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
MSHKIKENH IKWE NIIN (I am Tutle Woman)
This dissertation offers the dibaajimowin (personal story) of my beading project, which I undertook to understand the enactment of Anishinaabe women’s knowledge in graduate research. Framed through the concept of a collective self, which is embedded within the Anishinaabe traditions of storytelling and beading, and drawing further from the aesthetics, processes, and teachings of these traditions so that I proceed in a good way, I am able to tell a story that is wholly Anishinaabe. Through the symbolic literacy present within the pieces of beadwork entitled:”Turtle Woman,” “Turtle Woman Meets Grandmother Moon,” “Turtle Woman Marries a Beaver,” and “Turtle Woman Slays the Big Fish,” which I present in the second half of this story, I explore the relationship among Anishinaabe women’s knowledges, self, identity, power relations, allyship, sovereignty and good governance in graduate research. I conclude that if graduate research is framed as an extension of an Anishinaabe space, an ethics of responsibility emerges, setting the stage for graduate research that is rooted in responsibility, contributing to efforts of Anishinaabe sovereignty and community wellness. Overall through my conclusion, as well as the process that I employ, I make contributions in the areas of Indigenous thought, Indigenous methodologies, Indigenous governance, feminism, critical theory, pedagogy, and ally theory. Author Keywords: Anishinaabe, beadwork, Indigenous knowledge, Indigenous methodology, Indigenous women, sovereignty
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
Re-Living the Residential School Experience
The residential school legacy is one of the darkest chapters in Canadian history. From the mid-1850s to 1996, thousands of Aboriginal children were taken from their homelands and placed in residential schools. Taken against their will, many dreaded attending these schools. Some attended for as long as ten to fifteen years, only to be strangers in their own communities upon their return. In the past thirty years, survivors began disclosing the loneliness, confusion, fear, punishment and humiliation they suffered within these institutions, and also reported traumatic incidents of sexual, physical or emotional abuse. These childhood traumas still haunt them today. This dissertation examines the four compensation processes (Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Independent Assessment Process and the Common Experience Process) used by survivors to determine whether the compensation payments made to them assisted in reconciliation of their residential school experience. To complete an analysis of the processes, twenty-four residential school survivors from Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia were interviewed about their experiences with one or more of the compensation processes. The study begins with a historical overview of the residential school legacy and continues with the residential school healing movement that initiated and finalized a negotiated settlement agreement for all living survivors. This dissertation provides a unique perspective to the residential school legacy by using a cultural framework, Anishinabe teachings and concepts to share the voices of residential school survivors. The pivotal Anishinabe teaching within this study comes from The Seventh Fire Prophecy. This prophecy states that: “If the New People will remain strong in their quest, the Waterdrum of the Midewiwin Lodge will again sound its voice.” In this dissertation the residential school survivors are the New People. As the dissertation unfolds the author utilizes various Anishinabe concepts to illustrate how the compensation processes failed to assist the New People to reconcile with their residential school experience. This study presents a medicine wheel understanding of reconciliation and the Residential School Legacy. It concludes with an important message to the second and third generation survivors to continue the reconciliatory efforts that the New People introduced. It is crucial that the children and grandchildren of the New People begin the reconciliation process not only for themselves but for the next seven generations. Author Keywords: Anishinabe, compensation, Indian residential schools, reconciliation, survivors
Gaagnig Pane Chiyaayong: Forever, We Will Remain, Reflections and Memories
ABSTRACT Gaagnig Pane Chiyaayong: Forever, We Will Remain Reflections and Memories: `Resiliency' Concerning the Walpole Island Residential School Survivors Group Theresa Turmel From 1830 to 1996, Canada pursued a policy of removing Indigenous children from their families and educating them in residential schools. In coming to terms with the harsh and abusive treatment they endured, many survivors from residential schools have formed organizations to support each other and to make their experiences known. This project is a result of a participatory, community-based partnership with one such group in southwestern Ontario, the Walpole Island Residential School Survivors Group (WIRSSG), many of whom attended Shingwauk Indian Residential School. Like most of the survivors of the WIRSSG, I am Anishinaabe but did not attend residential school. The survivors invited me to deeply listen to their life experiences in order to learn about their resiliency. Guided by traditional Anishinaabe teachings and using an Anishinaabe methodology, I interviewed thirteen survivors and considered their life stories within the context