Four Generations For Generations: A Pow Wow Story to Transform Academic Evaluation Criteria

  • Kathleen Absolon Wilfrid Laurier University
Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, collective agreements, merit, decolonization, kinship and community, Indigenous scholarship

Abstract

 

 Within this article, I share a story of four generations of my family and community coming together through pow wow dancing. I present the storying and re-storing of Indigenous scholarly engagement through pow wow regalia making and dance to accomplish two things: 1) to center Indigenous knowledge, kinship and community work through scholarship; and 2) to generate merit and value in the good work in which Indigenous scholars engage. Our creative and cultural selves are often excluded in terms of what receives value and merit in collective agreements. The academy wants us to teach, publish, and engage in community service. My community service is often within Indigenous kinship and community service where I engage in creativity and expressive arts. Evaluations of our tenure attribute value, credit, and merit for work produced, service generated, and research conducted steeped in a eurowestern definition of scholarly work. We theorize about the significance and importance of our culture and traditions; however, our families and communities’ practices are regarded as external and outside of the eurowestern academic contexts. This article brings together the knowledge of preparing for and dancing in a pow wow as valued and good work of Indigenous scholars within the academy. It calls attention to a need to revise systems of value and merit in a manner that benefits Indigenous scholars’ whole knowledge systems. 

 

 

Author Biography

Kathleen Absolon, Wilfrid Laurier University

Dr. Kathleeen Absolon is Anishinaabe from Flying Post First Nation, Treaty 9, Nishnawbe Aski Nation.  She is an Associate Professor in the Indigenous Field of Study and the Director of the Centre for Indigegogy in the Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University.

References

Absolon, K. (2019). Indigenous wholistic theory: A knowledge set for practice. First Peoples Child and Family Review, Special Issue celebrating 15 years of wisdom. 14(1), 22-42.

Absolon, K. (2011). Kaandossiwin How we come to know. Fernwood Publishing.

Absolon, K. (2016). Wholistic and ethical: Social inclusion with Indigenous Peoples.

Cogitatio: The Journal of Social Inclusion, 4(1), 44-56.

Absolon, K. & Dion, S. (2017). Doing Indigenous community-university research partnerships: A cautionary tale. Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning, 3 (2), 81-98.

Archibald, L., & Dewar, J. (2010). Creative arts, culture, and healing: Building an evidence base 1. A Journal of Aboriginal and Indigenous community health, 8(3), 1-25.

Battiste, M. (2002). (Ed.) Reclaiming Indigenous voice and vision. UBC Press.

Battiste, M. & Henderson, J. Y. (2000). Protecting Indigenous knowledge and heritage: A Global Challenge. Purich Publishing.

Battiste, M. & Henderson, J. Y. (2009). Naturalizing Indigenous knowledge in Eurocentric education. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 32(1). 5-18.

Canadian Association of University Teachers [CAUT]. (2016). CAUT. https://www.caut.ca/about-us/caut-policy/lists/caut-policy-statements/indigenizing-the-academy

Cote-Meek, S., Dokis-Ranney, K., Lavallee, L., & Wemigwans, D. (2012). Building leadership capacity amongst young Anishinaabe-Kwe through culturally-based activities and creative arts. Native Social Work Journal, 8, 75-89.

Corbiere, M. A. (2019). Protecting Indigenous language rights: Much more than campus signage needed. In Academic Matters. Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association's Journal of Higher Education. Decolonizing the university in an era of Truth and Reconciliation. Spring, 16-20.

Drumbrill, G. C. & Green, J. (2008). Indigenous knowledge in the Social Work academy. Social Work Education, 27(5), 489-503.

Erasmus, G., & Dussault, R. (1996). Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Canada Communication Group.

Flicker, S., Danforth, J. Y., Wilson, C., Oliver, V., Larkin, J., Restoule, J., Mitchell, C., Kosmos, E., Jackson, R., & Prentice, T. (2014)."Because we have really unique art": Decolonizing research with Indigenous youth using the arts. International Journal of Indigenous Health, 10(1), 16–34.

Fraser, J., & Voyageur, E. (2016). Crafting culturally safe learning spaces: A story of collaboration between an educational institution and two First Nation communities. Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning, 2(1), 157-166.

