This thesis analyses Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Apology for the Indian Residential School System and its media coverage as a process of re-covenanting. The author demonstrates that, by splitting the totem of the identity of Canada into a sinning chapter and an essential national character, members of the totem domain were able to sacrifice the totem of Canada, which had been polluted through violations of the beliefs in equality and human rights in the residential school system though the symbolic sacrifice of the leader and representative of the people, the Prime Minister. After sacrificing the totem of the sinning nation through the humiliation of the confession of sin and apology, the totem was regenerated to its unpolluted, ideal state. This apology process constitutes a narrative of re-covenanting in line with Abrahamic and more universal religious structures, reaffirming our commitment to the values of the apology.
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Thesis advisor: McCarron, Gary
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