of the traditional Anishinaabe life cycle. In their descriptions of resiliency, what became clear to me was that they were describing life force energy. This life force energy is innate and holistic, and can be found within each of us. It manifests within all of our relations: land, animals, plants, ancestors and other people. The life force energy cannot be extinguished but can be severely dampened as was evident in the attempt to assimilate residential school students. From their accounts, we learn that students found ways to nurture their life force energy through relationships and acts of resistance. As they have continued on their life path, they have reclaimed their spirit and today, they are telling their stories and keeping this history alive for the benefit of future generations. Key words: Anishinaabe; Anishinaabe Mino-bimaadiziwin; Residential Schools; Aboriginal Residential School survivors; Indian Residential Schools; Indian Residential School survivors; life force energy; resilience; resiliency; resiliency theory; Walpole Island Residential School Survivors Group; Shingwauk; Shingwauk Indian Residential School Author Keywords: life force energy, residential school survivors, resiliency
maskihkîyâtayôhkêwina; mashkikiiwaadizookewin
maskihkîyâtayôhkêwina- mashkikiiwaadizookewin: Cree and Anishnaabe Narrative Medicine in the Renewal of Ancestral Literature Jud Sojourn This work represents an experiment in developing Cree and Anishnaabe nation-specific approaches to understanding Cree and Anishnaabe texts. The binding premise that guides this work has to do with narrative medicine, the concept that narrative arts, whether ancestral storytelling or current poetry have medicine, or the ability to heal and empower individuals and communities. As âtayôhkêwin in Cree and aadizookewin in Anishnaabemowin refer to ancestral traditional narratives, and while maskihkiy in Cree, and mashkiki in Anishnaabemowin refer to medicine, maskihkîyâtayôhkêwina and mashkikiiwaadizookewin mean simply `narrative medicine' in Cree and Anishnaabemowin respectively. After establishing a formative sense for what narrative medicine is, this work continues by looking at the bilingual Ojibwa Texts (1917, 1919) transcribed by William Jones in 1903-1905 on the north shore of Lake Superior and in northern Minnesota Anishnaabe communities, those spoken by Anishnaabe community members Gaagigebinesiikwe, Gaagigebinesii, Midaasookanzh, Maajiigaaboo, and Waasaagooneshkang. Then focus then turns to the bilingual Plains Cree Texts (1934) transcribed by Leonard Bloomfield at the Sweet Grass Reserve in Saskatchewan and spoken by Cree community members nâhnamiskwêkâpaw, sâkêwêw, cicikwayaw, kâ-kîsikaw pîhtokêw , nakwêsis, mimikwâs, and kâ-wîhkaskosahk. The themes that emerge from looking at these texts when combined with an appreciation for the poetics of the Cree and Anishnaabe languages provide the foundation for looking at newer poetry including the work of Cree poet Skydancer Louise Bernice Halfe, centering on the contemporary epic prayer-poem The Crooked Good (2007) and the works of Anishnaabe poet Marie Annharte Baker, focusing on Exercises in Lip Pointing (2003). Each poet emerged as having an understanding her own role in her respective nation as renewing the narrative practices of previous generations. Understandings of the shape or signature of each of the four works' unique kind of narrative medicine come from looking at themes that run throughout. In each of the four works the maskihkîyâtayôhkêwina - mashkikiiwaadizookewin, the narrative medicine they express occurs through or results in mamaandaawiziwin in Anishnaabemowin or mamâhtâwisiwin, in Cree - the embodied experience of expansive relationality. Keywords: Cree, Anishnaabe, nêhiyawêwin, Anishnaabemowin, narrative medicine, traditional stories, poetics, poetry, literary criticism, literary nationalism, Indigenous, indigenist. Author Keywords: Anishnaabe, Anishnaabemowin, Cree, Indigenous, nêhiyawêwin, Poetics
Maintaining Balance in Times of Change
Abstract Maintaining Balance in Times of Change: An Investigation into the Contemporary Self-Regulatory Dynamics that Operate in and around First Nations Traditional Healing Systems The evolution of health regulation processes in Canada has focused on the development of standards of practice premised upon the principle of `do no harm' and the approval of these by government regulatory agencies. This thesis examines three emerging communities of practice that bring traditional indigenous knowledge and indigenous healers forward into health care and their approaches to regulation. The results indicate that surrounding contexts of meaning influence understandings about self-regulation and that these understandings are dynamic because contemporary practices of First Nations traditional healing can occur in different contexts. The study cautions that unless we remain close to these `healer centred' contexts, there is no guarantee that the self-regulatory value systems stemming from modern Western medical communities of practice will not be applied by default or that the emerging `integrative' models of self-regulation developed between governments and First Nations will continue to reflect First Nations' understanding of self-regulation. Author Keywords: health and wellness, indigenous, self-determination, self-regulation, traditional healing
Sinaakssin (writing/picture)
