Theses (Indigenous Governance)

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 26
  • Item
    Active Witnessing: Decolonizing Transmogrified Ontology and Locating Confluences of Everyday Acts of Reconciliation
    (2022-05-05) Eriksen, Machenka; Corntassel, Jeff
    This research is inspired by Albert Memmi’s paradox of the colonizer who refuses, yet remains the colonizer, complicit in colonial structures. It is explorative, qualitative, speculative and possibility orientated. It utilizes a Critical Disability Theory (CDT) lens to seek out confluences with Indigenous Resurgence, decolonial actions and reconciliation praxis. It explores the concept of Everyday Acts as being applicable for resurgence projects and non-indigenous solidarity and reconciliation practices that center Indigenous self-determination and land and water based lifeways as paramount to ecological justice. The research design is phenomenological, embodied and transformative. It endeavours to explore some of the more nuanced pockets of possibility for emergent ally-ship, and solidarity within the context of the settler who refuses through engaging with Access Intimacy, symbiosis/solidarity, gifting economy, failure as praxis, and relationship building. It does this through a thematic literature review, an interview and the idea of email essays as Life Writing. Interview and Email essays are offered as phenomenological life writings from four Collaborators, that share personal insights and stories conveying everyday experiences of accountability, responsibility, community care, community engagement, intergenerationality, embodiment, disability, collaboration, friendship and everyday acts. In concentrating on the smaller felt spaces of engagement, this modest research project hopes to bring insight and awareness to how small conscientious intergenerational everyday acts of solidarity can catalyze meaningful change and the possibility of transformation. To conclude, the research offers a discussion and some recommendations for future research.
  • Item
    Let us not drift: Indigenous justice in an age of reconciliation
    (2021-09-10) George, Rachel; Corntassel, Jeff; Stark, Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik
    At the turn of the 21st century, truth commissions arose as a new possibility to address the violence and trauma of removing Indigenous children from their families and nations in what is now known as North America. The creation of two truth and reconciliation commissions in Canada and Maine marked an important step in addressing Indigenous demands for justice and the end of harm, alongside Indigenous calls for truth-telling. Holding Indigenous conceptions of justice at its core, this dissertation offers a comparative tracing of the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2009-2015) and the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2013-2015) as they investigated state practices of removing Indigenous children from their homes and nations. More specifically, this dissertation examines the ways these truth commissions have intersected with Indigenous stories and how Indigenous stories can inform how we understand the work of truth and reconciliation commissions as they move to provide a form of justice for our communities. Within both commission processes, stories of Indigenous experiences in residential schools and the child welfare system were drawn from the perceived margins of settler colonial society in an effort to move towards truth, healing, reconciliation and justice. Despite this attempted inclusion of stories of Indigenous life experiences, I argue that deeply listening to Indigenous stories ¬¬in their various forms—life/ experiential stories, and traditional stories—illuminates the ways that the practice of reconciliation has become disconnected from Indigenous understandings of justice. As such, I argue that listening to Indigenous stories, not just hearing the words but instead taking them to heart, engaging with them and allowing them to guide us, moves toward more informed understandings of what justice looks like for Indigenous communities.
