Authentic culture: the Inkameep plays as Canadian Indian folk drama




Korpan, Cynthia Joanne

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During the early decades of the 20th century, a public and governmental concentration on authentic Canadian culture included the languages and cultural practices of Indigenous peoples. The position of Indigenous peoples as ‘original’ to the land was conflated as evidence that their cultures were authentic, and as such, uniquely ‘Canadian’. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, a small group of children from the Osoyoos Indian Band along with their Irish immigrant teacher produced a series of short dramatic plays based on traditional Okanagan stories. This thesis examines how the production, circulation, and consumption of these Okanagan-based plays by children came to be seen as a manifestation of early Canadian drama that was arguably a part of the foundation of an emerging national identity.



Folk drama, Indians of North America Drama, authenticity, authentic culture, Canadian culture