Assimilative policies limit and disrupt the inclusion of Aboriginal values in most Aboriginal services today. This art-based, qualitative research study approaches that issue, and using symbolism and story a sample scenario was created to demonstrate the impact of assimilative policy on Aboriginal service delivery in a storyboard format. The storyboard was then presented to four traditional thinkers who contemplated the issues therein, and as they deconstructed, considered, and conferred they resolved the matter and produced four distinct models. Imagery is relied on as a traditional means of communication to capture and convey the research issue as a painted story. This research tested the viability of using imagery as a storyboard methodology for solving social issues. By using this approach this dissertation sought to answer the question, does Indigenous knowledge have the power to change the systemic structures that surround our services. For the analysis, did the three Indigenous knowledge paradigms effectively assist in determining the nature of the Indigenous knowledge applied? Author Keywords: collective community subjectivity, Indigenous methodology, paradigms, story, symbolic communication, symbolic representation
gi-mi-ni-go-wi-ni-nan o-gi-ma-wi-win zhigo o-gi-ma-win (The gifts of traditional leadership and governance)
ni' o-nah-ko-nah ah-di-so-kah-nahg zhigo di-bah-ji-mo-wi-nan g'dah mi-kwe-ni-mah-nahn obwandiacbun (nigig), tecumthabun (mizhibizhi), miinwaa shingwaukbun (ah-ji-jawk) (I ceremonially call upon the stories, the sacred and spiritual narratives and stories of personal experience... In the spirit of obwandiac, tecumtha and shingwauk) gi-mi-ni-go-wi-ni-nan o-gi-ma-wi-win zhigo o-gi-ma-win (The gifts of traditional leadership and traditional governance) explores anishinabe o-gi-ma-wi-win (traditional leadership and to be esteemed) from the point of view of obwandiac (nigig) in 1763, tecumtha (mizhibizhi) and shingwauk (ah-ji-hawk) in 1812 and 1850 respectively. It also examines the political and social significance of anishinabe o-gi-ma-win (traditional governance) and the n'swi-ish-ko-day-kawn anishinabeg o'dish-ko-day-kawn (Three Fires Confederacy) during the time of these esteemed leaders. The use of our ah-di-so-kah-nahg (sacred and spiritual stories), di-bah-ji-mo-wi-nan (stories of personal experience and reminiscences) and ah-way-chi-gay-wi-nan (moral stories) provides the opportunity to show how anishinabe people used different narratives to ah-way-chi-gay-win (teach by telling stories). In listening to these personal and intimate stories we have an opportunity to understand and explore these concepts of o-gi-ma-wi-win (traditional leadership and to be esteemed) and o-gi-ma-win (traditional governance). The first layer to this distinct way of knowing embodies anishinabe nah-nah-gah-dah-wayn-ji-gay-win (how we come to think this way about our reality and epistemology) and is expressed to us within our gah-wi-zi-maw-ji-say-muh-guhk (creation and stories of origin) and miskew ah-zha-way-chi-win (blood memory and the act of flowing). It states explicitly that we have always known where we came from, who we are, and how we fit into this world. anishinabe i-nah-di-zi-win (our way of being and way of life and ontology) lends voice to the second layer of anishinabe kayn-daw-so-win (traditional knowledge), which defines the responsibilities and expectations of anishinabe society, leadership and governance. Our ni-zhwa-sho gi-ki-nah-mah-gay-wi-nan (seven teachings), ni-zhwa-sho o-na-sho-way-wi-nan (seven sacred laws) and the relationship of the do-daim-mahg (clan system) are described within anishinabemowin, the language of our ceremonies and of the jeeskahn (shake tent). Harry Bone (2011)1, an elder from Keeseekoowenin First Nation suggests that ah-zhi-kay-ni-mo-nahd-a-di-sid bay-mah-di-sid (how we use our way of doing, thinking, ceremony and spirituality to find answers and methodology) represents a third layer that provides us with the ways and means to help us understand the essence of anishinabe nah-nah-gah-dah-wayn-ji-gay-win (how we come to think this way about our reality and epistemology and i-nah-di-zi-win (our way of being and way of life and ontology). This represents the literal and metaphoric o-dah-bah-ji-gahn (sacred bundle) and traditional approach that provides this narrative with the means to explore the ideas of leadership and governance from within a traditional construct. He adds that our spirituality and manitou kay-wi-nan (ceremonies) will be clearly defined and shared within this o-dah-bah-ji-ji-gahn (sacred bundle). It helps establish the spiritual core for this narrative. These anishinabe approaches to methodology (intimate conversations, family history and ceremony) are used to tell a story that mirrors the academic construct of interviews and document analysis. Therefore, the o-dah-bah-ji-gahn (sacred bundle) provides the nay-nahn-do-jee-kayn-chi-gayd (to dig around and research) tools to have this discussion exploring the traditional construct of anishinabe o-gi-ma-wi-win (traditional leadership and to be esteemed) and o-gi-ma-win (traditional governance). Lastly, it is important to understand that this traditional approach shows how these narratives are in-and-of-themselves powerful strategies in understanding anishinabe ah-yah-win (way of being and existence) and gah-gi-bi-i-zhi-say-mah-guhk (history). mii i'i-way anishinabe i-zhi-chi-gay-win (This is the anishinabe way) zhigo mii'iw eta-go o-way neen-gi-kayn-dahn zhigo ni-gi-noon-dah-wah (This is as much as I know and have heard) 1 Bone, Harry (Personal Communication) 2011. Author Keywords:

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