  • Item
    Land as Body: Indigenous womxn’s* leadership, land-based wellness and embodied governance
    (2020-01-27) Gilpin, Erynne M.; Reading, Charlotte Loppie
    As many Indigenous voices and teachings reveal, individual practices of leadership are an everyday commitment to cultural resurgence and actualize within the personal spaces of the home, kitchen table, garden, birth-room and familial relations. Individual enactments of leadership are further determined by personal sense of agency derived from feelings of personal wellness, community well-being, relational balance and alignment of the mental, spiritual, emotional and physical selves. Healthy environments, including territories that encompass Land and Water, are essential for overall community wellness. This issertation examines emergent themes of Indigenous wellness, governance and gender to broaden current definitions of Indigenous governance and leadership towards a gendered, storied and embodied understanding. Countering the notion that governance and wellness are separate entities within the field of Indigenous Governance, this paper draws the Indigenous body into focus as a crucial site for self-determination in what I define as embodied governance. In doing so, we situate the Indigenous body within a self-determination framework that brings together critical Indigenous studies, Indigenous governance and culturally grounded wellness practices. Utilizing narrative inquiry, storytelling methods, relationship based models of accountability, this research project included the guided conversations of 17 self-identified Indigenous Womxn between 21-60 years of age from 10 different Nations, to explore: definitions of leadership in their everyday lives, the conditions for their personal wellness and community well-being, and finally, how these notions are predicated upon meaningful relationship to Land/Waters. My research defines wellness and well-being within the Cree-Michif framework of Miyo-Pimatisiwin (personal wellness, self-care, healing, internal balance) and Miyo-Wîchêtowin (care for others, accountability and belonging, kinship, relational governance, external balance). These concepts inform what I define as an embodied governance framework of self-determination to engage in ongoing efforts of personal, community, Land/Water-based healing for the purpose of protecting the future of generations to come. The final analysis celebrates and honours on-the-ground practices of embodied governance by focusing on rooted examples of creative resurgence, Land-Water based healing practices and a focus on an emergent theme of embodied birth and reproductive governance. These learnings support that determinants of individual leadership must be supported by a sense of personal wellness contained by relationship to Land and Waters. The dissertation begins with a critical examination of the colonial underpinnings that sabotage community healing, wellness and traditions of governance as derived by relationship to home Lands and Waters. In this way, I aim to interrupt the predominant trope of the Indigenous body or community as continuously in crisis. Instead, this paper situates Indigenous healing practices as radical sites of governance. This dissertation argues for the reconsideration of self-determination as embodied governance, which begins with the body as a site of regeneration, resurgence and renewal.
  • Item
    A summary of constructed principles of the Saulteau First Nation
    (2017-09-12) Hetu, Nicole M.; Brown, Leslie Allison
    The purpose of this thesis is to put forth a summary of principles that reflect the local knowledge of the people within the Saulteau First Nations Community. This summary of principles is a tool of compiled oral knowledge that reflects community values and mind-sets and which might offer tangible solutions to guide community protocols, program development or to possibly frame future policies. 11 Principles are the highlighted expressions or codes of conduct that express cultural meaning to a people. Principles help make sense of and instill ethics or morals within a community. These cultural belief systems continue to be practiced through hunting techniques and patterns and by exercises based on beliefs that reveal a value system originating in the spiritual relationship with the natural life forms, animals, plants and spirits. Within the practical motions lie the spoken and unspoken codes, principles, values and beliefs of the people. This allows the community to determine its values and articulate important teachings that give expression to notions of cultural identity. The summary of constructed principles of the Saulteau First Nations Community is as follows: 1. wahkowtowin 2. kiyam 3. kisiwatsoon 4. matinawewin 5. nisohkamakewin 6. ka nisohkamowatwan kitotfmak 7. nihiyew tapsinowin "We are all relatives" (Art Napoleon). To let go is a necessary concept in the process of healing. Compassion is a necessary quality that instills harmony connecting the community. An offering of thanks in honor of the provisions of life is necessary to ensure prosperity from the Creator. Somebody that helps is vital for community survival. "You are a servant to the people" (Art Napoleon). "We have to go back to our Indian laws and that is when we will have harmony amongst each other" (Stewart Cameron). The principles link local forms of knowledge necessary that may guide imposed policies and structures. Further research will be beneficial to the people and should also reflect the range of cultures that have formed the community's ancestry within the present day Saulteau First Nations Community.
