Visiting with and through Indigenous Literatures in the “Digital Turn”


  • David Gaertner University of British Columbia




In 2017, in partnership with the UBC Longhouse and UBC Libraries,the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and the University of British Columbia Library began the annual “Honouring Indigenous Writers Edit-athon.” Each year, building out of events such as the Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-athon, our team of organizers work with Indigenous authors to improve the representation of Indigenous literatures online. We build consensual relationship with authors to revise Wikipedia pages, distribute organizer kits to interested collaborators, maintain an event dashboard, and host live readings from new and established Indigenous authors in Vancouver, Kelowna, and Alberta. The event itself is inspired by Daniel Heath Justice’s hashtag #HonouringIndigneousWriters, which he began on Twitter in 2015 to draw attention to the wide range of literatures available by Indigenous authors. With Justice’s consent, we build on his good work by furthering the reach of Indigenous literatures in digital and physical spaces. 

In this article, I suggest that #HonouringIndigenousWriters illustrates that any attempt to squarely demarcate boundaries between offline and online communities risks eliding the nuanced facets of relationality that are core to Indigenous literary studies. Bronwyn Carlson argues that in Indigenous engagements with the digital, there is often “no distinction between online and offline worlds; they are seamlessly enmeshed”. Productively blurring the boundary between online and offline worlds informs what critical and ethical and relational engagement in the digital must look like. Via a history of #HonouringIndigenousWriters, written from my perspective as one if its co-founders, I hope to illustrate how, as scholars of Indigenous literary studies, we can draw online and offline worlds into closer proximity and, as Warren Cariou urges us, find places to visit with stories.

Author Biography

David Gaertner, University of British Columbia

Assistant Professor, First Nations and Indigenous Studies




How to Cite

Gaertner, D. (2024). #HonouringIndigenousWriters: Visiting with and through Indigenous Literatures in the “Digital Turn”. Transmotion, 9(1&2), 147–178. https://doi.org/10.22024/UniKent/03/tm.1107