Land and Storytelling: Indigenous Pathways towards Healing, Spiritual Regeneration and Resurgence

Francesca Mussi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


This article aims to contribute to discourses of healing, Indigenous resurgence and spiritual regeneration within the context of the Indian Residential School Truth and Reconciliation Commission that took place in Canada between 2008 and 2015. First, it considers to what extent the TRC’s restorative justice process can relate to Indigenous ways of conceptualising healing. Secondly, it reflects on the Commission’s exclusive focus on the Indian Residential School system and its legacies, which, according to many Indigenous scholars, overlooks a much broader and more complex history of colonisation, political domination, and land dispossession still ongoing. I underline that, from an Indigenous perspective, land plays a fundamental role to achieve healing, spiritual regeneration, and resurgence. In the last section, I move the discussion to the literary dimension as I explore Richard Wagamese’s 2012 novel Indian Horse. In particular, I argue that fiction, especially that fiction produced during the years of the Commission’s work, can be a crucial site for challenging the TRC’s restorative process and for bringing out the significance of storytelling and of an Indigenous deep sense of connection to the land as a source of learning, spiritual reclaiming, and healing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)660-676
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Commonwealth Literature
Issue number3
Early online date28 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023


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