  • Item
    Creative Combat: Indigenous Art, Resurgence, and Decolonization
    (2015-09-17) Martineau, Jarrett; Alfred, Taiaiake
    This dissertation examines the transformative and decolonizing potential of Indigenous art-making and creativity to resist ongoing forms of settler colonialism and advance Indigenous nationhood and resurgence. Through a transdisciplinary investigation of contemporary Indigenous art, aesthetics, performance, music, hip-hop and remix culture, the project explores indigeneity’s opaque transits, trajectories, and fugitive forms. In resistance to the demands and limits imposed by settler colonial power upon Indigenous artists to perform indigeneity according to settler colonial logics, the project examines creative acts of affirmative refusal (or creative negation) that enact a resistant force against the masked dance of Empire by refusing forms of visibility and subjectivity that render indigeneity vulnerable to commodification and control. Through extensive interviews with Indigenous artists, musicians, and collectives working in a range of disciplinary backgrounds across Turtle Island, I stage an Indigenous intervention into multiple discursive forms of knowledge production and analysis, by cutting into and across the fields of Indigenous studies, contemporary art and aesthetics, performance studies, critical theory, political philosophy, sound studies, and hip-hop scholarship. The project seeks to elaborate decolonial political potentialities that are latent in the enfolded act of creation which, for Indigenous artists, both constellate new forms of community, while also affirming deep continuities within Indigenous practices of collective, creative expression. Against the colonial injunction to ‘represent’ indigeneity according to a determinate set of coordinates, I argue that Indigenous art-making and creativity function as the noise to colonialism’s signal: a force capable of disrupting colonial legibility and the repeated imposition of the normative order. Such force gains power through movement and action; it is in the act of turning away from the colonial state, and toward one another, that spaces of generative indeterminacy become possible. In the decolonial cypher, I claim, new forms of being elsewhere and otherwise have the potential to be realized and decolonized.  
  • Item
    Kaa-tipeyimishoyaahk - ‘We are those who own ourselves’: a political history of Métis self-determination in the North-West, 1830-1870
    (2014-02-13) Gaudry, Adam James Patrick; Corntassel, Jeff
    This dissertation offers an analysis of the history of Métis political thought in the nineteenth century and its role in the anti-colonial resistances to Canada’s and Hudson’s Bay Company governance. Utilizing the Michif concepts of kaa-tipeyimishoyaahk and wahkohtowin to shed light on Métis political practices, this work argues that the Métis people had established themselves as an independent Indigenous people in the nineteenth century North West. By use of a common language of prairie diplomacy, Métis had situated themselves as a close “relation” of the Hudson’s Bay Company, but still politically independent of it. Nineteenth century Métis had repeatedly demonstrated their independence from British institutions of justice and politics, and were equally insistent that Canadian institutions had no authority over them. When they did choose to form a diplomatic relationship with Canada, it was decidedly on Métis terms. In 1869-1870, after repelling a Canadian official who was intended to establish Canadian authority over the North-West, the Métis formed a provisional government with their Halfbreed cousins to enter into negotiations with Canada to establish a confederal treaty relationship. The Provisional Government of Assiniboia then sent delegates to Ottawa to negotiate “the Manitoba Treaty,” a bilateral constitutional document that created a new province of Manitoba, that would contain a Métis/Halfbreed majority, as well as very specific territorial, political, social, cultural, and economic protections that would safeguard the Métis and Halfbreed controlled future of Manitoba. This agreement was embodied only partially in the oft-cited Manitoba Act, as several key elements of the agreement were oral negotiations that were later to be institutionalized by the Canadian cabinet, although were only ever partially implemented. These protections included restrictions on the sale of the 1.4 million acre Métis/Halfbreed land reserve, a commitment to establish a Métis/Halfbreed controlled upper-house in the new Manitoba legislature, a temporary limitation of the franchise to current residents of the North West, and restrictions on Canadian immigration to the new province until Métis lands were properly distributed. While these key components of the Manitoba Treaty were not included in the Manitoba Act, they remain a binding part of the agreement, and thus, an unfulfilled obligation borne by the contemporary government of Canada. Without adhering to Canada’s treaty with the Métis people, its presence on Métis lands, and jurisdiction over Métis people is highly suspect. Only by returning to the original agreement embodied by the Manitoba Act can Canada claim any legitimacy on Métis territories or any functional political relationship with the Métis people.
