” is a term meant to encourage Indigenous authors to speak back to the colonial tropes of science fiction

Learning Goals:
• To learn why Indigenous authors are inspired and use genre fiction and Indigenous futurism to reach wider audiences and bring cultural change



Assessment Focus


1. Vocabulary review
a) Before reading each story, do a vocabulary walk and have students chart vocabulary they do not understand.
b) Review unknown vocabulary, such as “trope.”
2. Discuss genre fiction, fantasy, SF, futurism

C3.3 Use a variety of strategies, with increasing regularity, to explore and expand vocabulary focusing on words and phrases that have particular significance for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities and evaluate the precision with which these words are used in the texts they are reading (NBE3U)


Using Think/Pair/Share, ask students, “What does the future of Canada/Turtle Island look like?”
Write the responses on a visual anchor for students to refer back to.
After students have shared their responses, ask students, “Is there any group, place, or thing that is missing from any of these responses?” Teacher will guide students to the concept of Indigenous futurism. Provide definition of futurism for students to copy into their vocabulary banks.
Discuss: Why do you think futurism is an important theme to emphasize in reading Indigenous literatures?

C2. Understanding Form and Style: Identify a variety of text forms, text features, and stylistic elements in texts from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures, and, as appropriate, relevant texts from non-Indigenous sources, and demonstrate an understanding of how they help communicate meaning (NBE3U)


After reading all selections, what topic of futurism and genre fiction can you pull from each selection from Chapter 8? Is there a common theme? Describe the element of futurism from the texts.
Discuss: Why is Indigenous futurism a popular concept among some Indigenous authors?

C1. Reading for Meaning: Read and demonstrate an understanding of a variety of literary, informational,and graphic texts from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures, and, as appropriate, relevant texts from non-Indigenous sources, using a range of strategies to construct meaning (NBE3U)

Beyond Reading

Discuss and explain quotes:
“We’re not historical beings. We’re contemporary and future beings.” — Drew Hayden Taylor
“As soon as you can dream about the future, you have hope as well instead of despair.” — Danis Goulet

D2.5 Explain, with increasing insight, how their own beliefs, values, and experiences are revealed in their writing, and how these may either reflect or conflict with a First Nation, Métis, or Inuit world view (NBE3U)

Teacher Reflection

How can you relate the concept of futurism to the TRCs Calls to Action?