Indigenous writers, on the other hand, acknowledge the mundane horror of living in a country that dehumanizes you, weaving the reality of Indigenous life with fiction to scare audiences. In Waubgeshig Rice’s Moon of the Crusted Snow, for example, the apocalyptic event that ends life as we know it — taking out power, internet, phones, satellites, etc. — isn’t even really noticed as an apocalyptic event at first; it’s just another day on a northern rez, where power can go out at any time and internet and phone signals aren’t always available. As Nick, a young Anishinaabe man, points out, “We thought it was kinda funny…The blackout was only two days, but it seemed like some people were already freaking out a little bit. I was just like, ‘Come to the rez, this shit happens all the time!’” Once it becomes apparent that things have changed forever, the protagonist Evan observes that “the milestones he [now] used to mark time were the deaths in the community…as people perished through sickness, mishap, violence or by their own hands.” He notes that northern reserves like his are “familiar with tragedy,” the result of generations of intergenerational trauma and genocide — only now this tragedy is magnified.
Perhaps there will come a time when white Canada will meaningfully grapple with this question, when I won’t have to look to horror to find a world where the monsters eventually stop. Until then, Tuck and Ree have put it best: “Haunting is the cost of subjugation. It is the price paid for violence, for genocide…I don’t want to haunt you, but I will.”