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The grandmother stories : oral tradition and the transmission of culture Sterling, Shirley 1997

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THE GRANDMOTHER STORIES: ORAL TRADITION AND THE TRANSMISSION OF CULTURE by SHIRLEY STERLING B . E d . , The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia , 1992 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Centre f o r the Study of C u r r i c u l u m and I n s t r u c t i o n We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming £ o the r^cruired s tandard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1997 ® S h i r l e y S t e r l i n g , 1997 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of C^ufyCt^Si &-~£i iu\ ^\^L^JC^C<S-T^ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date Q c T • t r / Q 1 DE-6 (2/88) Abstract The grandmother st o r i e s explore the meaningfulness of two Nlakapamux or a l t r a d i t i o n s , speta'kl (creation stories) and spilaxem (personal narratives), which are both study subject and study method and the methodology which drives the research. Each of a series of linked c r i t i c a l essays begins with a grandmother story and then provides an analysis of what the story explicates i n terms of personal meaningfulness and contemporary educational theory and pract i c e . The purpose i s to examine how o r a l t r a d i t i o n s have survived among the Nlakapamux of the Inte r i o r S a l i s h of B r i t i s h Columbia and through transmission provide pedagogies, philosophies, h i s t o r i e s and healing. Oral t r a d i t i o n s are one of the most l a s t i n g methods of Nlakapamux education, and they can inform educators and restore c u l t u r a l relevance to what and how we teach Nlakapamux children and other learners i n the classroom today. i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract Table of Contents Acknowledgement Preface Dedication 11 i i i v v i v i i Chapter One Morning Star and Six Grandmothers: An Introduction to the Nlakapamux Speta'kl Chapter Two The Owl and the Boy: The Research Question Chapter Three Skekeet Goes to the Moon: Method and Methodology Chapter Four How Chipmunk Got His Stripes: The Literature Review 26 41 65 Spilaxem Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Quaslametko and Yetko: Pedagogical Models Yetko, Sophie, and the Fishtrap: Stories as Teachers Quaslametko 1s Baskets: The C r i t i c a l Voice i n Spilaxem Yaya 1 and the F i r Bough: A Philosophy of Respect Shannie 1s L i f e : An Nlakapamux View of History 87 104 11.8 137 157 Speta 'kl and Spilaxem i v Chapter Ten Skaloola the Owl: Healing i n Mythology 179 Chapter Eleven Kwis-kwa-jeet, the Quest: A S p i r i t u a l Journey 198 Chapter Twelve +koopa' and Skikle-axwa 1: Oral T r a d i t i o n and Curriculum 214 Chapter Thirteen Conclusions 231 Notes 246 Bibliography 248 Appendixes 256 V Acknowl edge-men t I thank my thesis committee, Dr. Jean Barman, Dr. Jo-arm Archibald and Dr. H i l l e l Goelman f o r helping me create to the best of my a b i l i t y an introduction to the ora l t r a d i t i o n s of the Nlakapamux. Dr. Wendy Sutton, Dr. Wendy Wickwire and Dr. JOhn Willinsky also provided hel p f u l insights and suggestions. My friends, my second family at the Longhouse, and the Sterlings of Joeyaska offered support and encouragement, e s p e c i a l l y Sarah and Hector who took care of things back home f o r me. I thank the s t o r y t e l l e r s , Mabel Joe, Mary Cbutl.ee-, E l i z a Edwards,; Dolly Campbell, Tim Voght and my mother,, Sophie S t e r l i n g , who i s my c u l t u r a l professor. I acknowledge the i n s p i r a t i o n of the l a t e Dorothy Ursaki, L i z z i e A l jam, Tina Voght, my grandmother Shannie Voght, my father, Albert S t e r l i n g , and my brother Robert William S t e r l i n g Sr. I thank Terry Alec and the Nlakapamux children i n Lytton who sang the Honour Song, the Cougar Song and the Woman Warrior Song to help me complete the l a s t and most d i f f i c u l t part of my quest, my cousin Charlene Shaw fo r allowing me to use her narrative about Shannie, my daughter,. Haike Muller,. who was my research assistant, and Morning Star, my grandson,, who brought i t a l l together, hoxs-chin, kukschem, nook nooka wee'. v i Preface The f i f t h chapter e n t i t l e d "Quaslametko and Yetko: Pedagogical models" was published under the t i t l e "Quaslametko and Yetko: Two grandmother models f o r contemporary Native education pedagogy" i n "Giving Voice to our Ancestors," Canadian Journal of Native Education 19,2 (1992), and i n Marie B a t t i s t e and Jean Barman (Eds.), F i r s t Nations education i n Canada: The c i r c l e unfolds (Vancouver; UBC Press, 1995). The introduction was deleted to avoid redundancy, some minor e d i t i n g done and headings dropped to conform to the general s t y l e of the d i s s e r t a t i o n and a conclusion added. The tenth chapter e n t i t l e d "Skaloola the Owl: Healing i n mythology" was published by the Guidance Centre at the University of Toronto under the t i t l e , "Skaloola the Owl: Healing i n Salishan Mythology" Guidance and Counselling. 12(1996). Some minor e d i t i n g was done so that the paper would conform to the s t y l e of the di s s e r t a t i o n , the introduction was deleted to avoid redundancy and a conclusion was added which was not i n the o r i g i n a l version. v i i Dedication To the memory of my son Bobby Wayne March 22, 1967 - June 1, 1997 ... a free spirit and truly beautiful person who loved quantum physics, astronomy, mathematics, classical music, Cat Stevens, the open sky, Bear and Cookie and Pearl best, any camp fire, anywhere, the family and pow wow drums. He was born at midnight in the middle of a thunderstorm. He lived a good l i f e , the way he wanted. Two eagles flew in and circled above his memorial gathering. 1 Chapter One Morning Star and Six Grandmothers: An Introduction to the Nlakapamux Njawa n'skwesht Seepeetza, wee 1ken peelpeep lax j l n n shaitkinmux. My name' i s Seepeetza, I'm going to t e l l you a story about my people. This f i r s t chapter locates, the researcher within the Scawaxamux who are one of the Nlakapamux groups of the I n t e r i o r S a l i s h and introduces Nlakapamux ora l t r a d i t i o n as the main focus of the t h e s i s . I have one daughter, Haike, and she has a baby son, Kieran. My mother is Sophie. Sophie's mother was Shannie. Shannie's mother was Seraphine whose sister-in law was Josephine. Josephine's mother was Sushiana. The seven generations go back from the present to the mid-nineteenth century to a time when the Nlakapamux were living traditional lives and just beginning to feel the influence of the Europeans. My Nlakapamux name, Seepeetza, means white skin, or scared hide, meaning when you get scared you get pale. An Nlakapamux Elder had the name before me, but I know nothing else about her. My mother' s name, •Utetko1, means raindrops falling on the earth. Shannie's name was Lalma. Seraphine's traditional name was Quaslametko; she was the basket-maker. Josephine's name was Kwista-yetko meaning waterfall. I do not know what Lalma or Quaslametko mean. Shannie and Sushiana are derivatives of the Christian name Susan or Suzannah. Haike's Nlakapamux name is Teklinek; tek™i 2 means rain. She was born during a spring rain"and she loves rain. When Halke was younger her name was Keki, l i t t l e tiny-hands. One day her brother, Eric, said to her, "Gee, your hands are so small they're like mouse hands." Mousehands translates as kwatnee-efp, but Mum thought that Keki was more appropriate for a name., Kieran's Nlakapamux name is Nk^kushin3, morning star. He was born at 4:36 A.M., August 22, 1996, when there was a half-moon out accompanied by a small star. Kieran has huckleberry eyes and black hair, ears just like my dad's and my dad's big hands. The nurse who attended Kieran at St. Paul's Hospital called him Peach and the name remained as his nick name, a term of endearment. Such nick names are common among the Nlakapamux. We have a Moose, Smiley, and Boo in our village. Sometimes we call Kieran, Bear, Bear Boy, and Honey Bear because of the way he chortles when he feeds. It: sounds like a. l i t t l e growl. His father's side gives him a connection to the Bear and Wolf Clan of the Wet'suwet'en. My sisters and mother and I were sitting around my sister Sarah's kitchen table about three months after Kieran was born, and we were discussing Nlakapamux names for him. My sister, Mary Jane, mentioned N' kwulkwul, which she found in some writings by James Teit. "N' kwulkwul sounds like a belly ache, "~ said Mum. 3 We all laughed. I. think we're going to have some fun with that name over the years. "How about Skaloopa?" said Deanna, who has been researching family history and found that Skaloopa was a son of Joyaska, our great-grandfather and one of his several wives, not Martha, our great-grandmother. Martha was Joyaska's legally espoused wife. The Catholic bishop, at that time, came into the valley and told the Nlakapamux that each man could keep only one wife and they had to get married in a Catholic ceremony. Joyaska chose to marry Martha, my great grandmother who was from the Lytton Nlakapamux, but I. think he continued to care for and visit the others. None of us replied to the suggestion of Skaloopa, maybe because Skaloopa's son married his first cousin. "I went to visit Mabel, one time'" T said:. "Her daughter, Marlena, was there visiting from Vancouver. Marlena said as she was driving into the valley she looked up and saw the morning star and she thought it would be a good name. Maybe Kieran can have the name, Morning Star, Kokushon. "' "Morning Star means Nk^kushin, " said Mum, correcting me. She looked up thinking about the name for Kieran. "Nk^kushin. Yeah, that name sounds okay." We all tried saying it until we got it right and Mum was correcting our pronunciations. 4 In t h i s account, seven generations i n a family l i n e have/had t r a d i t i o n a l Nlakapamux names. T r a d i t i o n a l ways of naming have changed somewhat. The c h i l d would have a baby name for his f i r s t few years. English nicknames often serve t h i s purpose now. A naming ceremony often, included a feast and a c h i l d might have several names i n a l i f e t i m e . My father gave me the name Seepeetza before I was sent to the r e s i d e n t i a l school at the age of f i v e . Maybe i t was a subtle form of resistance against the r e s i d e n t i a l schools and the English imposition of names. Each name has a story. My mother t e l l s me that some names are just names, they do not have a remembered meaning, but there seems to be a story of how each person gets a name. This Nlakapamux custom of giving t r a d i t i o n a l names remained i n spite of the influence of church and state i n the use of C h r i s t i a n names and of a father's surname. Nlakapamux ways continued i n spite of a s s i m i l a t i o n i s t p o l i c i e s and a c t i v i t i e s i n i t i a t e d by the federal government to annihilate the F i r s t Nations cultures i n Canada. Although changes have been taking place, n a t u r a l l y or through l e g a l enforcement, the o r a l t r a d i t i o n s , such as naming and the s t o r i e s which accompany naming, continue to remain strong and important to the Nlakapamux. 