Rita Joe's Poem I Lost My Talk

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Rita Joe’s poem, “I Lost My Talk” brings to light many of the hardships and struggles that were faced by Aboriginal youth when they were required to attend residential schools. At this time, Aboriginal children were forced to learn English and adapt to Euro-Canadian customs. Essentially, the goal of this institution was to completely abolish Indigenous traditions by discouraging students from speaking their native languages and practicing their culture. For the purpose of this paper, I will analyze Rita Joe’s work in depth, while discussing the central theme of losing one’s identity and voice, which is exemplified throughout the poem. The poem starts off with the speaker describing her loss of voice and character as a little girl when she
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