Weaving Histories




Benoit-Jansson, Annika

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My mother grew up in a family of 11 siblings, all born in 11 years and 11 days, in a small town in Nujio’qonik, Ktaqmkuk (Bay St. George, Newfoundland). Our family is French, Mi’kmaw, and Irish/English, and are some of the best storytellers I know. Through a series of semi-structure interviews with ten of the siblings, this research project set out to study family stories, passed down through generations, and the importance these stories play in fostering connections. The project continued an ever-growing process of building-up our own stories and understandings of our connection to home, to Nujio’qonik, to who we are and where we come from, and is set against the backdrop of complicated personal and community journeys of identity and recognition of Ktaqmkukewey (Newfoundland) Mi’kmaq people. At the core of the research, I was looking to study connection and stories, and, just like a story should be, the process was one of twists and turns, weaving and unravelling, re-building and re-telling. As this abstract gives a glimpse of, this thesis is not so much a clean summary of the results and findings, but rather a story in itself – a story of the process of finding connections and yet not studying them, of taking the data from the academy and re-creating a collection of stories that no longer exist in this space. And, like so many good stories I have heard, there’s a trickster, in this case Blue Jay, who hops in regularly to remind me of what I am missing, to keep me laughing [often at myself], and to guide me through not only the research process, but the very words you are reading here now.



Indigenous knowledges, Storytelling, Newfoundland, Trickster, Indigenous methodologies, Family histories, mixed methods, children and youth