Water and Indigenous Resistance in Linda Hogan’s Solar Storms
In her 1997 novel Solar Storms, Chickasaw writer Linda Hogan emphasizes the role of water in decolonial resistance and Indigenous healing. Solar Storms is a coming-of-age novel about 17-year-old Angel, who arrives at her ancestral homeland, a community called “Adam’s Rib,” in the boundary waters between Minnesota and Ontario. The language in Hogan’s text assigns sentience and agency to bodies of water. Hogan’s water imagery stresses the interconnectedness of humans and nature that neocolonialism aims to sever with the construction of the dam in the novel, echoing the real story of the James Bay Hydroelectric Project and its destruction of the James Bay Cree and Inuit lands in the 1970’s. Hogan's indictment of the hydroelectric industrial complex and her use of water as a counternarrative to extractive capitalism remain relevant, as Indigenous people continue resisting in places such as Standing Rock and the lands of the Wet'suwet'en Nation in Canada.
Key Words: Decolonization, neoclonialism, counternarrative