5 Why and how d i d the culture survive through o r a l traditions? What meaning are we to make of our st o r i e s i n the changing world of today? Among the Nlakapamux there are two prominent types of o r a l t r a d i t i o n s , speta'kl and spilaxem. The speta'kl (also spelled sptakwelh) are sto r i e s which r e f e r to events from the mythological 4 age when characters l i k e Coyote s t i l l walked i n human form. They include creation stories, sto r i e s of the transformers such as Coyote who i s both culture hero and t r i c k s t e r , and stor i e s of characters such as Muskrat, Beaver, and Black Bear who also walked and talked i n human form. The speta'kl have been c o l l e c t e d and studied by a number of outside researchers, the most prominent being anthropologist Franz Boas and ethnographers James T e i t and Charles H i l l - T o u t . The spilaxem (also spelled spilaxam) are non-creation s t o r i e s such as hunting s t o r i e s , news st o r i e s , and personal narratives. This o r a l t r a d i t i o n i s very common among the Nlakapamux people, but unlike the speta'kl, there are no major written studies about spilaxem and few c o l l e c t i o n s of them. My main topic of research i s the Nlakapamux or a l t r a d i t i o n s and how they transmit culture. They feature grandmother st o r i e s which have been handed down from generation to generation i n my family and c u l t u r a l 6 family. The narratives are termed the grandmother st o r i e s f o r two reasons; the narratives are often about grandmothers, and/or they have been recounted by grandmothers, including myself i n t h i s written transmission. Mainly I have heard the sto r i e s from my mother, Sophie S t e r l i n g (Sophie), who heard the s t o r i e s from her mother and grandmothers and i n some cases from my father. These s t o r i e s trace my family h i s t o r y from a t r a d i t i o n a l Nlakapamux time, through to the coming of the Europeans and to the present. There i s a shortened version of the family geneology chart (see appendix A). The grandmother s t o r i e s w i l l be analyzed i n terms of personal meaningfulness to the researcher and i n terms of how o r a l t r a d i t i o n s have an app l i c a t i o n i n contemporary educational theory and pra c t i c e . My claim i s that o r a l t r a d i t i o n s are one of the most l a s t i n g and e f f e c t i v e methods of Nlakapamux education because they have survived when so many of the t r a d i t i o n s of the Nlakapamux were destroyed, such as the t r a d i t i o n of using knots on a s t r i n g to record hi s t o r y . The l a s t recorder i n our community died i n the f l u epidemic i n 1918 and the children who would have been taught to take her place were sent, by law, to r e s i d e n t i a l school. I w i l l demonstrate how the o r a l t r a d i t i o n s are e f f e c t i v e at transmitting c u l t u r a l knowledge through pedagogies, 7 philosophies, h i s t o r i e s , and healing. I maintain that the o r a l t r a d i t i o n s have an application i n education today f o r the benefit of a l l learners. My name i s Seepeetza. I am a member of the Nlakapamux, one of the f i v e groups of the In t e r i o r S a l i s h . The Inter i o r S a l i s h of B r i t i s h Columbia include the Lakes (extinct), the St l ' a t l ' i m c ( L i l l o e t ) , Okanagan, Secwepemc (Shuswap), and the Nlaka'pamux (Thompson). The Nlakapamux (also spelled Ntak a'pamux, Ntlakapamuq, Nlha7kapmx, N'lakapamux, and Nlak'apamx) l i v e i n the r i v e r v a l l e y s of the Eraser, Thompson, and Nicola Rivers i n southwestern B r i t i s h Columbia. The name Nlakapamux translates as people or nation (Hanna and, 1995, p. 3). The root word "Nlha7kap" means "reach the bottom or base" as i n passing through the canyon, and the l e x i c a l s u f f i x mux means "people." The name o r i g i n a l l y referred to Lytton and the people who l i v e there, but now includes the entire nation. The Nlakapamux have been c a l l e d the "Couteau" or "Knife" people by employees of the Hudson's Bay Company, and l a t e r were c a l l e d the Thompson River Indians, or Thompson Indians (Teit, 1900, p. 167) , by non-First Nations who probably could not pronounce the name. James T e i t , the Scottish ethnographer who l i v e d with and studied the Nlakapamux f o r many years (1900, pp. 168-174), categorized two major d i v i s i o n s as being 8 the Lower Thompson River Indians who reside along? the Thompson/Fraser River from Lytton and west and the Upper Thompsons who l i v e east of Lytton. The Upper Thompsons have four main d i v i s i o n s (Text, 1900, p. 170). The Lkamtcinemux comprise the Lytton Band. My father's grandmother, Martha Joyaska, came from Lytton. The Staxa'yux are the people above Lytton. The Nkamtci'nemux are the people from Spence 1s Bridge to Ashcroft which borders Shuswap t e r r i t o r y . The Scawaxamux are the people of the Nicola Valley. I w i l l concentrate mainly on the Scawaxamux. At present, the Indian reserves or bands i n B r i t i s h Columbia are organized into t r i b a l councils. There are three Nlakapamux t r i b a l councils. The Fraser Canyon T r i b a l Council, which has i t s administration o f f i c e outside of Lytton, includes Kanaka Bar, Nicomen, Skuppah, and Spuzzum. The Nlaka'pamux T r i b a l Council, which has an administrative o f f i c e i n Lytton, includes the Lytton, Ashcroft, Oregon Jack Creek, Boothroyd, and Boston Bar bands. The Nicola T r i b a l Association has i t s o f f i c e i n Merritt, and includes Coldwater, Lower Nicola, Upper Nicola, Nooaitch, Shackan, Siska, and Cook's Ferry Band (Guy Duns tan,, personal communication,, June l , 1997). Upper Nicola includes the Quilchena and Spahomin people, who are Okanagan. The Nicola T r i b a l Association recently changed i t s 9 name from Nicola Valley T r i b a l Council. T r i b a l councils are not l e g a l e n t i t i e s , but associations are l e g a l e n t i t i e s under the s o c i e t i e s act and receive some benefits. There are 25 tr a c t s of Indian reservation land i n the Nicola Valley, 12 which are continuously inhabited and 13 which are inhabited on a seasonal basis. (R.. Ster l i n g , 1979, p.22). The inhabited t r a c t s are known to the Nlakapamux as: Coldwater #1 Paul's Basin (Coldwater Meadows, m'lheetaq) Owen Lake Nicola. Mameet #1 (Shulus, Lower Nicola Reserve) Joeyaska #2 (Godey, N sheash kt) Zoht #4, 5, 14 (Nicola) Logan's Creek (Logan) Hamilton Creek #7 (Quilchena Creek, Sh chek woosh) Speous #8 (Spius Creek, Sunshine) Nooaitch Grass #9 Nooaitch #10 (Can-ford) Shackan #11 (14 mile, potatoes illyhe e ) Soldatquo #12 Papsilqua #13 Nicola Lake #1 (Quilchena) Hamilton Creek # 2 (Jack's) Douglas Lake #3 (Spahomin) Spahomin Creek #4 (Tabby's meadow) Chapperon Lake #5 (Jenny's f l a t ) Chapperon Creek #6 (pig farm) Salmon Lake #7 (Fish Lake, Smoky's) Spahomin Creek #8 (Spahomin Lake), (p. 22). The Nicola Valley people are c a l l e d the Scawaxamux, "the people of the creek," taken from the Nicola River which was. c a l l e d Tcawa'x. The Scawaxamux l i v e along the. Nicola River a few miles from Spence's Bridge to Nicola Lake which borders Okanagan t e r r i t o r y , i n the h i l l s and mountainous area of the Nicola Valley and not by the 10 Thompson or Fraser Rivers although our people go there to f i s h salmon, every summer. The Nicola River flows out of Douglas Lake, meets the Coldwater River i n the town of Merritt, near Coyote's House (Manuel, 1995, p. 45) and drains into the Thompson River at Spence's Bridge. In The History of the Nicola Valley Indians (1979, p. 18), the l a t e Robert William S t e r l i n g describes "Indian Country" i n the Nicola Valley: One set of j u r i s d i c t i o n a l or s p a t i a l occupancy, which exists i n the minds of Indians i s "Indian Country." This i s extremely hard to define because no s p e c i f i c a l l y defined boundaries ex i s t f o r them and nothing i s written down about them. Because Indians have occupied the Nicola Valley f o r centuries before contact with non-Indians, and because of t r a d i t i o n a l relationships held with other Indians i n surrounding areas, a form of generally recognized s p a t i a l boundaries existed. Some of these areas were known as "hunting, areas, f i s h i n g areas, or some other area agreed to be "held" by certa i n t r i b e s or fam i l i e s . In some ways th i s network of "informal boundaries" was quite complicated (18). My parents took us to Coquihalla or Tulameen Summit to pick huckleberries at the end of summer. The Coquihalla Highway now cuts through the l i t t l e mountain v a l l e y where we used to pick berries and a rest stop and t o l l booth bring t o u r i s t t r a f f i c to our old campgrounds forcing our family to camp further up the mountain. If some member of the extended family uses our campground they leave i t clean and sometimes they leave some chopped wood f o r the campfire. The Nlakapamux and Okanagan occupy the Nicola II Valley. Both my parents are/were Nlakapamux but my father had some Okanagan ancestry as well. This i s true of many of the families, and i t gives people access to both Nlakapamux and Okanagan grounds: Some tr a c t s of land mass could be known as Thompson or Okanagan hunting country with f a i r l y c l e a r l y defined boundaries. The same t r a c t of land could be divided d i f f e r e n t l y f o r f i s h i n g purposes, berry picking, root digging, mushroom picking, etc. Within these t r a c t s there were c e r t a i n sub-tra c t s that were held by ce r t a i n families and other Indians would not use that area unless i n the company of an indidvidual from the ownership family... (18). Because some of the Nicola Valley people are both Thompson and Okananagan, or have married into the,other group, family t i e s determine who uses c e r t a i n areas. There are a number of places i n the Nicola Valley where family members go to gather wild celery, range mushrooms, r i v e r mushrooms, tea, pine tree sap, honey suckle petals, wild roses, asparagus and t i g e r l i l y roots every year. Most of the wild potato f i e l d s have been trampled by ranging c a t t l e . It becomes a f r i e n d l y competition to see which family group gets to the mushroom grounds f i r s t . Other s i t e s , such as f i s h i n g grounds at the Thompson River, are held s t r i c t l y and the only way to use c e r t a i n areas i s at the i n v i t a t i o n of a few select members of a family group, who w i l l defend that area with force, i f necessary. Robert S t e r l i n g seems to suggest that two sets of j u r i s d i c t i o n e x i s t : 12 To a l i m i t e d extent the more permanently u t i l i z e d of these areas became part of the present Indian Reservation system, but many of these ancient areas ex i s t outside the Reservations on crown lands, private lands etc., r e s u l t i n g to a ce r t a i n extent i n various t r a d i t i o n a l t r i b e s and families to assert ownership to them, even while l e g a l documents exis t to the contrary. The reason that l o c a l Indians have made l i t t l e e f f o r t to formally and l e g a l l y seek t i t l e i s because of the following. Many Indians believe that while non-Indians (ranchers etc.) hold t i t l e , they themselves maintain the right to exercise t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l ownership by going into those properties and hunting, f i s h i n g , gathering berries, etc. Since t h i s i n t e r f e r e s so i n s i g n i f i c a n t l y with the l e g a l landowners there i s usually no c o n f l i c t . . . (18). The roadblock set up i n the Nicola Valley by members of the Upper Nicola Band i n 1996 was triggered: by a lack of understanding about t h i s issue of t r a d i t i o n a l ownership. The Douglas Lake Ranch, i n operation f o r many years i n that part of the valley, had put up fences and began to refuse access to t r a d i t i o n a l grounds including hunting, kokahee f i s h i n g , medicine tea, and s p i r i t u a l places. The ranch hands put locks on the gates. My brother Austin was stopped by the Douglas Lake cowboys i n a t r a d i t i o n a l hunting area and t o l d he was trespassing. He r e p l i e d that he was exercising his aboriginal r i g h t . The Nicola Valley F i r s t Nations were t r a d i t i o n a l l y hunters, gatherers, traders, and f i s h e r s , but now have adapted to a modern environment. In my own extended family there are ranchers, ranch hands, trappers, loggers, teachers, computer experts, f i r e f i g h t e r s , administrators, carpenters, plumbers, backhoe operators, members of the armed forces, band council members, community health representatives, lawyers, etc. We continue to be hunters, f i s h e r s , and gatherers. In an a r t i c l e submitted by the Merritt Central Elementary School, the l a t e Ralph Spahan, a Coldwater Band member (R. Sterling,. 