With great analytical delight, we read Lorna Dueck's column Where The Church Might Help The State (July 11) in our seminar on how theories are created and methods invented. Here's our qualitative analysis: Ms. Dueck's essentialism is very troubling. Out here, a character analogous to the devil is Windigoose. S/he is a distinct personality from Wasakechak (the Cree proper noun for "trickster"). Moreover, being considered a trickster is not a bad thing -- it's often a label used to explain someone who experiences life in a more satisfactory and respectful way.
In trying to be trendy about an anniversary and a modern dilemma, Ms. Dueck has painted a diverse group of peoples with the same analytical brush in a very simplistic and ethnocentric way. Realizing history repeats itself, one of us said with a sigh: "Lots of times in the past, some white person who claimed to be Christian imposed her views on Indians and didn't know what she was doing. Well, speak of the devil!" Ms. Dueck shows she can be her own best "trickster."