Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Hartma-Keiser, Steve

Second Advisor

Majhor, Samantha


This study focuses in, particularly, on the study of the “culture clash reading” approach to Indigenous literature and examines the conditioned nature of this approach, its limitations, and its potential for harm to Indigenous agendas. Student engagement with Richard Wagamese’s Indian Horse was observed in two undergraduate courses to study conditioned student literary analysis patterns and engage proposed alternative reading strategies inspired by NAIS methodology. Student interactions with and responses to Indian Horse are closely examined in alignment with Indigenous agendas. The study ultimately finds the “culture clash reading” approach to be problematic in its positional superiority of Western knowledge and inquiry and promotes NAIS-inspired alternative reading strategies as more closely aligning with Indigenous agendas, the primary agenda explored here being intellectual sovereignty. The benefits of the alternative reading have also been found to extend to individual student readers in engaging a more in-depth and deliberate reading of Indigenous literature.