How one becomes what one is: transformative journeys to allyship




Knudsgaard, Harald Bart

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This thesis explores the phenomenon of Indigenous/non-Indigenous allyship. In this thesis, Indigenous child welfare leaders were interviewed regarding their perspectives on allyship and were asked to identify non-Indigenous leaders whom they consider allies. Through a storytelling methodology, these non-Indigenous leaders were interviewed regarding their journeys to allyship. As the researcher I employed thematic analysis of the interviews conducted to determine if there are patterns that suggest a process through which a non-Indigenous person becomes an ally. Analysis of the literature and the interviews conducted suggest critical processes that non-Indigenous leaders have undergone, and comprise a series of steps, in the journey to allyship. The research questions addressed in this thesis are: (1) Are there process patterns or themes that emerge with the phenomenon of allyship? (2) Is there a framework that can be identified that can inform a settler leader’s journey to becoming an ally? The research findings suggest that there are essential process patterns that emerge with the phenomenon of allyship. Further, the findings suggest there is danger in suggesting a sequential or linear process for this journey of head, heart and spirit.



Ally, Allyship, Settler Ally, Non-Indigenous Ally, Indigenous Settler Relationship, Indigenous Child Welfare, Delegated Aboriginal Agency, Settler Social Worker, Indigenous Settler Partnership, Unsettling, Unbecoming, Reconciliation, Decolonizing