1979, p. 7) says: The Indians of our v a l l e y belong to the Thompson tr i b e s of the S a l i s h Indians. They were quiet and steady and of high moral tone. It was good to be clean, honest and industrious. It was bad to be lazy, boastful, a l i a r or a t h i e f . The bands were divided into t r i b e s each governed by a council and headed by a chief. Because of: the extremes of temperature found here the Indians used two types of houses. The winter house was the keekwillie or underground house. It was made by digging a hole 20 to 30 feet i n diameter to a depth of three to s i x feet. It was roofed with logs covered with sods with a smoke hole l e f t i n the centre. Through t h i s hole was a notched pole to serve as a ladder. Keekwillie houses were warm but smokey. Their summer homes were the usual Teepee or lodge covered with buckskin. The clothes were generally made of buckskin fastened with thongs and decorated with porcupine q u i l l s . These Indians made ponchos and hats from sage brush bark to shed r a i n . They wore buckskin moccasins and [buckskin] f o r leggings. Indian food consisted of everything suitable and available. Salmon was most important. They were speared, netted, or trapped and smoked. Meat of a l l kinds were used; deer, moose, elk, cariboo, and duck.. The Indians used bows and arrows and spears. They used berries, roots and mosses as vegetables. With the coming of the white man the l i v e s of the Indians began to change and that change i s s t i l l going on. There are about seven hundred Indians i n t h i s area l i v i n g at Canford, Shulus, Quilchena, Douglas Lake and Coldwater reserves. Many of them work i n [the] lumbering industry and many have large herds of cattle: (7) . 14 This summary i n the voice of a member of the Nlakapamux b r i e f l y outlines the national character, p o l i t i c a l structure, housing, clothing, food, population, and economic changes of the Nlakapamux i n the 1970's. Ralph mentions the extreme temperatures. The coast cultures which had a r i c h marine environment and milder seasons had the time to develop complex art, s o c i a l , l e g a l , economic, and p o l i t i c a l systems. The Nlakapamux and other Inter i o r S a l i s h had to spend a majority of t h e i r time on survival a c t i v i t y . Art was b u i l t into p r a c t i c a l implements such as clothing and baskets, or developed as part of the shaman t r a i n i n g or r i t e s of passage such as the rock paintings i n the Stein Valley. Body painting and tattooing relayed important information, such as the marital status of persons. Since the 1970's when Ralph's outline was a r t i c u l a t e d (Sterling, p. 7) the population of F i r s t Nations i n the Nicola Valley has grown from 700 to 2000. Part of the population growth can be explained by the i n f l u x of members onto band l i s t s i n the Nicola Valley a f t e r the passing of B i l l C-3T (1985) which restored F i r s t Nations status to many who had l o s t i t through l e g i s l a t i o n . The Indian Act of 1876 defined (Ponting, 1986) who was an "Indian": An "Indian" became any male person of Indian blood reputed to belong to a p a r t i c u l a r band, any c h i l d of such person, and any woman who i s or was lawfully married to such a person. Excluded from 15 Indian status were persons l i v i n g continuously f i v e years or more i n another country, Indian women marrying non-Indian men, and i n some cases, i l l e g i t i m a t e children (21). In 1985, B i l l C-31 amended the Indian Act (Jamieson, 1985, pp. 130-1), allowing some women who l o s t t h e i r Indian status e l i g i b i l i t y to be reinstated to band membership and r e - r e g i s t r a t i o n as Indians under the Act (p. 131). My family l i v e s at Joeyaska Indian Reserve #2, a small ranch i n the Nicola Valley. Joeyaska, which i s also known as Godey Reserve or Godey Ranch, i s included as part of the Lower Nicola Band although the two reserves are at opposite ends of the v a l l e y . In the Thompson language Joeyaska Reserve i s c a l l e d Nsi'sqet or " L i t t l e Divide" because of i t s proximity to Godey Canyon, a canyon or divide to the l e f t of Iron Mountain (Teit, 1900, p. 174). Elder Paul Oppenheim from the Coldwater Reserve told, me, one time, that the name, Nsi'sqet, also refers to the word shi'istkn which means winter lodge, or the s i t e or v i l l a g e of winter lodges. There are a number of p i t house s i t e s on Joeyaska. Mexican traders also had a campsite at Joeyaska, and i t was c a l l e d Spanish Springs. My mother said that traders t r a v e l l e d from Mexico up to the Yukon and they exchanged corn and vegetable seeds for fresh meat and other foods from the Nlakapamux. My brothers and 16 s i s t e r s and I used to f i n d t i n y horse-shoes from t h e i r donkeys when we played at that part of the ranch. I was born i n Merr i t t to Sophie Sheila (Voght) S t e r l i n g and the l a t e Albert S t e r l i n g . My mother's t r a d i t i o n a l name i s r i r e t k o . My father was a hunter, rancher, hay contractor, court interpreter, storyteller,, and veteran of WWI and WWII. His t r a d i t i o n a l name was Nxuwowp. I was the f i f t h of seven surviving children. The number f i v e has special meaning to me. The Nlakapamux have f i v e seasons; winter, spring, summer, early autumn, and l a t e f a l l . The f i f t h season i s l a t e f a l l . The Nlakapamux year ends at the f i f t h season, during the twelfth moon, T.wa'istin (Teit, 1900, p. 239), and flows into the F i r s t Moon, Tchuktcnuk, the Hunting Moon, which begins at the new moon i n November ( f i e l d notes). The seasons and moons merge, then. I think of myself that way, a place where d i f f e r e n t worlds merge; part of a t r a d i t i o n a l time and yet part of a contemporary one, part Nlakapamux, part C e l t , the youngest of the older children i n my family and the oldest of the younger group. Being the oldest of the "kids" i n my family has given me a ro l e as elder s i s t e r i n my Nlakapamux family, then i n the world family. I was born at the end of the Second Moon, N'u'lxtin, the Moon of "Going In" (to the winter lodges). The f i f t h moon i s Nxu'itin, "Coming Forth Time," which i s 17 also s i g n i f i c a n t to me, a guiding concept i n my quest for a doctorate i n education, a time of coming f o r t h from my home i n the Nicola valley to seek knowledge from outside. I spent f i v e and a half years at home on the JOeyaska Indian Reserve, then 11 years at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. A f t e r graduation I took grade thirteen at the Kamloops Senior Secondary School, then moved to Vancouver to take c l a s s i c a l b a l l e t t r a i n i n g at the Mara McBirney School of Dance. I met my husband i n Vancouver. After my divorce I l i v e d among the Wet'suwet'en i n Moricetown for a number of years and was adopted into the Laksiliu or Frog clan by the l a t e Johnny David. I married into the Laksamesxu, or Owl Clan. The name I was given was Samuxsan through the potlatch or feast. Since I do not l i v e i n that part of the country anymore the name w i l l go to someone who can take care of i t , by contributing time and e f f o r t towards the Laksiliu Clan. I may keep the name i n an honorary capacity u n t i l my death, but I may not pass i t on to, say, one of my children. I have been a child-care worker, daycare supervisor, home school-coordinator, recreation coordinator, adult basic education instructor, Nlakapamux-chin curriculum developer, children's author and sessional l e c t u r e r . I came home to the Nicola 18 Valley i n 1982 and worked as an i n s t r u c t o r of adult basic education. I took transfer and business administration courses at the University College of the Cariboo (UCC). I acquired a c e r t i f i c a t e i n Fashion Design from Fraser Valley College which had a program at the Nicola Valley I n s t i t u t e of Technology. When my children Robert, E r i c , and Haike graduated and moved away from home, I had been a single parent f o r s i x years. I decided to f u l l f i l l an old dream to go to u n i v e r s i t y and get a degree. I graduated from the Native Indian Teacher Education Program (NITEP) at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia (UBC) i n 1992, then registered into the Ts"'kel Program to work on a masters and then a doctorate degree. I have one baby grandson, Kieran. Both my parents are/were s t o r y t e l l e r s , as I believe most Nlakapamux people are. My father, Albert S t e r l i n g , refused to r e l a t e the speta'kl, or creation s t o r i e s because they were sacred; he said that they should not be written down, co l l e c t e d by white people, and sold f o r money. My parents t o l d many spilaxem, or non-creation s t o r i e s , which can be c a l l e d news sto r i e s , or narratives. Several Nlakapamux Elders have given me information about Nlakapamux language and t r a d i t i o n s . I worked with Mabel Joe, Mary Coutlee, and (the late) L i z z i e Aljam to 19 develop Nlakapamux language curriculum materials f o r the Lower Nicola Band School. E l i z a Edwards talked to me about the l a s t o r a l h i s t o r i a n at Shulus and t o l d several s t o r i e s which I transcribed f o r the children at the band school. From October 1, 1993 to January 28, 1995, I took weekly Thompson Language lessons with Lytton Elder, the l a t e Dorothy Ursaki, whose Lytton d i a l e c t was somewhat d i f f e r e n t from the d i a l e c t s of the Scawaxamx of the Nicola Valley. On December 28, 1992, I videotaped an interview withorny l a t e aunt, C h r i s t i n a Voght Anderson. I have vis i t e d " w i t h my aunt Dolly Voght Campbell to share information about the family history. My mother, Sophie, i s my main source of Nlakapamux knowledge. The interactions I have with her on language, stories, place names, material culture, geneology, plant medicine, and a m u l t i p l i c i t y of topics i s on-going, and I consider her a mentor and a c u l t u r a l professor. She knows place names i n the Nicola Valley and the h i s t o r i e s behind many of them. She i s a fluent speaker of Nlakapamux-chin and a gatherer of plant medicine and food. I have interviewed her formally on several occasions. I have had many discussions with family members about the c u l t u r a l information and the d e t a i l s of our history. My s i s t e r Sarah, who i s a Community Health 20 Representative, shares insights and information provided by the Elders she works with. Deanna, who i s the companion and care-giver of my mother, i s also a teacher and the family h i s t o r i a n . My s i s t e r Mary Jane has had a l i f e - l o n g i n t e r e s t i n F i r s t Nations and Nlakapamux culture, learning prayers and songs and obtaining information from my grandmother and other Elders. My brothers Fred and Austin have been elected to band councils and provide information about p o l i t i c s i n Indian country and many other topics. My cousin V i r g i n i a Minnabarriet has compiled a family hi s t o r y which " i s about eight feet long." I have at least two roles as I pursue studies, a t r a d i t i o n a l Nlakapamux one and a formal one as researcher. In my t r a d i t i o n a l role I am an apprentice s t o r y t e l l e r engaged i n the process of learning the st o r i e s , i n t e r p r e t i n g the meanings of the s t o r i e s , applying t h e i r meanings to my l i f e , and transmitting them i n song, dance, drama, and s t o r y t e l l i n g . The meanings of the s t o r i e s are personal i n my role as apprentice s t o r y t e l l e r . This account represents my version of the s t o r i e s . "Traditional, l o c a l narratives are stories...