Documenting Oral History and Lessons in Truth Telling in in Nadia McLaren’s Muffins for Granny and Tim Wolochatiuk’s We Were Children

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksArticle in conference proceedingsResearchpeer-review


While fictional and non-fictional writing on Indian Residential Schools (IRS) has become an important part of the academic landscape well beyond the confines of Canada, documentary filmmaking on IRS has not yet been met with the same level of scholarly attention. This essay on Nadia McLaren’s Muffins for Granny: Stories from Survivors of the Canadian Residential School System and Tim Wolochatiuk’s We Were Children seeks to reduce this divide. As a powerful form of truth telling, these documentaries testify to the power of oral history on par with indigenous storytelling practices and oral traditions, but they take highly different approaches to the sharing of the testimony of residential school survivors and their traumatic memories. McLaren artfully fuses the participatory mode of documentary filmmaking with the balance and harmony of an Aboriginal worldview. Wolochatiuk takes a more controversial approach, stretching the borders between fact and fiction with his highly affective brand of performative documentary filmmaking.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIn-Between : Liminal Spaces in Canadian Literature and Culture
EditorsStefan L. Brandt
Number of pages13
PublisherPeter Lang Verlag
Publication date01.12.2017
ISBN (Print)978-3-631-73569-5
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-631-73574-9, 978-3-631-73575-6, 978-3-631-73576-3
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2017
EventIn-Between: Liminal Spaces in Canadian Literature and Culture - University of Graz, Graz, Austria
Duration: 02.06.201604.06.2016