  • Item
    Mythologies of an (un)dead Indian
    (2012-03-22) Leween, Jackson Twobears; Kroker, Arthur; Alfred, Taiaiake
    This dissertation explores the aesthetics of contemporary Indigenous identity— its various manifestations, simulations, hybridizations, (dis)appearances, and liminalities. It is a project about the lived experience of ancestry conceived of through narratives of shapeshifting, virtuality, sacrifice, hauntings and possession. This project is representative of a period of time in an on-going journey that began long before these first words were written…and one that I intend will continue long after this book’s completion. The methodological approach to this work is multifaceted, encompassing the fields of Indigenous philosophy, digital media art and cultural studies. It is a project comprised of several interrelated strands of theoretical speculation, philosophical inquiry and creative engagement. This dissertation is in many ways an autobiographical text—a meditation on my own Kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) heritage and the spaces I occupy in the world as Onkwehonwe (an Indigenous person). At its core it is about exploring different modes of engagement with my own ancestral ‘territories’, while at the same time it endeavors to ask larger questions about collective memory, community, and cultural inheritance. In being representative of a journey, the interrelated strands of writings in this text are meant to be traversal, and are about surveying and mapping different intellectual and creative territories. This text is about crossing interdisciplinary zones of theoretical inquiry that occur at the intersection and hybridization of Indigenous and Western philosophies, contemporary First Nations performance art and post-structuralist theory. It is a work comprised of ebbs and flows, movements, refrains, and cascades of articulation that interpenetrate and cross over into one another. This text is therefore best thought of as a series of theoretical passageways—a multiplicity of thoughts and critical engagements in motion, translation and conversion. It must be said that the traversals and crossings in this text are not necessarily about establishing a synthesis between differing ideologies, philosophies or cosmologies. It is not intended to be dichotomous, but rather should be read as a remix-theory that passes in-between different fields of critical inquiry. For while on the one hand this text seeks to explore different zones of intellectual and creative proximity, it is also a work that emerges from within a multitude of contradictions and myriad incommensurabilities.
  • Item
    Nehiyaw iskwew kiskinowâtasinahikewina -- paminisowin namôya tipeyimisowin: Cree women learning self determination through sacred teachings of the Creator.
    (2011-10-17) Makokis, Janice Alison; Suzack, Cheryl
    This thesis explores self determination through the lens of Cree First Nation members located in northeastern Alberta, Canada. The researcher utilizes the talking circle to explore how Cree leaders define self determination. Four prominent themes; 1) identity and western influences 2) personal transformation 3) searching for nehiyaw pimatsowin and 4) commitment and responsibility evolve from the stories shared. Cree spirituality and the need to involve ‘self’ in ceremony proves to be the foundation upon which Cree self determination is founded. This thesis moves towards, “Learning Self Determination Through the Sacred Embedded Teachings and Responsibilities given to Cree Women by the Creator”.
  • Item
    Kwin tsaniine das delh = (Returning to the home fire) : an indigenous reclamation.
    (2011-10-17) Wickham, Molly; Wilson, Angela Cavender
    This thesis explores how the Canadian colonial practice of systematic separation of Indigenous children from families and communities has affected displaced Indigenous people and how grassroots community efforts may serve to bring home stolen generations, thereby re-asserting Indigenous control over cultural survival. Given that the thousands of Indigenous children currently in the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development will grow up disconnected from their communities, this research addresses a dire need amongst Indigenous populations. Through in-depth interviews with displaced individuals, this study seeks to not only illuminate the experiences and needs of displaced people; it also situates this trauma within the context of colonialism. Further, using the Gitdumden (Bear/Wolf) clan of the Wet‟suwet‟en Nation in northern British Columbia as a case study, this research illuminates how a community can strategize solutions for re-integrating displaced community members as a direct response to Canada‟s colonial project.
  • Item
    Decolonization as relocalization: conceptual and strategic frameworks of the Parque de la Papa, Qosqo.
    (2011-08-26) Grey, Sam; Corntassel, Jeff
    The work at hand traces the trajectory of one particular iteration of decolonization praxis, from its origins in pre-colonial Andean thought through to the consciously traditional collective life being forged by six Quechua communities in Qosqo, Perú. It diverges from other investigations of Indigenous praxes by undertaking a purposefully non-comparative analysis of both the concepts and strategies employed, as well as of the consonances and tensions between the two. The case study detailed here offers a rebuttal to prior theories of an Indigenous political absence in the Peruvian highlands through offering evidence of a uniquely Andean place-based politics. It details efforts to revitalize and repatriate the cultural landscape of the Quechua ayllu, drawing on a variety of tactics to assert the primacy of the relationship between Andean Peoples and Andean lands. This is decolonization as relocalization, wherein the near-ubiquitous ‘local’ of non- and anti-state discourses is reconceptualised as ‘emplacement.’
