In a gesture toward traditional First Nations orality, Peter Cole blends poetic and dramatic voices with storytelling. A conversation between two tricksters, Coyote and Raven, and the colonized and the colonizers, his narrative takes the form of a canoe journey. Cole draws on traditional Aboriginal knowledge to move away from the western genres that have long contained, shaped, and determined ab/originality. Written in free verse, Coyote and Raven Go Canoeing is meant to be read aloud and breaks new ground by making orality the foundation of its scholarship.
Cole moves beyond the rhetoric and presumption of white academic (de/re)colonizers to aboriginal spaces recreated by aboriginal peoples. Rather than employing the traditional western practice of gathering information about exoticized other, demonized other, contained other, Coyote and Raven Go Canoeing is a celebration of aboriginal thought, spirituality, and practice, a sharing of lived experience as First Peoples.