"To Bring a Little Bit of the Land": Tanya Tagaq Performing at the Intersection of Decolonization and Ecocriticism

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Boerchers, Meredith Jayne




Two needs that have grown increasingly critical in Canada throughout the twenty-first century are the reduction of global warming and the decolonization of lands, social institutions, and collectivities. Rather than operating independently, decolonization and environmentalism intersect as Indigenous actors contest Western assumptions about "nature" by asserting their own ecological frameworks. In this thesis, I explore Inuk vocalist Tanya Tagaq's artistic contributions to these efforts by analysing her musical commentaries on "nature" in light of Indigenous scholarship on "decolonization". I argue that Tanya Tagaq performs decolonized environmental values by evoking Inuit ecology and embodying Inuit ecologically-rooted ontology on stage. I further contend that Tagaq's musical practices demonstrate a decolonized approach to eco-activism by foregrounding Inuit experiences and discourses, and advocating for environmental issues by mobilizing Inuit worldviews. Throughout this thesis, I demonstrate that Tagaq's environmentally-themed output challenges Western constructions of Inuit and the Arctic while asserting Inuit perspectives in public spaces.


Native American Studies
Canadian Studies




Carleton University

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Master of Arts: 

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Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Music and Culture

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Theses and Dissertations

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