Every day you probably think about or talk with somebody about indigenization.

Maybe you even think “ah ha,” my colleagues should hear about this story or idea; it might inspire them or give them insight.

Storytelling , oral histories, the perspectives of our people are an integral part of First Nations culture. Stories contribute to a collective story in which every indigenous person has a place: for many, stories are ways of passing down the beliefs and values of a culture in the hope that the new generations will treasure them and pass the story down further.  The story and the story teller both serve to connect the past with the future, one generation with the other, the land with the people and the people with the story. The themes of the stories tell us about our cultures: they employ familiar characters and motifs which can reassure as well as challenge (Tuhiwai Smith, 1999, pp. 144-145). Researcher Russell Bishop suggests that the indigenous community becomes a story that is a collection of individual stories, ever unfolding through the lives of the people who share the life of the community (Bishop, 1996, p. 169).

Bishop, R. (1996). Collaborative Research Stories. Palmerston North: Dunmore Press.

Tuhiwai Smith, L. (1999). Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. London, England: Zed Books Ltd.

Preparing for the Future:  You’ve got to do the Hard Work

or Searching for the Bone Needle, has heard from Eber Hampton at the Indigenizing the Academy Conference, Guest Speaker Discussions

Story: Coyote is in the forest and loses his needle. Owl comes and asks coyote ‘what’s wrong’? Coyote tells Owl ‘I’m looking for my needle.’ Owl says to Coyote ‘I’ll help you find your needle’ and then soars up into the sky and circles the area looking for the needle. He comes back down and tells Coyote ‘I didn’t find it, so it must not be here because if it were I would have seen it.’ Coyote was sad and tells Owl ‘I really need my needle…’ Owl sees the stress in Coyote’s face and asks him ‘where did you lose the needle?’ Coyote points to a completely different area and says ‘I lost it over there behind the bushes.’ Owl, looking perplexed asks Coyote ‘If you lost it way over there, why are you looking here?’ Coyote responds ‘because there’s light over here.’ The point of this story is that we must not do something because it’s easier or not-not do something because it’s harder.



This link is a place to tell those stories. Submit your stories here


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