Honouring our ancestral wisdom: a Squamish way of life




McReynolds, Kelley

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The foundation of this research was to establish a framework based on ceremonial work, gathering around fires of the longhouse to honour our ancestral wisdom. As a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Coast Salish researcher and social work practitioner, I noticed an absence of specific west coast Indigenous and Coast Salish knowledge that would help inform social work practices, experiences and understanding in order to be good helpers and relatives within Indigenous community. I applied the Tl’áḵtax̱an longhouse model as a research methodology framework that guides an approach of traditional story-telling and place- based Coast Salish teachings and weaves together a cedar basket of knowledge. The intention of this study was to explore traditional knowledge that may offer pathways to build relational practice for social workers to form a deeper understanding of how to be good helpers and relatives in community. Respectful practice that is foundational to restore harmony, dignity and repair from colonial harm.



ancestral knowledge, indigenous knowledge