Consuming the Wiindigoo: Native Figurations of Hunger and Food Bureaucracy

  • Joshua D. Miner


This chapter provides an exploration of popular images of Indigenous hunger and settler-bureaucratic management in the U.S. and Canada. By analyzing literary and cinematic texts that hinge on food management and cannibal figures like the Algonquian wiindigoo, Miner argues that contemporary Native/First Nations writers invert colonial constructions of hunger in order to indict the instrumentalist ideology of federal Indian policy—casting bureaucrat, rather than Indian, as savage cannibal. He begins with official records of “ration policy” and demonstrates how texts like Louise Erdrich’s The Round House and Stephen Graham Jones’ Ledfeather critique this history of bureaucratic coercion that still serves to materially and representationally consume Indigenous bodies and lands. Miner concludes by examining these authors’ reclamation of food-sharing and other Native practices of cooperative management.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua D. Miner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Film and Media StudiesUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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