Nadia Myre’s Indian Act is a series of beaded pages on which each letter, word, and sentence of the fifty-six pages of the Government of Canada’s Indian Act is beaded over in white and red. We chose this piece because it is an exceptional example of the struggle for reclamation that many Indigenous artists and writers engage with through their creative practices. We are also drawn to the image because of the questions it poses to the viewer about how to read, listen, and tell. While Myre’s Indian Act is meant to resemble a text, it is one that cannot, strictly speaking, be read. “Written” entirely in beads, the work suggests other forms of literacy and other ways of interpreting stories, through memory, alternative knowledges, and collective reasoning. It demands that you, its viewer, think carefully about the complex relationships between writing and reading, storytelling and image-making—relationships at the heart of the stories and the interpretive approaches in Read, Listen, Tell.
The Literature Guides correspond to several works in Read, Listen, Tell and have been created for students and educators who are engaging with Read, Listen, Tell. Use them as a study resource or as a starting point for writing and research projects. Prompt class discussion and help readers dive deeper into these stories.
Listen to Dr. Sophie McCall’s lecture, “Reframing History,” on Gord Hill’s The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book and the impact of pandemics in the making of the Americas. You can read an excerpt from Hill’s comic book in Read, Listen, Tell (pg. 104-08).