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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Beasley, Bruce, 1958-

Second Advisor

Laffrado, Laura

Third Advisor

Paola, Suzanne


This is a collection of creative nonfiction essays which address memory, memory loss, and the interruption of brain function and the difficulty in retrieval of memory due to traumatic brain injury, and other post traumatic injuries and diseases. These creative nonfiction works also investigate identity (in my case, my identity in my family and my race, which is Mètis), memoir, truth, and fact, and the many facets and elements that affect and define these. I attempt, and hopefully succeed, at speaking, not only in my own voice, but in the voices of loved ones, ancestors, voices and spirits--besides my own memoires--that have spoken to me in myriad ways throughout my life. I write about, with as much honesty and truth as I have so far learned, about my nationality and my family, which is Mètis or Aboriginal Canadian. Since my mother died very young, we lost touch with this identity, and so I have had to research much of what I have tried to represent here, and hope I have at least captured the essence or spirit of the Mètis people, the people who had become known as Canada's forgotten people: a people fragmented, assimilated, marginalized--in essence, as I have titled this thesis, dismembered: dismembered like the fragments of my memories that I am still trying to put back together. But there is hope for the recovery of these memories, and hope for our people. This is what I would like to have the reader come away with here: not the tragedy or loss, but the hope, the survival, the strength of a people. Because, as Louis Riel predicted we would, we are rising once again-in our art, our song, our music and dance, and other creative endeavors, to become once more, "The True Canadian's."





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subjects – Names (LCNAF)

Bjelland, Janie

Subject – LCSH

Brain damage--Patients--Biography; Memory disorders--Patients--Biography; Post-traumatic stress disorder--Patients--Biography; Métis--Ethnic identity




masters theses




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