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In the footprints of our ancestors : exploring the reconnection to my Cree ancestors (âniskôtapânak) and ancestral land in the Lesser Slave Lake area

Author: Jeannette R Sinclair; University of Alberta. Department of Educational Policy Studies.
Publisher: ©2013.
Dissertation: Ph. D. University of Alberta 2013
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : Biography : eBook   Computer File : English
Summary:
This work reveals the relationship between Indigenous people and land, and then speaks to the place for ancestors and Indigenous knowledge in this relationship. It engages with Indigenous Research Methodology that honours Indigenous ways of knowing and being, drawing on the lived experiences of Indigenous people from the Lesser Slave Lake area and giving meaning and voice to the lives of the people. This study  Read more...
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Details

Named Person: Jeannette R Sinclair
Material Type: Biography, Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Jeannette R Sinclair; University of Alberta. Department of Educational Policy Studies.
OCLC Number: 871702176
Notes: "A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Indigenous Peoples Education, Department of Educational Policy Studies."
Description: 1 online resource ([10], 205 pages, plates) : facsimiles, genealogical table, color maps
Responsibility: by Jeannette Reva Sinclair.

Abstract:

This work reveals the relationship between Indigenous people and land, and then speaks to the place for ancestors and Indigenous knowledge in this relationship. It engages with Indigenous Research Methodology that honours Indigenous ways of knowing and being, drawing on the lived experiences of Indigenous people from the Lesser Slave Lake area and giving meaning and voice to the lives of the people. This study addresses the marginalization of the people, their dispossession of land, and the disconnection to Indigenous language and culture that occurred as a result of oppression, colonization, and subjugation of their traditional territories, knowledge, history and identities. The work examines the relationship that connects Indigenous Cree identity with the sense of belonging that is essential to Indigenous ways of knowing. This work draws on ancestral relationships of the past, reclaiming and validating Indigenous history and descendant identities in significant ways that will impact future generations. This qualitative study draws on mixed methods of Indigenous autoethnography utilizing knowledge of the researcher's family as the foundation of the work, somewhat like a 'case' study, and weaving in narrative, expository and analytical writing. The work addresses the near invisibility of Indigenous presence in historical literature pertaining to the Lesser Slave Lake area, and seeks to create another, deeper, level of understanding of community knowledge and local experiences. Ancestry is explored in a way that brings edification in a community, contextualizing the lived experiences of Indigenous ancestors into contemporary times, and addressing the legacy of state-imposed political identities that continues to impact Indigenous people in Canada today. The significant engagement with genealogical and archival data in the study is supplemented with narratives of Indigenous voices from the community. The effect of this twinning of data brings the ancestors out of the shadows, and creates a bridge of reconnection for them with the 're searcher' and the contemporary 're searched'. This work speaks to the legacy of pain that Indigenous people carry as a result of colonization, oppression, marginalization, and silencing. Further, it speaks to the challenges of accessing archival and genealogical data, of the unreliability of genealogical evidence, and of the need for validation and mobilization of Indigenous knowledge systems in support of the efforts to make visible that essential Indigenous vitality that has been hidden.

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