This essay is the first to emerge from an ongoing international project which looks at storytelling for children by Indigenous women in the interests of promoting Indigenous languages and cultures. Impressed and humbled by the energy and commitment of the women writers, we ask, along with New Caledonia based French academic, Patrice Favaro, ‘What can I bring to people who want to write tales drawn from the oral tradition out of their own culture about which I know nothing?’ (11). So we, as a group of non-Indigenous women academics, want to acknowledge our lack of knowledge of Kanak traditions along with the multi-disciplinary collaborative approach we bring to this work. We bring insights drawn from sociology, Indigenous studies, literature and education to bear on our analysis of the ground-breaking work of Kanak women writers in the hope that the commitment to further Indigenous interests will be even more widely shared and understood.
Jouve, Dominique; Bryant, Lia; Gill, Judith; and Tedmanson, Deirdre, If I Don’t Speak to My Child in My Own Language, Then Who Will? Kanak Women Writing Culture for Children, Kunapipi, 27(2), 2005.