[and the story i s an] explanation that makes no truth claims but admits to being the t e l l e r ' s point of view" (Rosenau, 1992, x i v ) . But, of course, a l l h i s t o r i c a l accounts would be the t e l l e r ' s point of 21 view, anyway. Whether or not they profess to be truth claims would depend on the s i t u a t i o n . As researcher I analyze the s t o r i e s f o r what they can t e l l us about being better educators of F i r s t Nations and other learners i n terms of pedagogy, philosophy, history, and healing. My roles of researcher and apprentice s t o r y t e l l e r are s i m i l a r because they serve the same purpose, the acquistion of t r a d i t i o n a l Nlakapamux s t o r i e s and the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t h e i r meanings i n terms of culture transmission. I f e e l comfortable discussing c u l t u r a l knowledge which has come nat u r a l l y to me but I do not claim to be a recorder or family h i s t o r i a n , nor am I regarded as such. I am an informal type of s t o r y t e l l e r , maybe more of an entertainer than a recorder. I can assert only that I heard c e r t a i n s t o r i e s at c e r t a i n times by c e r t a i n people. Sometimes I have heard d i f f e r e n t versions of the same story from the same person at d i f f e r e n t times. A recorder r o l e would be more stringent. For instance, C e l i a Haig-Brown (1988) i n her research of the Secwepemc discusses the importance of accuracy i n s t o r y t e l l i n g . She says: Even i n the now l i t e r a t e culture of the Shuswap the a b i l i t y to t e l l s t o r i e s with accuracy i s respected as a s k i l l . . . One p a r t i c i p a n t commented on t h i s notion as i t e x i s t s i n her culture: "There i s no d i s t i n c t i o n between t e l l i n g l i e s and not remembering or exaggerating" (153-4). Although I have not heard of Nlakapamux 22 s t o r y t e l l i n g explained t h i s way, I d i d not s p e c i f i c a l l y set out to research the question. I am aware that there was an o r a l recorder whose role was to record history. This person, who used knots on a s t r i n g as a mnemonic device was highly regarded as an accurate recorder (E l i z a Edwards, personal communication, 1987) . The recorder role was a formal one. On a number of occasions when I was t e l l i n g a story to entertain, I was more concerned with the comic aspects of the story than with accuracy. The Elders l i s t e n i n g would enjoy the humour with a good laugh but then repeat parts of the story with the correct information. In a sense I was thus chastized and corrected, but gently and kindly. My genres f o r s t o r y t e l l i n g are poetry, children's l i t e r a t u r e , drama, art, drum singing, o r a l l i t e r a t u r e , and academic discourse. This f i r s t chapter has contextualized the thesis by loc a t i n g the researcher within a c u l t u r a l group, the Nlakapamux of the Inte r i o r S a l i s h People i n B r i t i s h Columbia, and provided a short introduction to the Nlakapamux. The beginning words, "'in jawa n skwesht Seepeetza, wee'kin peelpeep lax jin n shaitkinmax - My name is Seepeetza, I'm going: to tell you a story about my people." introduces the c u l t u r a l purpose of the work which i s to t e l l a story about one of the Nlakapamux 23 groups, the Scawaxamux, or Mountain Creek People of the Nicola Valley. The research purpose i s a r t i c u l a t e d i n the analyses of the s t o r i e s i n terms of education. It i s a narrative with several perspectives; personal, c u l t u r a l , descriptive, a n a l y t i c a l , revelatory, and emancipatory. The writings are imbedded i n a personal, c u l t u r a l mode of exploration while providing insights which contribute to our understandings of F i r s t Nations peoples and education. While esta b l i s h i n g a foundation fo r educational theory and practice the speta'kl and spilaxem are constructed to create a method and methodology of research which i s of relevance to culture groups whose worldviews are created, represented, and transmitted i n o r a l t r a d i t i o n . The chapters come under three headings; (1) Speta'kl, (2) Spilaxem, and (3) Speta'kl and Spilaxem. The introductory chapter, "Morning Star and Five Grandmothers," begins with spilaxem l: a personal narrative about naming s t o r i e s which connects the researcher to the culture group under study. Chapters two, three, and four begin with speta'kl, or creation stories which provide metaphors fo r the explorations of the research question, the method and methodology, and the l i t e r a t u r e review. The speta'kl include "The Owl and the Boy" (Teit, 1898, p. 63-4), "Skekeet Goes to the Moon" (Mabel Joe, personal communication), "How Chipmunk 24 Got His Stripes" (Hanna and Henry, 1995, p. 81). Chapters f i v e through nine begin with grandmother sto r i e s as spilaxem, or non-creation st o r i e s , which include three personal narratives and one l i f e h istory. These grandmother stories have been transmitted o r a l l y from generation to generation i n my family, and they b a s i c a l l y feature the s t o r i e s about f i v e Nlakapamux grandmothers, Quaslametko, Yetko, Shannie, Sophie, and the researcher. Chapters ten, 11 and 12 combine speta'kl and spilaxem i n a genre which i s part of both types of o r a l t r a d i t i o n . Chapter ten begins with a speta'kl about Skaloola the owl, which I heard as a c h i l d and put together i n b i t s and pieces over the years and i s i n a sense a re-invention of an old story i n content, context, and use. Chapter 11, "Kwis-kwa-jeet" (the quest), begins with a paraphrased version of the speta'kl about the b a t t l e between Chinook and Ice and becomes the s t a r t i n g place f o r the researcher's journey story through the world of academia. Chapter twelve, "tkoopa 1 and Skikle-axwa'," begins with a speta'kl which i s a re-invented story by the researcher which provides a metaphor f o r the way that Western concepts of curriculum can meet at tangent points of common intere s t with Nlakapamux or a l t r a d i t i o n s and concepts f o r the benefit of learners. Chapter 13 gathers and synthesizes 25 the conclusions.. The purpose of the work i s to gain voice and representation i n a process of speaking out and inte r p r e t i n g what i s said. The ultimate goal of our people i s that of a l l people everywhere, simple s u r v i v a l and s u r v i v a l of a d i s t i n c t culture which seems bea u t i f u l and good to us. 26 Chapter Two The Owl and the Boy: The Research Question Swet kin? Too hen't kin? Oo bent i n neshoo went? who an I? Where do I come from? Where am I going? (Robert William S t e r l i n g Sr., 1 9 8 4 , p. 17) Chapter two examines the three above questions which provide one way of gauging the success of present educational strategies regarding F i r s t Nations and explores the alt e r n a t i v e s provided by ora l t r a d i t i o n . Formerly the Owl was a great hunter. At one time some people who were hunting happened to camp near his haunts in the mountains. They were accompanied by a boy continually making a noise and crying, causing them much annoyance. One evening his parents, intending to make him quiet said, "Owl, come and take him." That night the Owl came and took him away. He reared him, and the boy eventually became like the Owl himself, a celebrated hunter... One day while hunting the boy heard the Owl... shouting... tci tern uL En ca'ut ("Go, towards my slave"), which he was calling to the deer. He felt very much ashamed and offended, and therefore repaired to the Short-tailed Mouse for advice. She told him, "The Owl is not your father: he stole you from your parents. Go back to your own country and people." She told him how and where to find his people, so he left the Owl and went back, taking up his abode with his own friends (Teit, 1898, pp. 63-4). 27 This creation story about the owl, i n Traditions of the Thompson River Indians (1898), speaks of the dilemna of the Nlakapamux boy who was raised not knowing who he was, i n other words, not knowing his family or where he came from. The shame of being referred to as a slave caused him to look f o r the truth. He was fortunate to have the Short-tailed Mouse to help him. Educators of F i r s t Nations children have to be l i k e the Short-tailed Mouse informing F i r s t Nations students about who they are, and where they come from. But f i r s t we need to become aware of the c r i t i c a l issues i n F i r s t Nations education today. In "Strategies f o r the Successful Advancement of Native Indian Education", Nlakapamux educator, the l a t e Robert William S t e r l i n g Sr. (1984), said that every school system must answer three questions f o r i t s learners. There are many questions which need to be asked about education and F i r s t Nations peoples and there are many approaches and perspectives which may be used to do so. The three questions posed by Robert provide one gauge by which we might measure our success i n providing a p o s i t i v e learning experience and self-concept f o r F i r s t Nations learners i n the educational system. Robert also a r t i c u l a t e d some of the F i r s t Nations issues around those three questions: 28 The f i r s t question [the education system] has to answer on behalf of every c h i l d i s "Who am I?" POr the longest time the public school system has been a place where a Native Indian student could not answer that question. The second question the public education system has to address on behalf of every c h i l d i s "Where do I come from?" In 1969 a committee was appointed to examine textbooks used i n B r i t i s h Columbia f o r any biases that may appear i n st o r y l i n e s . Many such biases were found and most of these have been removed. The idea that an Indian c h i l d would f e e l l e s s of a person when he came out of a classroom than when he went i n should not be acceptable to anyone.. The t h i r d question that must be addressed on behalf of the c h i l d i s "Where am I going?" Research has shown that most of our Indian children are poorly motivated i n the classroom. One of the main reasons f o r t h i s low motivation i s that often students cannot re l a t e what they are learning today to what they w i l l be doing f i v e or ten years down the l i n e (17). In answering the question of who I am, I must be able to speak about my relationships with family, home, community, nation, history, t e r r i t o r y and environment. Robert stated that f o r the longest time the schools could not answer the question for F i r s t Nations learners, t h i s question of who they are. What th i s generally means i s that the hi s t o r y and culture of F i r s t Nations are missing from school c u r r i c u l a . The issue of how the educational system has been f a i l i n g to meet the needs of F i r s t Nations learners was a r t i c u l a t e d i n 1972 by the National Indian Brotherhood i n the p o l i c y paper Indian Control of Indian Education (ICIE), which states: The present school system i s c u l t u r a l l y a l i e n to native students. Where the Indian contribution 29 i s not e n t i r e l y ignored, i t i s often cast i n an unfavourable l i g h t . School c u r r i c u l a i n federal and p r o v i n c i a l / t e r r i t o r i a l schools should recognize Indian culture, values, customs, languages and the Indian contribution to Canadian development. Courses i n Indian h i s t o r y and culture should promote pride i n the Indian c h i l d and respect i n the non-Indian student (9). Since the p o l i c y was drafted i n 1972 a number of e f f o r t s have been undertaken by F i r s t Nations to e s t a b l i s h band controlled schools which include l o c a l and relevant c u r r i c u l a such as F i r s t Nations language programs. In the Nicola Valley, there are band controlled schools at the Coldwater, Lower Nicola, and Upper Nicola Reserves. F i r s t Nations teachers and school s t a f f are hired, or at l e a s t given p r i o r i t y , and school f a c i l i t i e s and c u r r i c u l a are directed by F i r s t Nations school boards. The Nicola T r i b a l Association has supported advisory services i n Scawaxamux language and culture since the mid-eighties, and has negotiated l o c a l education agreements with the school board (Nicola T r i b a l Association, 1996, p. 2). F i r s t Nations control i n action can answer the question of who F i r s t Nations children are, where they come from, and where they are going. However, a l l schools should have consistent p o l i c i e s and practises which recognize the relevance of F i r s t Nations hi s t o r y and culture as part of the educational process. The educational gap perpetuates 30 an ignorance on the part of non-First Nations about the land, the continent, and the o r i g i n a l inhabitants. This i n turn adversely a f f e c t s the way the land and the F i r s t Peoples are regarded. Lack of knowledge places the average Canadian at the mercy of the media for information about F i r s t Nations people and issues. Often the media has sensationalism as i t s agenda, and ce r t a i n l y remains consistent i n i t s stereotyping of F i r s t Nations. This