Oh Canada, Whose Home and Native Land? Negotiating Multicultural, Aboriginal and Canadian Identity Narratives


  • Momina Khan University of Saskatchewan
  • Michael Cottrell University of Saskatchewan


Using autobiographical narrative inquiry methods I seek to explore how the juxtaposition of personal narratives of my children’s lived experiences, with identity narratives held by Aboriginal people and the dominant white society, facilitates or impedes the affirmation of my children’s identity as “multicultural” Canadians. How might such a framing lead to positioning minority children in the margins of social and educational contexts? I begin by telling a mother’s story of my Canadian ‘born and raised’ son’s experience in which he was caught between the dominant and historical narratives of residential schooling structured in Saskatchewan curriculum. I then move into discussing the challenges of the contested spaces of Canadian identity and complexity of negotiating multifaceted, complex, and hybrid identities. I conclude by offering a discussion of the often unexamined perspectives and practices of Canadian multiculturalism by opening a possibility for critical research in the teaching of the social sciences curriculum.