Geia, L. K., Hayes, B., & Usher, K. (2013). Yarning/Aboriginal storytelling: Towards an understanding of an Indigenous perspective and its implications for research practice. Contemporary Nurse, 46(1), 13-17. https://doi.org/10.5172/conu.2013.46.1.3

Goudreau, G., Weber-Pillwax, C., Cote-Meek, S., Madill, H., & Wilson, S. (2008). Hand drumming: Health-promoting experiences of Aboriginal women from a northern Ontario urban community. Journal of Aboriginal Health, 4(1), 72-83.

Jackson, E. L., Coleman, J., Strikes With A Gun, G., & Sweet Grass, D. (2015). Threading, stitching, and storytelling: Using CBPR and Blackfoot knowledge and cultural practices to improve domestic violence services for Indigenous woman. Journal of Indigenous Social Development, 4(1), 1-27.

Judge, A. (2018). Learning lessons from the impacts of relocating Indigenous scholars for academic appointments. (Unpublished PhD Thesis). University of Western Ontario. London, ON. Electronic Thesis and Dissertation. Repository 5520. http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/5520

Kirkness, V. J. (2013). Creatings Space: My life and work in Indigenous education. University of Manitoba Press.

Kovach, M. (2009). Indigenous Methodologies. Characteristics, conversations, and contexts. University of Toronto Press.

Laurila, K. (2016). Indigenous knowledge? Listening for the drumbeat and searching for

how I know. Qualitative Social Work, 15(5-6), 610-618. https://doi.org/10.1177/1473325016652674

Little Bear, L. (2000). Jagged worldviews colliding. In M. Battiste (Ed.), Reclaiming Indigenous voice and vision (pp. 77-85). UBC Press.

Manitowabi, S., & Gauthier-Frohlick, D. (2012). Relationship building: A best practice model for Aboriginal women's health research. Native Social Work Journal, 8, 57-74.

McGregor, D. Restoule, J. P., & Johnston, R. (2018). Indigenous Research: Theories, practices, and relationships. Canadian Scholars Press.

McGuire-Adams, T. (2017). Anishinaabeg women's stories of wellbeing: Physical activity, restoring wellbeing, and confronting the settler-colonial deficit analysis. Journal of Indigenous Wellbeing, 2(3), 90-104.

Pedri-Spade, C. (2016). The drum is your document: Decolonizing research through Anishinabe song and story. International Review of Qualitative Research, 9(4), 385-406.

Ray, L. (2016). "Beading becomes a part of your life:" Transforming the academy through

the use of beading as a method of inquiry. International Review of Qualitative

Research, 9(3), 363-378. https://doi.org/10.1525/irqr.2016.9.3.363

Settee, P. (2013). Pimatisiwin: The good life, global Indigenous knowledge systems. J. Charlton.

Sinclair, R. (2019). Aboriginal social work education in Canada: Decolonizing pedagogy for the seventh generation. First Peoples Child and Family Review, Special Issue celebrating 15 years of wisdom. 14(1), 9-21.

Stonechild, B. (2020). Loss of Indigenous Eden and the fall of spirituality. University of Regina Press.

Talaga, T. & McMurchy, V. (2019). Bringing Indigenous viewpoints to higher education. In Academic Matters. Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association's Journal of Higher Education. Decolonizing the university in an era of Truth and Reconciliation. Spring, 3-6.

Truth and Reconciliation Canada. (2015). Honouring the truth, reconciling for the future: Summary of the final report of the truth and reconciliation commission of Canada. Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

United Nations. (2007). Declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples. United Nations.

Universities Canada. (2015). Principles for Indigenous Education. https://www.univcan.ca/media-room/media-releases/universities-canada-principles-on-indigenous-education/

Van Katwyk, T. & Case, R. A. (2016). From suspicion and accommodation to structural transformation: Enhanced scholarship through enhanced community-university relations. In Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning, 2(2), 25-43.

Victor, J., Linds, W., Episkenew, J., Goulet, L., Benjoe, D., Brass, D., Pandey, M., & Schmidt, K. (2016). Kiskenimisowin (self-knowledge): Co-researching Wellbeing With Canadian First Nations Youth Through Participatory Visual Methods. International Journal of Indigenous Health, 11(1), 262-278.

Published
2021-06-02
How to Cite
Absolon, K. (2021). Four Generations For Generations: A Pow Wow Story to Transform Academic Evaluation Criteria . Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning, 7(1), 66 - 85. https://doi.org/10.15402/esj.v7i1.70054