contributes to bias, racism, and scapegoating. The question of who I am relates also to the question of where I come from, or perhaps who do I come from. Who, then, are my ancestors? What i s my history? Robert's comment about t h i s question maintains that a F i r s t Nations c h i l d should not come out of a classroom f e e l i n g less of a person than when he went i n , implying, quite correctly, that sometimes i n the educational system we f a i l to help the F i r s t Nations and other learners i n t h i s regard. Robert makes the statement that most books which show bias against F i r s t Nations have been removed from schools. The answers to the questions of who we are, and where we come from, lead to an understanding of the t h i r d question, the question of where we are going. Robert a r t i c u l a t e d the need f o r relevance i n classroom teaching: 31 Where am I going? Research has shown that most of our Indian children are poorly motivated i n the classroom. One of the main reasons f o r t h i s low motivation i s that often students cannot re l a t e what they are learning today to what they w i l l be doing f i v e or ten years down the l i n e (16) . This question of relevance i s far-reaching. For instance, when learners study the three l e v e l s of the Canadian government they often do not learn that F i r s t Nations Peoples l i v e under the Indian Act, wards of the federal government. Why would Nlakapamux students stay i n school i f what they are learning i n school has no r e l a t i o n to what i s happening i n t h e i r communities? In Keeping Slug Woman A l i v e : A H o l i s t i c Approach to American Indian Texts. Greg S a r r i s (1995) discusses the discrepancies between F i r s t Nations home l i f e and what i s taught i n schools i n terms of a chasm. Sa r r i s says: What students f i n d i n texts and from classroom discussions often has l i t t l e to do with what they know from home... The foreign world of Dick and Jane continues i n college with a sociology professor 1s d e f i n i t i o n of the nuclear family as that family comprised of father, mother, and s i b l i n g s (154). Disillusionment with formal education leads to high drop-out rates and poor attendance or students "accept the words and ideas of texts and professors as authoritative and tend to see t h e i r l i v e s i n terms of the texts, never... the texts i n terms of t h e i r l i v e s " ' (154) . 32 We can correct the lack of understanding and knowledge of F i r s t Nations (Kirkness, 1992) by-allowing F i r s t Nations children to "know t h e i r pas-t, t h e i r true history, i n order to understand the present and plan for the future" (103). The thesis question i s t h i s : How do we go about reconstructing those h i s t o r i e s and cultures which t r a d i t i o n a l l y have been transmitted o r a l l y and adapt them fo r use i n a school s e t t i n g and i n the new media of l i t e r a t u r e and written text? Oral t r a d i t i o n s w i l l continue to be t o l d i n c u l t u r a l settings as they have since time immemorial. Wherever there i s a hunt taking place or a c h i l d i s receiving a name or the berrypickers are i n the mountains s i t t i n g around the campfire, a story w i l l be: related. But now there i s a new venue, a new need fo r the o r a l l i t e r a t u r e of the F i r s t Nations people. Children are i s o l a t e d by law from t h e i r families f i v e hours of each week day f o r twelve and more years, ostensibly i n order that they may learn the s p e c i a l i z e d knowledge of a technological society. In t h i s cut-off s e t t i n g the children enter t h e i r classrooms as foreigners (R.W. S t e r l i n g , private conversation), where l i t t l e i s f a m i l i a r and where F i r s t Nations emotional, s p i r i t u a l , physical, and i n t e l l e c t u a l development i s not the goal or purpose. 33 Into t h i s a l i e n space the o r a l t r a d i t i o n s can enter to extend t h e i r teachings and wisdom beyond the c u l t u r a l boundaries to educate future generations of Nlakapamux and other learners i n the classroom. Oral t r a d i t i o n has been denigrated or sometimes t o t a l l y ignored i n Western educational theory and prac t i s e . For instance myths are often categorized, spoken of, and presented as f o l k l o r e and f a i r y t a l e s to be read to small children as bedtime s t o r i e s . How th i s a f f e c t s F i r s t Nations learners i s that they are often subjected to an education which makes an "Indian c h i l d f e e l less of a person when he [comes] out of a classroom than when he went i n . . . " (R.W.Sterling, 1983) . The question we have to ask as educators i s how are we to present F i r s t Nations hi s t o r y when understandings of F i r s t Nations hi s t o r y are limited, f a l s e , or represented by an h i s t o r i a n who speaks from a Western point of view? For instance, most h i s t o r i e s of North America begin with the coming of the Europeans. They state that Christopher Columbus discovered America. Some hist o r y books have a short section on pre-history which i s i t s e l f problematic as the term implies that the F i r s t Nations cultures are i n the past and not the present. F i r s t Nations h i s t o r i e s of the continent are 34 ancient. They may have been recorded i n oral t r a d i t i o n , or i n such representations as totems, pictograhs, and Mayan s c r i p t . They speak of ice ages, hairy mammoths, the Flood, creation. From these points of view Columbus re-discovered America. In any case, Western h i s t o r i e s are constrained by the world view and context of the Western h i s t o r i a n . Jan Vansina (1985) says: A l l messages are part of a culture. They are expressed i n the language of a culture, as well as understood, i n the substantive cognitive terms of a culture. Hence culture shapes a l l messages and we have to take t h i s into account when we interpret them (124) .. What t h i s means to F i r s t Nations education i s that the dominant society's h i s t o r i c a l point of view i s the only one being presented. Across Canada there are 192,000 F i r s t Nations students being subjected to a d e f i n i t i o n of s e l f which eith e r i s denigrated or non-existent i n t r a d i t i o n a l mainstream education (Kirkness, 1992). This absence of F i r s t Nations c u r r i c u l a maintains a vacuum which contributes to the the image of the good Indian as dead and continues to dehumanize the F i r s t Nations learner. In Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1993) Paulo F r e i r e says: Dehumanization, which marks not only those whose humanity has been stolen, but also (though i n a d i f f e r e n t way) those who have stolen i t , i s a d i s t o r t i o n of the vocation of becoming more f u l l y human. This d i s t o r t i o n occurs within history; but i t i s not a h i s t o r i c a l vocation (28). 35 Presenting only Western perspectives i n the educational system has an adverse e f f e c t not only on F i r s t Nations, but also on a democratic society which holds as valuable the p r i n c i p l e s of "equality... the rule of law... the self-determination of peoples... and human ri g h t s " (Berger, 1992, p. 25). F i r s t Nations are not alone i n the struggle f o r s o c i a l j u s t i c e . Many Canadians are marginialized by race, gender and class issues. For instance, Timothy J. Stanley (1990, p. 144) states that by 1925 B r i t i s h Columbia had become a white supremacist society, where " F i r s t Nations and Asians, unlike whites, were p o l i t i c a l l y disenfranchized, barred from c e r t a i n occupations and free associations, confronted by le g a l i z e d discrimination and subjected to random violence." The construction of supremacist hegemony through p o l i t i c a l and i d e o l o g i c a l d e f i n i t i o n s was perpetuated i n state controlled schooling (p. 144). The cost to the Asians and F i r s t Nations was staggering. Systemic i n f r a c t i o n s of the values of equality, the rule of law, the self-determination of peoples, and human rights continue to harm both the oppressed and the oppressor, and Fr e i r e i n s i s t s that the argument that such i n f r a c t i o n s always were and w i l l always continue to be does not j u s t i f y t h e i r existence 36 (28) . Given these consequences a l l educators, F i r s t Nations and others, should be concerned and involved with changing the educational system to include more than Western perspectives. Robert S t e r l i n g also posed a fourth question at the "Successes i n Indian Education: A Sharing" Conference: F i n a l l y , a l a s t question we may ask ourselves i s -What are the tools needed to meet the task at hand?' I am discovering today that we s t i l l have to learn to choose and use the tools (17). I would l i k e to suggest that we need education for a l l learners about F i r s t Nations peoples, issues, h i s t o r i e s , culture and values. One way to educate i s to present s t o r i e s of F i r s t Nations, by F i r s t Nations, o r a l l y and i n written text. The t r a d i t i o n a l Nlakapamux way to present s t o r i e s i s o r a l l y and i n c u l t u r a l l y contextualized settings such as around the campfire. Ideally the tradition-bearers 5 themselves, the Elders and other F i r s t Nations who own the st o r i e s , would bring the s t o r i e s to the classroom, perform them and discuss t h e i r meanings with learners. Protocols are absolutely e s s e n t i a l i n t h i s process of bringing, F i r s t Nations s t o r i e s into the classroom. Concepts of story ownership need to be understood. Stories, ideas and knowledge that belong to i n d i v i d u a l s i n mainstream society are protected 37 under the rule of law i n concepts of copyright and i n t e l l e c t u a l property. This same respect must extend to knowledge which i s personal and sometimes owned c o l l e c t i v e l y by a family or other F i r s t Nations group. Vine Deloria J r . i n Red Earth. White Lies (1995) discusses the d i f f e r e n t ways of knowing: The difference between non-Western and Western knowledge i s that knowledge i s personal f o r non-Western peoples and impersonal f o r the Western s c i e n t i s t (p. 53). In many ways the differences i n the ways of knowing have to do with how knowledge i s obtained. Deloria says: Indians thus obtain information from birds, animals, r i v e r s , and mountains which i s inaccessible to modern science. Indians also know that human beings must p a r t i c i p a t e i n events, not i s o l a t e themselves from occurrances i n the physical world (56). Regarding T l i n g i t culture the researchers, Dauenhauer and Dauenhauer (1993, p. 25), state that "the single most important concept i n the entire book i s at.Sow." The word means, l i t e r a l l y , "an owned or purchased thing." Things may be: ... land (geographic features such as a mountain, a landmark, an h i s t o r i c a l s i t e , a place such as Gl a c i e r Bay), a heavenly body (the sun, the dipper the milky way), a s p i r i t , a name, an a r t i s t i c design... an image from o r a l l i t e r a t u r e . . . a story or song about an event i n the l i f e of an ancestor. Ancestors themselves can be at.dow (25). Purchase of something may be made with "money or trade... or through personal action" (25). For 38 instance, some clans have creation s t o r i e s about the origin s of t h e i r clan members/crest/story. Sometimes a young woman i n mythological times married a man who was an animal by day and a man by night, sent to teach her a lesson. She was the only one who could see him i n h i s human state. When she had her babies they had some animal t r a i t s and some human ones. The ridicu l e , and d e r i s i o n she must have suffered were the p r i c e she paid f o r the learning or knowledge or wisdom obtained about animal people. Because she obtained the knowledge at a personal p r i c e she was seen to "own" the story. The animal crest was worn by her descendents to remind them of t h e i r ancestry and t h e i r membership i n a ce r t a i n clan. You would have to ask permission of the t r a d i t i o n bearer, not myself, i n order to relay t h i s story. There would have to be an