Emma LaRocque. (b.

1949)
Emma LaRocque is a Metis from northeastern Alberta, born in the small Metis community of Big Bay. She received her B.A. from Goshen College (Indiana) in 1973, an M.A. in Religion and Peace Studies (1976), an M.A. in History at the University of Manitoba and completed her Ph.D. in History and English at the same institution in 1999. Her widely read education monograph, Defeathering the Indian (Agincourt, Ontario: Book Society of Canada, 1975) was written out of her desire to reduce the violence done to Native students in the Canadian education system. This book is a major contribution to Aboriginal decolonization efforts. It contains three major sections; Native heritage and culture, stereotypes and myths about Native people, and media portrayals of Native people. Since 1977, Emma has been a professor of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. She is also a well-known poet. Her poetry has appeared in a number of anthologies such as: W.H. New (Editor): Native Writers and Canadian Writing (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1990: 132-152), Jeanne Perrault and Sylvia Vance (Editors) Writing the Circle: Native Women of Western Canada. (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993: 136-148), and in Joan Turner (Editor): Living the Changes. (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1990: 7690). She was interviewed by Hartmut Lutz for the book Contemporary Challenges: Conversations with Canadian Native Authors (Saskatoon: Fifth House Publishers, 1991: 181202). Larocque contributed three poems to the recent 2011 anthology Manitowapow (James Sinclair and Warren Carriou (Eds.).1 In 2005 Emma received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award (Education). The Foundation stated: Dr. Emma LaRocque is a scholar, author, professor, poet and human rights advocate. She grew up in a Cree-speaking, hunting/trapping Métis culture in northeastern Alberta. Overcoming obstacles of marginalization, poverty and childhood blindness, Dr. LaRocque went on to acquire a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/Communications from Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana in 1973; a Master of Arts in Peace Studies from the Associated Mennonite Seminaries, Elkhart, Indiana - for which she received the Rockefeller Fellowship - in 1976; an MA in History in1980 and a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies in History/English from the University of Manitoba in 1999. Author of Defeathering The Indian in1975, a study of stereotypes of "Indians" in public schools, Dr. LaRocque has written more than 60 publications, both scholarly and popular, in areas of colonization, Canadian historiography, misrepresentation, racism, identity, violence against women and Aboriginal literatures. Dr. LaRocque has been a leading figure in the growth and development of Native Studies as a teaching discipline and intellectual field of study. She developed all the core courses in the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba where she has been teaching for 28 years. Her work focuses on the deconstruction of colonial misrepresentation and on the advancement of an Aboriginal-based critical voice and theory in scholarship and criticism. Her dissertation on Aboriginal resistance literature
1

Emma Larocque. “Geese Over the City,” “Long Way From Home,” and “My hometown Northern Canada South Africa.” In Manitowapow, James Sinclair and Warren Carriou (Eds.) Winnipeg: Highwater Press, 2011: 207-216.

was nominated for the Distinguished Dissertation Award (1999), University of Manitoba. A role model for Aboriginal scholars and students and a respected poet, Dr. LaRocque is frequently cited in scholarly books, creative and learned journals and prestigious anthologies. She is internationally recognized and has presented academic papers and read her poetry in Australia, England, Hawaii and throughout North America. She has been a guest of CBC Radio and appeared as a consultant in the NFB film "Women in the Shadows". Dr. Emma LaRocque resides in Winnipeg and remains active as a professor, researcher, writer and human rights advocate in the Aboriginal and wider communities.
Reference Donovan, Kathleen. “Emma LaRocque,” in Gretchen M. Bataille (Editor). Native American Women: A Biographical Dictionary. New York: Garland Publishing, 1993: 152-153.

Compiled by Lawrence Barkwell Coordinator of Metis Heritage and History Research Louis Riel Institute

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