Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Code of Bimadiziwin
Indigenous peoples and organizations have a long history of incorporating cultural knowledge and teachings into program and organizational design and structure. The approach to incorporating cultures into Indigenous organizations is not uniform, nor is the ways that they are understood. This dissertation focuses on Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, in Peterborough Ontario and their approach to incorporating Indigenous cultures into their organization from 2010-2014. The intention of this dissertation is to build knowledge of Indigenous perspectives of organizational structure, grounded in Anishinabe teachings. The teaching circle, vision- time – feeling –movement, guides my learning process and the structure of the dissertation. In using an Anishinabe framework the importance of relationships and the Anishinabe clan system are foundational to my understanding, and will be discussed at length. The purpose and goal of this research is twofold. First, to show the complexity, intentionality and depth to an Indigenous research process; a process that is often nuanced in the literature. Second, to show how Anishinabe thought can (and does) provide a framework for a service delivery organization, in its governance and program and service delivery. The thesis of this dissertation is that Anishinabe knowledge is not always visible to outsiders, but it was present at Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre in the ways they approached research, governed themselves and delivered programs and services. Key Words: Indigenous Knowledge, Indigenous Governance, Indigenous Research Ethics, Indigenous Research Framework Author Keywords: Indigenous Governance, Indigenous Knowledge, Indigenous Research Ethics, Indigenous Research Framework
Native Art as seen through Native Eyes
Since the end of the Second World War, artists of Native descent have engaged with the Fine Art world where their work has come to be placed in the category of Native art. As a result of my journey, I have come to realize that in the Fine Art world the term Native art tends to be associated with the practices of our ancestors in times past obscuring our contemporary nature. In the present day context, however, I see an evolution and will tell the stories of the artists I met, who became a part of my life and thus a part of my narrative to point out that the voices of contemporary artists of Native descent, when speaking of their work, demonstrate a modern form of Native creativity, pride and joy that needs to be properly recognized. While Native artists do respect our traditions and do deal with issues of importance to our communities, they also create their artwork using sophisticated and modern techniques. It is up to us to make our contemporary nature known far and wide. A storytelling approach based on the Michael Thrasher Medicine Wheel Teachings is employed to present the voices of our contemporary artists of Native descent who when speaking of their work create a rich and vibrant story of Native creativity, pride and joy. Author Keywords: Culture, Elder, Indigenous Knowledge, Native Art, Storytelling
Hiya 'aa ma pichas 'ope ma hammako he ma pap'oyyisko (Let Us Understand Again our Grandmothers and our Grandfathers)
The Tamalko (Coast Miwok) North Central California Indigenous people have lived in their homelands since their beginnings. California Indigenous people have suffered violent and uncompromising colonial assaults since European contact began in the 16th century. However, many contemporary Indigenous Californians are thriving today as they reclaim their Native American sovereign rights, cultural renewal, and well-being. Culture Bearers are working diligently as advocates and teachers to re-cultivate Indigenous consciousness and knowledge systems. The Tamalko author offers Indigenous perspectives for hinak towis hennak (to make a good a life) through an ethno-autobiographical account based on narratives by Culture Bearers from four Indigenous North Central California Penutian-speaking communities and the author’s personal experiences. A Tamalko view of finding and speaking truth hinti wuskin ʼona (what the heart says) has been the foundational principle of the research method used to illuminate and illustrate Indigenous North Central California consciousness. Author Keywords: Consciousness, Culture Bearers, Indigenous, North Central California, Penutian, re-cultivation

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