exchange of g i f t s , or a trade or at least a negotiation between p a r t i e s . Non-members of the F i r s t Nation may not have the knowledge or understanding of these issues and such understandng i s necessary i f we are to approach the l o c a l F i r s t Nations about using t h e i r s t o r i e s f o r educational purposes. Since the writing of t h i s story makes i t public domain knowledge I would ask you to respect the older t r a d i t i o n of viewing i t as owned and not appropriate i t f o r publication. Dauenhauer and Dauenhauer (1993) state: The ownership of knowledge has sometimes been purchased through the l i f e of an ancestor. Thus the name of Kaasteen, the land of Glacier Bay, the story and the songs, and the v i s u a l image of the Woman i n the ice are the property or at.dow of the Chookaneidf clan (25). This concept of c o l l e c t i v e ownership by clans, nations, family groups and individuals of st o r i e s and other knowledge must be recognized and respected. The protocols f o r the use of c o l l e c t i v e knowledge from each c u l t u r a l area and each F i r s t Nation would have to be i d e n t i f i e d and c a r e f u l l y followed. Such tools needed f o r negotiating the use of c u l t u r a l knowledge and using them to educate F i r s t Nations and other children can be i d e n t i f i e d by F i r s t Nations parents i n the s p i r i t of l o c a l control and community involvement as a r t i c u l a t e d i n Indian Control of Indian Education. The question of protocols needs a deeper study with many F i r s t Nations educators. This chapter on the research question and i t s significance i d e n t i f i e s three questions which provide one gauge by which we can determine how successful we are i n providing an education which i s relevant f o r F i r s t Nations learners. The question of who I am i s to an extent answered by knowing who I am i n r e l a t i o n to a family, a culture group, a nation. Where I come from has to do with ancestry, t r a d i t i o n a l knowledge, and t r a d i t i o n a l history. Where I am going i s answered 40 when I know the answers to the f i r s t two questions. Like the boy who was stolen by Owl the F i r s t Nations students i n public school classrooms do not get the knowledge which t e l l s them about t h e i r c u l t u r a l family. If F i r s t Nations units are presented at a l l , they are often about the Eastern Woodlands Peoples, the Haida or Inuit, not about the l o c a l Peoples. B.C. F i r s t Nations: Studies 12 (1995) i s available but only as an e l e c t i v e . H i s t o r i e s of the land are written from h i s t o r i c a l perspectives i n the non-First Nations voice, giv i n g one view of what happened and through those h i s t o r i e s F i r s t Nations students are often subjected to a negative concept of s e l f . F i r s t Nations students learn v i r t u a l l y nothing at school which w i l l inform them about the society i n which they w i l l l i v e , and non-First Nations students learn nothing about F i r s t Peoples, to the detriment of a l l society. It i s important also f o r educators to understand the concepts of ownership of knowledge such as family st o r i e s , clan crests, and place names. Before using s t o r i e s we need to negotiate t h e i r use with the clans, nations, family groups, and individuals who own them. 41 Chapter Three Skekeet Goes to the Moon: Method and Methodology Skekeet the spider, who went to-the- noon- in Nlakapamux mythology, came back and taught the Nlakapamux how to weave baskets. Skekeet provides a metaphor for the process of inquiry, establishes the importance of theory and practice, and provides a way of viewing oral tradition as study method and study subject and the methodology which drives the research^ In Nlakapamux mythology, Skekeet, the spider, was a space traveller. He travelled to the Moon one time, and met an ancient couple there. They taught him how to weave. They were good to him but eventually Skekeet wanted to come home. The old couple told him they would lower him down to the ground four times with a long rope. But he was cautioned not to open his eyes until the end of the fourth time. Skekeet was determined to do as he was told and kept his eyes closed for the first tumble. But after the second tumble he got curious and opened his eyes. Immediately he was flung back to the moon, where the old couple scolded him for not listening. They tried again and he listened until the middle of the third tumble. A loud noise startled him and he opened his eyes again. Back to the moon he went, and again he was scolded and given instructions about keeping his eyes closed. This time he was told what to expect. He would hear certain noises, and 42 feel the rushing wind as he travelled back. Skekeet thought that now that he knew what to expect he could keep his eyes closed. On the fourth try he landed safely. From there Skekeet went back to the Nlakapamux and taught them how to weave. That's how the people learned how to make baskets and summer lodge covers and mats. This paraphrased story came from Mabel Joe (Mabel) at an Nlakapamux gathering i n M e r r i t t . I went over to shake hands with her and say h e l l o and she started t e l l i n g me t h i s story. From other experiences with Mabel I knew that the story about Skekeet might be important i n some way. The moment came when I was reading a paper (Kenny, 1995) which summarizes the eight areas of inquiry, including phenomenology, hermeneutics, evaluation research, action research, empirical research, ethnography, t h e o r e t i c a l inquiry and comparative-historical, research. My study of oral, t r a d i t i o n s touches upon elements from a l l of the areas of inquiry, but perhaps more so from phenomenology and hermeneutics. Phenomenology (Kenny, 1995, p. 1) focusses on "what goes on within the person i n an attempt to get at and to describe the l i v e d experience i n a language that i s as free from the constructs of the i n t e l l e c t and society as possible." This sounds l i k e the t e l l i n g of spilaxem. 43 Hermeneutics points back to (Palmer, 1969) Hermes, i n Greek mythology "the wingfooted messenger-god, " who i s a mediator and message bringer i n the three "directions of ancient usage" which are (1) to express aloud i n words, that i s "to say"; (2) to explain as i n explaining a s i t u a t i o n ; and (3) to translate as i n the t r a n s l a t i o n of a foreign tongue" (13). In seeking understanding about o r a l t r a d i t i o n s I am having to r e v i s i t c e r t a i n experiences again and again i n a process of interpretation. My role then i s to be the interpreter, not only i n t e r p r e t i n g my stor i e s f o r myself and for research, but also in t e r p r e t i n g research for my people and myself. As I was contemplating the eight modes of inquiry I decided to sketch a web to i l l u s t r a t e f o r myself the way i n which cultures of inquiry r e l a t e to each other. It suddenly occurred to me that the diagram looked l i k e a spider. The eight cultures were the eight legs upon which inquiry i s carri e d . The quest f o r knowledge i s l i k e the t r i p to the moon. Understanding i s l i k e learning how to weave. Teaching the s k i l l of weaving i s l i k e sharing what you know with an/other person/s, maybe t e l l i n g or writing the story so that others may also enter into the experience (see appendix B). What I l i k e d about the spider metaphor was that 44 i t showed a l l eight cultures as part of a general body which was not dichotomous. At l a s t I saw how one branch of inquiry could f i t into a part of the whole and i t was not disembodied or i s o l a t e d at a l l . That was when I began to see how I could bring my worlds together. Spider legs can be conceptually separated and categorized according to function as per Western education philosophies such as that a r t i c u l a t e d i n Paul Hirst's (1970, p. 63) discussion of the seven modes of experience, understanding, and knowledge' which are broken down to i r r e d i c a b l e forms. But i n another sense inquiry can be perceived as one b a f f l e d spider on a t r i p to the moon, not some object, but a human Skekeet. The oneness of Skekeet suggests holism as per the Medicine Wheel which perceives a l l of creation as part of a whole (Bopp, Bopp, Brown, & Lane, 1984) . A l l things are i n t e r r e l a t e d . Everything i n the universe i s part of a single whole. Everything i s connected i n some way to everything else. It i s therefore possible to understand something only i f we can understand how i t i s connected to everything else (26). Skekeet was the centre from which the eight cultures of inquiry emanated l i k e rays from the sun, there but not there, depending on who was looking and what they were seeing and the seeing (phenomenon) could be recorded and interpreted i n art, poetry, a diss e r t a t i o n , a s c r i p t , by word of mouth, or rock 45 paintings. The eight cultures of inquiry are l i k e s t o r i e s , there only because some words hold them together by someone who l i v e s i t and t e l l s i t . This thesis represents that part of the spider story when Skekeet comes home from the t r i p to the moon and begins to weave the f i r s t basket f o r the purpose of sharing the knowledge. I hope my e f f o r t w i l l be l i k e my great grandmothers' good baskets, and not be a cast-off which i s useless to everyone. I pray that my attempt to weave t h i s metaphorical basket w i l l never harm my people by carrying f a u l t y information or sharing knowledge which could be used against us. We w i l l look at what s t i l l e x ists i n the form of or a l accounts, and seek to reclaim, to restore, and to re b u i l d through those accounts the h i s t o r i e s and understandings i n a new genre, a written account by an Nlakapamux person. What i s needed i s a research project which t e l l s the s t o r i e s and analyzes them i n ways which are useful and relevant to F i r s t Nations and non-First Nations people and educators, i n the present time and f o r generations to come. This can be accomplished by an Nlakapamux educator and interpreter, or hermeneut. In Naming Silenced Lives: Personal narratives and the process of educational change (1993), Margaret D. LeCbmpte says; 46 -The researcher . . . e l i c i t s their[my/our] story and translates i t f o r those who have not heard i t . In t h i s way the researcher becomes a hermeneut - an interpreter - whose task i t i s to render the voices of the unheard i n a language accessible to them and to a wider . . . audience (10-11) . This thesis w i l l include a series of grandmother stories as related by my mother and other Nlakapamux Elders, with myself as the analyzer and hermeneut or interpreter. The f i r s t purpose for t e l l i n g the st o r i e s w i l l be to hear, to interpret, and understand t h e i r meaningfulness for my own learning and understanding so as to give back to myself, then Nlakapamux learners what has been taken; the knowledge of who we are c u l t u r a l l y . The second purpose i s to look f o r educational insights i n the s t o r i e s f o r the benefit of F i r s t Nations and other learners i n the Classroom. The o r a l t r a d i t i o n i s both subject and method i n t h i s study. Because i t i s descriptive and a n a l y t i c a l , but also revelatory and emancipatory to the researcher and hopefully to her c u l t u r a l family, t h i s type of narrative study requires a methodology which seeks to explicate the deeper meanings of the phenomenon of or a l t r a d i t i o n . As the study w i l l guide i t s e l f through the voices of the Elders and researcher i t would be d i f f i c u l t to begin the process with a theory into which the findings would be forced to f i t , as 47 would be the case with p o s i t i v i s t i c and n a t u r a l i s t i c studies. Hammersley and Atkinson (1983) discuss the three major tenets of positivism: Physical science... the l o g i c of the experiment i s the model fo r s o c i a l research, Universal laws... events are explained i n deductive fashion by appeal to universal laws that posit regular relationships between variables held to obtain across a l l circumstances, or the s t a t i s t i c a l version of