  • Item
    Awuwanainithukik: living an authentic Omushkegowuk Cree way of life : a discussion on the regeneration and transmission of Nistam Eniniwak existences.
    (2011-06-01) Daigle, Michelle; Alfred, Taiaiake
    This thesis will explore the regeneration and transmission of Indigenous people’s knowledge systems and practices in our communities today. The Omushkegowuk Cree teaching of awuwanainithukik (living an authentic Cree way of life by following our ancestors values and beliefs) is used as a foundation for creating pathways of resurgence. A family’s journey of reciprocal ceremonial regeneration will be used as a case in point to reveal how Indigenous people can create meaningful and transformational changes within their minds and hearts when they begin to take action according to their ancestral teachings. The challenges Indigenous people encounter on their path of cultural regeneration will be discussed in light of the current religious, economic, political and psychological issues colonialism has inflicted upon our communities. By living according to the teaching of awuwanainithukik Indigenous people can regenerate their authentic ways of being in the world despite of the historical and continuing effects of colonialism.
  • Item
    Ogichitaakwe regeneration
    (2010-11-16T17:31:00Z) McGuire Adams, Tricia; Alfred, Taiaiake
    This thesis explores regenerating Anishinaabekwe (women’s) empowerment. The teaching of the ogichitaakwe (an Anishinaabekwe who is committed to helping the Anishinaabe people) was investigated to gain knowledge of how this aspect of the Anishinaabekwe ideology can be used to challenge the effects of colonialism in community. The goal of the thesis is to frame solutions to the effects of colonialism from the foundation of empowerment via the Anishinaabekwe ideology. The thesis examines how the Anishinaabekwe ideology in collaboration with radical indigenous feminism is useful in challenging colonialism. To this end, the utilization of self-consciousness-raising groups or Wiisokotaatiwin (gathering together for a purpose) provides the opportunity to address personal decolonization and regeneration. The author will show that by committing to the Anishinaabekwe ideology, the effects of colonialism will be addressed from a place of empowerment and ultimately regenerate the Anishinaabe Nation.
  • Item
    Nuu-chah-nulth economic development and the changing nature of our relationships within the Ha'hoolthlii of our Ha'wiih
    (2010-08-27T15:55:32Z) Atleo, Clifford Gordon; Corntassel, Jeff
    This thesis examines Nuu-chah-nulth economic development and the changing nature of the relationships within our territories - the Ha’hoolthlii of our Ha’wiih - since Europeans first arrived and the occupation of our lands and waters by Settlers. I explore the implications of these changing relationships on Nuu-chah-nulth identity and our relational obligations within a worldview that understands that Heshookish tsawalk – “Everything is one.” I take a process-oriented perspective on identity beginning with the premise that living Nuu-chah-nulth-aht is more powerful and significant than simply being Nuu-chah-nulth. The recent proliferation of controversial economic development activities within Nuu-chah-nulth territories has spurred my interests in these issues. The form of economic development has some key characteristics that concern me. The first is that the economic development projects under way are of a particularly harmful and unsustainable nature. The second is the emerging trend of Nuu-chah-nulth partnerships in these ventures, epitomizing what I characterize as Aboriginal economic development. Instead of opposing development that threatens our traditional and adaptive practices, we are now involved as proponents and participants. To my surprise, these trends are not merely recent manifestations, but go back all the way to the arrival of Captain James Cook on our shores in the eighteenth century. At the heart of my research is our historically extensive participation in the various coastal commercial fisheries that have dramatically declined in recent decades. The purpose of this thesis is to create greater understanding of our present predicaments, re-evaluate our sense of agency, and encourage further critical debate on the potentially harmful economic development projects that will allow us to re-evaluate and heal our relationships within our territories.
  • Item
    Miyo wahkotowin: self-determination, colonialism and pre-reserve Nehiyaw forms of power
    (2010-04-30T19:46:50Z) Wildcat, Matthew; Alfred, Taiaiake
    This thesis explores whether reviving pre-reserve Nehiyaw forms of power represents a strategy of self-determination. To start, an understanding of colonialism is advanced based on the idea that colonialism is an intersectional process that involves both the actions perpetrated from a settler society unto Indigenous peoples, and the legacy of dysfunction that is left with Indigenous peoples as a result of colonization. Second, an understanding of pre-reserve Nehiyaw forms of power is developed, with a focus on how the interaction of legitimacy and authority can be used to explain pre-reserve Nehiyaw forms of power. Finally, I examine if reviving pre-reserve Nehiyaw forms of power represents a strategy of self-determination that addresses the intersectional nature of colonialism. I argue that it does, but in order to revive pre-reserve forms of power we must displace band councils as the site where we imagine a revival of pre-reserve Nehiyaw forms of power.
  • Item
    Regenerating Haa-huu-pah as a foundation of Quu'asminaa governance
    (2010-04-08T20:21:11Z) Ogilvie, Chiinuuks; Corntassel, Jeff
    Regenerating haa-huu-pah is necessary for the development of a vision of self-determination, and the reclamation of land and freedom for Indigenous peoples. Tla-o-qui-aht and Checlesaht are Indigenous nations who recognize the need for an alternative to colonial processes and have begun looking for strategies for regenerating Quu'asminaa governance. Quu'asminaa leaders, called 'hawiih' (respected and knowledgeable people). were. and in some families continue to be, groomed from an early age to uphold their specific responsibilities. These responsibilities are both personal and collective and include adhering to the laws of the hahuuthlii (the territories, including land, sea. mountains and sky), as well as accountability to the muschim. Hawiih are taught these responsibilities through haa-huu-pah, which are the re-telling of stories, teachings, and ways of our people. Today, utilizing haa-huu-pah is vital to the regeneration of Quu'asminaa governance and to building strong movements toward self-determination within Indigenous communities.
  • Item
    Being colonial: colonial mentalities in Canadian settler society and political theory
    (2010-03-31T22:45:18Z) Barker, Adam Joseph; Alfred, Taiaiake
    Taking the stance that, in order to combat colonization at a fundamental level, it is necessary to understand the social and personal motivations behind colonial actions, this thesis is an explicit study of the hidden psycho-social workings of the colonial members of Settler Canada. This thesis, through an examination of literature critically engaged with historic and contemporary imperialism and colonialism, attempts to develop a description of the "colonial mentality" within the Settler society of contemporary Canada. Having developed this description. this thesis explores the existence of these colonial mentalities in the works of several prominent Canadian political theorists - Alan Cairns, Will Kymlicka, and Patrick Macklem - in order to demonstrate that these theories are motivated by and reinforce colonial and imperial thought. Finally, this thesis will synthesize the works of several radical Settler theorists, including Richard Day and Paulette Regan, in order to demonstrate that alternatives to the colonial project can and do exist for Settler peoples.
  • Item
    Towards Anishnaabe governance and accountability: reawakening our relationships and sacred Bimaadiziwin
    (2010-02-19T16:25:34Z) Watts, Vanessa A.; Corntassel, Jeff
    This thesis will examine the interrelationships that exist between individuals and collectives in Anishnaabe governance systems. These relationships are defined by roles and responsibilities that ultimately contribute to how governance is expressed amongst Anishnaabeg. Given the current fragmented and assimilatory basis for governing indigenous communities as evidenced through rights-based discourse in Settler society, it is crucial to renew our obligation as Anishnaabeg to Kaagoogiiwe-Enaakoonige (Sacred Law) so as to represent ourselves and our philosophies. This paper will explore four levels of interrelationships and governance - the individual, the family and clan, the community and the nation. These levels of interrelationships will be examined in terms of Anishnaabe Gchi-Twaawendamowinan (The Seven Sacred Gifts or the Seven Grandfather Teachings). The duties and obligations within these identified relationships will be connected to how Anishnaabeg are represented within governance systems that our Kaagoogiiwe-Enaakoonige calls for. Maintaining Anishnaabe Gchi-Twaawendamowinan in the creation and renewal of our relationships is crucial to our obligation to Kaagoogiiwe-Enaakoonige and thereby truly representing ourselves, given the continued imposition of Settler value systems which continue to oppress us.
  • Item
    Revitalizing memory in honour of Maseko Ngoni's indigenous Bantu governance
    (2010-02-11T19:40:50Z) Mucina, Devi Dee; Corntassel, Jeff
    In this thesis we will show that individually we still have memory, which allows us to recognise our ways of living. To recognise is to remember. Thus, we intend to offer ways of regenerating Maseko Ngoni governance by reviving the personal memories of the Ubantu collective through embracing our languages, histories, politics, medicine. economics and spirituality. The research methodology used in this thesis is inclusive of all Ubantu sacred oral evidence while challenging some written sources and welcoming others as ways of sharing our personal memories as an act of reviving our collective knowledge (memories). We show that this shared knowledge is the basis of our sustainable Indigenous governance because it is motivated by respect for the land and the people (inclusive of all living things).
  • Item
    Unsettling the settler within: Canada's peacemaker myth, reconciliation, and transformative pathways to decolonization
    (2009-12-03T18:59:55Z) Regan, Paulette Yvonne Lynette; Alfred, Taiaiake
    This study challenges a popular Canadian national myth that characterizes Settlers as "benevolent" peacemakers - not perpetrators of violence in our relations with Indigenous peoples. I trace this foundational myth from its historical roots in 19th century treatymaking to a contemporary discourse of reconciliation that purports to be transformative, but simply perpetuates colonial relations. I argue that Settler violence against Indigenous peoples is woven into the fabric of Canada's national history in an unbroken thread from past to present that we must "unsettle" and "restory." making substantive space for Indigenous history: counternarratives of diplomacy, law and peacemaking practices, on transformative pathways to decolonizing Canada. This requires a better understanding of what role myth, ritual and history play in perpetuating or transforming Indigenous-Settler conflict. I propose a pedagogical strategy for "unsettling the Settler within" to explore the unsettling, potentially decolonizing and transformative power of testimony in public acts of restitution, apology. truth-telling and remembrance; and restorying- the making of space for Indigenous history. diplomacy. law, and peacemaking practices enacted in story, ceremony and ritual. I suggest that Settlers must confront our real identity as perpetrators - a deeply unsettling task. Dislodging the false premise of the benevolent peacemaker myth requires a paradigm shift that moves Settlers from a culture of denial that is the hallmark of perpetrators of violence towards an ethics of recognition that guides our attempts to become authentic peacemakers and Indigenous allies. The study mirrors this process. linking theory to my own critical. reflective practice. I critique reconciliation discourse in a case study of Canada's approach to settling Indian residential school claims. I describe my personal experience in an apology feast held for Gitxsan residential school survivors as an example of unsettling the Settler within and restorying that, despite its specificity, has broader applicability for designing truth-telling and reconciliation processes.
  • Item
    Anishinaabemodaa Pane Oodenang: a qualitative study of Anishinaabe language revitalization as self-determination in Manitoba and Ontario
    (2009-08-31T22:20:42Z) Pitawanakwat, Brock Thorbjorn; Alfred, Taiaiake
    Anishinaabeg (including Odawa, Potawatomi, Ojibwe, Saulteaux, and Chippewa) are striving to maintain and revitalize Anishinaabemowin (the Anishinaabe language) throughout their territories. This dissertation explores Anishinaabemowin revitalization to find out its participants’ motivations, methods, and mobilization strategies in order to better understand how Indigenous language revitalization movements contribute to decolonization and self-determination. Interviews with Anishinaabe language activists, scholars, and teachers inform this investigation of their motivations and pedagogies for revitalizing Anishinaabemowin. Interviews took place in six Canadian cities as well as four reserves: Brandon, Peterborough, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Toronto and Winnipeg; Lac Seul First Nation, M’Chigeeng First Nation, Sagamok First Nation, and Sault Tribe of Chippewas Reservation. A variety of language revitalization initiatives were explored including those outside the parameters of mainstream adult educational institutions, particularly evening and weekend courses, and language or culture camps. This investigation addresses the following questions: Why have Anishinaabeg attempted to maintain and revitalize Anishinaabemowin? What methods have they employed? Finally, how does this emerging language revitalization movement intersect with other efforts to decolonize communities, restore traditional Anishinaabe governance, and secure self-determination? The study concludes that Anishinaabemowin revitalization and Anishinaabe aspirations for self-determination are interconnected and mutually-supporting goals whose realization will require social movements supported by effective community-based leadership.