t h i s model whereby the relationships have only a high p r o b a b i l i t y of applying across a l l circumstances, and Neutral observation language...epistemological and/or ontological p r i o r i t y i s given to phenomena that are d i r e c t l y observable... (5). In the s o c i a l world there i s a great emphasis given to standardization of procedure to " f a c i l i t a t e the achievement of measurements that are stable across observers" and " i f measurement i s r e l i a b l e , i t i s argued, i t provides a sound, t h e o r e t i c a l l y neutral base upon which to b u i l d " (5). Rather than applying the grandmother s t o r i e s to experimentation or seeking some generalizable explanation of them, or using standard procedure to " f a c i l i t a t e the achievement of measurements that are stable across observers" (6), I w i l l be t e l l i n g s t o r i e s I have heard from and about my ancestors and t e l l i n g my own story about how I am exploring the meaningfulness i n them. This discussion of grandmother st o r i e s and t h e i r meanings do not constitute an experiment which can be r e p l i c a t e d so 48 that an assessment of the r e l i a b i l i t y of the findings can be made (Moser & Kalton, 1971). "Disinterested o b j e c t i v i t y i s not appropriate to the understanding of a l i t e r a r y work" (Palmer, 1969, p. 7). This would include o r a l l i t e r a t u r e . Oral t r a d i t i o n s and the lessons they teach are not objects to be dissected but " l i v i n g voices [from our ancestors] which speak" (Palmer, pp. 6-7). S t o r y t e l l i n g research i s l i k e basketweaving. Many components contribute to a whole and none of the separate parts can accomplish by themselves the making of the basket or the process of research. The basket weaver i s necessary to the process, as are the cedar roots, the water, the bone awl, the knowledge and s k i l l s of the master basketmaker, and the v i s i o n which guides the process, design, and function of the basket. To say there i s a good and e v i l way to make baskets i s to r e s t r i c t ourselves to a narrow framework. We need to consider making a l l kinds of baskets f o r t h e i r function and beauty, f o r the opportunities such a process allows us as human beings to gather and work together f o r the common good. We need to be creative i n finding new and better designs for research, such as o r a l t r a d i t i o n as study subject and study method. We need sometimes to go back to old designs such as development as h o l i s t i c . The thesis 49 written about grandmother st o r i e s described i n the metaphor of basket weaving i s more of a process than a means-end product (Rosenau, 1992, p. 59) .. The concept of basket weaving was given to the Nlakapamux by a sacred event. An Nlakapamux boy went to the moon, and met an ancient couple there who taught him how to weave many things including baskets. When he returned home he taught the Nlakapamux how to weave. Knowing that a phenomenon c a l l e d basket weaving exists i s the s t a r t i n g place. Watching a basketmaker gives you knowledge of what techniques and materials you might use for d i f f e r e n t types of baskets. Weaving a basket yourself completes the process. The d i f f e r e n t types of or a l t r a d i t i o n s are l i k e cedar roots and red cherry bark and black cherry bark which are washed, peeled, and stripped into satiny ribbons and woven into one cedar root basket. The basket i s c a l l e d research, and the interweaving of the three (and more) materials i s my methodology. The framework, or methodology, can be observed i n a five-step process of s t o r y t e l l i n g : (!) a reference made to the circumstances i n which the researcher heard the story, (2) a hearing of the story, (3) an exploration of the personal meaning of the story, (4) the exploration of the meaning of the story i n terms 50 of educational theory and practice, and (5) the transmission of the story to others, o r a l l y or i n written form. The f i r s t , second, t h i r d , and f i f t h steps are d i s t i n c t l y c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s and these take place regardless of the academic pursuits of the researcher. The f i r s t , second, and fourth steps are a part of the research process. The f i r s t step, of explaining who t o l d the story and under what circumstances, i s important because i t i s an o r a l referencing system, part of observing proper protocols. Explaining who t o l d a story recognizes the personal and f a m i l i a l ownership of knowledge. Explaining the circumstances gives a c u l t u r a l context to the story. In a written culture, i n t e l l e c t u a l property i s acknowledged by a referencing system such as a bibliography. The second step, of hearing the story, implies membership i n the Nlakapamux community, and points to your willingness to l i s t e n and perhaps to learn. If you hear a story while i n a non-receptive frame of mind i t i s u n l i k e l y that you w i l l f i n d the experience meaningful. It often happens that you analyze and f i n d meaning i n st o r i e s a f t e r many years. The i n t e r e s t i n g question i s why do ce r t a i n s t o r i e s remain i n memory? Why do we r e l i v e c e r t a i n experiences through r e t e l l i n g them? 51 Wilhelm Dilthey, the 19th century German philosopher, considered how g i f t e d individuals r e c a l l c e r t a i n events i n t h e i r l i v e s . Dilthey (Bulhof, 1980, p. 88) ascribed to r e l i g i o u s thinkers, a r t i s t s , and philosophers an important function i n s o c i a l l i f e : These g i f t e d i n d i v i d u a l s remember the important moments of t h e i r personal l i f e more v i v i d l y than ordinary people, and l i f t the content of t h e i r experiences to consciousness; then they transform these private experiences into u n i v e r s a l l y v a l i d symbols. Generally speaking, philosophy as Dilthey saw i t c l a r i f i e s f o r the society i n which i t functions, what at a given time l i f e i s a l l about. The s p e c i f i c ways i n which philosophy f u l f i l s t h i s function depend on the general c u l t u r a l s i t u a t i o n i n which i t finds i t s e l f -such as the time, place of o r i g i n , l i v i n g conditions - and also on the personality of the philosopher (88). The Nlakapamux s t o r y t e l l e r serves a s i m i l a r function of recording important events, l i f t i n g the experience to consciouness through the t e l l i n g of a story which i s transformed into u n i v e r s a l l y v a l i d symbols, or language. The s t o r i e s teach and guide, they transmit the philosophies and b e l i e f s and c u l t u r a l knowledge ess e n t i a l for s u r v i v a l . They t e l l us at given times what Nlakapamux l i f e i s a l l about, r e f l e c t i n g h i s t o r i c a l and contemporary values and b e l i e f s . The t h i r d step i s the one i n which the hearer of the story finds personal meaningfulness i n i t . This may happen i n r e l a t i n g the story to family or friends, or i n discussions about the s t o r y t e l l e r or topic, and 52 i n t h i s case i n a r e f l e c t i v e process of research. The story of Skekeet, the spider who went to the moon, had no: p a r t i c u l a r meaning fo r me u n t i l I drew the web to depict the eight cultures of inquiry and saw that i t looked l i k e a spider. I was reminded of the story of Skekeet and decided to use i t to explore the concepts of method and methodology. In the fourth step the researcher engages i n written analysis of the grandmother s t o r i e s with a focus on education. The analysis i n an o r a l culture seems to take place before the verbal i n t e r a c t i o n between the Elder and a learner l i k e myself, and the analysis i s not necessarily shared ver b a l l y . I can only guess at what Mabel might have been thinking as she decided to t e l l me the story about Skekeet*s t r i p to the moon. She may have been analyzing my s i t u a t i o n ( c u l t u r a l l y deprived?), i n t e r p r e t i n g my presence (the s t o r y t e l l e r ' s daughter going to an Elder to show respect, be p o l i t e , or to hear a story?), understanding my need (for c u l t u r a l knowledge? entertainment?) before t e l l i n g me the speta'kl. She may have been t e l l i n g the s t o r i e s because she wanted to hear them and through them remember her grandmother or mother and the good times they had together. Although t h i s type of a n a l y t i c a l dialogue about the s t o r i e s d i d not take place between us, I know that 53 I l a t e r engaged i n analyzing, interpreting, understanding the sign i f i c a n c e of the sto r i e s by r e l a t i n g them o r a l l y to family and friends and then by engaging i n written discourse about the sto r i e s i n graduate school. The f i f t h step takes place when the hearer of the story passes i t on. In examining the sto r i e s of the grandmothers I begin with the contextual information; who t o l d me the story, when, where, perhaps why. This contextual information provides an innate o r a l referencing. Ethnomusicologist Wendy Wickwire i n "To See Ourselves as the Other's Other: Nlakapamux Contact Narratives" (1994, pp. 1-20) says: ...the Native accounts draw on a v a s t l y larger tapestry of people that spans several generations. The story survives i n or a l memory to th i s day i n P h i l l i p s ' s and i n many others' minds. Here we have surely a wider, deeper, "history," a histo r y that does not r e l y on dead documents, many steps removed, but on a c o l l e c t i v e memory traced d i r e c t l y to the many who were there. Here i t i s the written that i s the more l i m i t e d and problematic; the oral i s the hist o r y that l i v e s and i s a l i v e (20). A narrative e n t i t l e d "My Granny the Survivor" written by my f i r s t cousin, Charlene Shaw, i s an example of how accurate o r a l t r a d i t i o n can be. Two s t o r y t e l l e r s , my cousin and myself, without collaboration or even knowledge of the other's story, wrote a narrative about my grandmother, Shannie. 54 Except f o r one point both s t o r i e s are b a s i c a l l y the same, although both versions contain information not present i n the other. Charlene stated that Shannie s t i l l had three children to rais e at the time she was widowed. I stated that Shannie had two children to ra i s e . Hearing two or more versions of a story allows the Nlakapamux l i s t e n e r s to check t h e i r knowledge with that of the s t o r y t e l l e r , and i f the dates or other pieces of information do not l i n e up then they may question or correct the s t o r y t e l l e r , or become sce p t i c a l of the s t o r y t e l l e r ' s accuracy or the story's v a l i d i t y . In any case, a l i v i n g h i s t o r y i s transmitted by word of mouth, and the hist o r y remains a l i v e as long as the transmissions continue. A f t e r discussing the context/s of the story I repeat the story i t s e l f . In some cases I have written notes and can record verbatim what was said to me. In a few cases I had an interview recorded on video. These sessions also produce verbatim reports. Sometimes I hear a story only once. In many cases I have heard a story related many times over a number of years, and I am repeating them i n my own words i n my own voice. They are paraphrased and, no doubt, guided by what I f i n d i n t e r e s t i n g and memorable. In the story of Skaloola, the Owl, I have ac t u a l l y put together the story I t e l l from the b i t s 55 and pieces I heard and l i v e d over a span of about t h i r t y years. My version of the story may be quite d i f f e r e n t from any other Nlakapamux version because i t has been reinvented. Although I do not always produce verbatim accounts myself I regard them as most important, most informing, most relevant. When reading anthropological studies I read only the verbatim accounts of F i r s t Nations people. I r e a l i z e s t o r i e s are often changed, or reinvented or even created as part of the research process. The verbatim reports i n the voice of F i r s t Nations set the tone of the communication. Is the story serious, sombre, comical, d i d a c t i c , r i d i c u l o u s , profound? Does i t provide s o c i a l control, entertain, provide history, correct, challenge i n d i v i d u a l assumptions that are being made by the researcher? I look f o r patterns and the points of common i n t e r e s t . Then I examine the grandmother s t o r i e s to f i n d personal meaning i n them and to explain the meaningfulness of the sto r i e s i n the process of researching education and F i r s t Nations, s p e c i f i c a l l y the Nlakapamux. The written analysis and transmission of the grandmother s t o r i e s came as a re s u l t of doing graduate studies, although they may also f i n d t h e i r way into 56 works of f i c t i o n and non-fiction, eventually. The meaningfulness of the grandmother st o r i e s i s understood a f t e r a process of r e f l e c t i v e thinking f a c i l i t a t e d by the r e - t e l l i n g of the narrative o r a l l y and i n written text. Writing text i s often a process of discovery and conscientization (Freire, 1993) i n which my understandings about Nlakapamux history, culture, and issues grow through the hearing, r e f l e c t i o n , and subsequent action I take as a re s u l t of that r e f l e c t i o n . Writing about s t o r y t e l l i n g helps c l a r i f y i t s meaningfulness to me. The a c q u i s i t i o n of the grandmother st o r i e s reinforces the s t o r y t e l l i n g role of the researcher, and provides c u l t u r a l information which can i n turn be transmitted to learners. The s t o r i e s provide an explanation (history) of how the Nlakapamux dealt with changes i n t h e i r world, and extends beyond the t r a d i t i o n a l boundaries to provide information f o r the development of educational theory and p r a c t i c e . Theory and practice work together i n the same way that basketmaking takes place. Theory i n the form of the knowledge and s k i l l and v i s i o n of the basketmaker i s combined with practice as the basketmaker uses a technique combined with the three types of materials. The knowledge and s k i l l of the basketmaker produce no basket without a plan and without the cedar roots and 57 cherry bark. Because the story about Skekeet was shared by an Nlakapamux Elder i n an Nlakapamux way (oral tradition) with an Nlakapamux younger person (me) I would view t h i s process as a c u l t u r a l l y contextualized, c u l t u r a l l y located experience, t y p i c a l of that shared by the Nlakapamux people f o r many generations, except that i t was not transmitted i n Nlakapamux-chin but i n English. Mabel speaks fluent Nlakapamux-chin, I do not. The story was not t o l d i n response to a s p e c i f i c question and not as part of an ethnographic research process, or any research process that I am aware of. If there was a s p e c i f i c purpose' i n the t e l l i n g , i t was never verbalized by the Elder. However, I believe that an inherent c u l t u r a l purpose was met i n the t e l l i n g and hearing of the story, that of c u l t u r a l transmission. When the grandmother story was transmitted, the researcher found meaning i n the story, then transmitted that meaning to family and friends and students, through discussion, s t o r y t e l l i n g , and written text. This methodology of s t o r y t e l l i n g about a story can be used i n a classroom. Terry Tafoya (1981) says: From the standpoint of t r a d i t i o n a l Native education I should t e l l a story, and then allow readers to draw t h e i r own conclusions as to learning to see, learning to integrate, and learning to l i s t e n to the words of those who think i n very d i f f e r e n t ways than we may think 58 (11) . Tafoya's methodology i s evident i n the process he describes. F i r s t , the story i s t o l d . Then the readers/listeners interpret the meaning, responding to the story from many in d i v i d u a l points of view and world views and draw conclusions that are based on a learning process of seeing, l i s t e n i n g , and integrating new information. Sim i l a r l y , Greg Sar r i s (1993) descibes the process of inter p r e t a t i o n : I begin my American Indian l i t e r a t u r e course by t e l l i n g a story t o l d to me by my Kashaya Porno Elders. I then ask students, usually at the next class meeting to repeat the story as they heard i t . Invariably t h e i r s t o r i e s t e l l them more about themselves than about the story or about the speaker or culture from which the story comes (149). Sar r i s decribes how t h i s methodology, of s t o r y t e l l i n g about s t o r y t e l l i n g , allows students to "explore unexamined assumptions... which they use to frame the texts and experiences of members of another culture"(149). The process becomes one of r e f l e x i v i t y "that pervades or establishes the groundwork f o r further study of American Indian texts" (149). Similarly, i f I were to ask what meaning, students make of the grandmother stories and why they thought the way they did, the process could encourage higher l e v e l thinking s k i l l s and create an atmosphere of c r i t i c a l discourse. A precaution we should take i s to check the 59 assumptions we make about teaching o r a l t r a d i t i o n s i n schools. I have made the point that o r a l t r a d i t i o n s among the Nlakapamux have been a most l a s t i n g form of educating the young about t h e i r culture, and that we need to explore how we may bring the or a l t r a d i t i o n s into contemporary classrooms f o r the benefit of a l l learners. F i r s t , we need to ask how l o c a l Elders, parents, and school children f e e l about t h e i r o r a l t r a d i t i o n s being professed and taught i n a school setting. Based on the views of the l o c a l culture groups we can then, and only then, assess how we go about introducing o r a l t r a d i t i o n s i n the classroom. In Keeping Slug Woman A l i v e : A H o l i s t i c Approach to American Indian Texts. Greg Sarris (1993) explores t h i s complex issue i n his eighth and f i n a l essay, "Keeping Slug Woman A l i v e " (169-199). Sarris t e l l s the story of non-First Nations teacher, M o l l i e Bishop, who wanted to introduce Kashaya Porno myths i n her classroom for the benefit of her Porno students. The Kashaya Porno students reacted v i o l e n t l y to a white teacher, Mollie, introducing the Porno story about Slug Woman. One student threatened the teacher, one claimed the story didn't exist, others expressed distaste about the topic (173). It may be that the students d i d not want a non-First Nations teaching the myths, or that the classroom se t t i n g was not 60 appropriate, or that the st o r i e s were representing something from a past they wanted to forget. S a r r i s concludes that "the current p r a c t i c e of or a l s t o r y t e l l i n g and associated learning s t y l e s varies so greatly from home to home on the Kashaya reservation that i t would be impossible to generalize about i t " (195). This i s an important point, one that should f i n d i t s way into any discussion about o r a l t r a d i t i o n , that i t i s impossible to generalize about i t s use. Each nation and culture group needs to discuss t h i s issue and come up with i t s own p o l i c i e s about using o r a l t r a d i t i o n i n education. The questions we should ask ourselves about the nature of the relat i o n s h i p between students and texts of any kind are, "Is the text and i t s presentation authoritative? Can the student t a l k back, reinvent, exchange with others?" (195) That we do make assumptions about o r a l t r a d i t i o n s i n the classroom strengthens the concern we must have about protocols fo r the use of c o l l e c t i v e knowledge from each c u l t u r a l area and each F i r s t Nation. As Sarr i s maintains, we can make no generalizations about s t o r y t e l l i n g . It i s my f e e l i n g that the o r a l t r a d i t i o n s which belong to a geographical l o c a t i o n are so important as to necessitate the involvement of schoolboards i n working out agreements with the l o c a l F i r s t Nations 61 fo r t h e i r presence i n schools. In considering the question of whether i t i s "necessary that [ F i r s t Nations] myths be made known to outsiders, children or adults" E l l i Kongas Maranda (1975) draws upon her experience to explain how she was given her ethnic and national i d e n t i t y . She says: ... born i n Finland, I was brought up with Finnish mythology and f o l k l o r e as a central part of the school curriculum. By the time we were 15, we had obligatory learning of Finnish o r a l l i t e r a t u r e , including most importantly the national epos, Kaievala. Its compiler, E l i a s LOnnrot, a quiet country doctor, a poor t a i l o r ' s son, was presented i n the hi s t o r y books as one of the four t r u l y great men of the country... But Kaievala was studied as l i t e r a t u r e (131). The fact that the or a l t r a d i t i o n s of the Finnish people are held i n high esteem and studied i n classrooms gives a credence i n the importance of the myths and and places a high value on the knowing of them. The Finnish myths are important i n contributing to national pride and i d e n t i t y . There i s a continuity i n passing the myths from generation to generation within the school system and presented and studied as l i t e r a t u r e . This continuity expresses the value with which the Finns hold t h e i r o r a l t r a d i t i o n s . Maranda says, "the most decisive thing was that children were given awareness of t h e i r own roots" (131). In the same way, F i r s t Nations children need to be given awareness of t h e i r own roots. But there i s an important h i s t o r i c a l aspect 62 f o r the larger society. Maranda also says, "the whole nation had the opportunity to r e a l i z e they too had a history" (131). In North America the national i d e n t i t y that needs to be established i s that we are a l l dwellers of Turt l e Island, or Indian country, the land which i s honoured by the F i r s t peoples as Mother Earth, a sacred being, whom we care f o r and love as the giver of l i f e (Bopp et a l , 1984, p. 7). This chapter has defined Nlakapamux or a l t r a d i t i o n as my study subject, study method and the methodology which drives my research. The metaphor of basketweaving has been used as an analogy of a s t o r y t e l l i n g methodology i n which theory i s interwoven with practice to complete a purpose, that of carrying the culture through o r a l t r a d i t i o n . It has been demonstrated how the methodology of s t o r y t e l l i n g about s t o r y t e l l i n g can be used i n the classroom with a five-step process i n which the story i s introduced with an explanation of where and how i t was obtained, told, then r e - t o l d and/or interpreted by students i n c r i t i c a l discourse, then transmitted. While the example of how the Finns honour t h e i r o r a l t r a d i t i o n s demonstrates the importance of mythology i n education, we also need to be aware that the s t o r i e s are owned i n d i v i d u a l l y and c o l l e c t i v e l y and were paid 63 for by the ancestors of the tradition-bearers, often with t h e i r l i v e s . In view of t h i s s a c r i f i c e , we need to have respectful attitudes about oral t r a d i t i o n s and develop protocols f o r approaching tradition-bearers fo r permission to t e l l t h e i r s t o r i e s to children i n schools. Accreditation concerns can also be negotiated. Often F i r s t Nations language teachers and t r a d i t i o n bearers do not have the u n i v e r s i t y degrees required fo r decent wages. Local education agreements can provide an opportunity f o r t h i s type of negotiation, with recognition given to the expertise of the t r a d i t i o n bearers and fluent language speakers and other F i r s t Nations resource persons who are c u l t u r a l professors. The story of Skekeet supports the use of metaphor i n understanding concepts. It humanizes s c i e n t i f i c knowledge, showing how mythology and s c i e n t i f i c knowledge can be presented at the same time to provide two sets of information which show through observation how phenomena can be understood and explained. The web drawn to i l l u s t r a t e the eight cultures of inquiry showed the eight cultures as a whole, and i t showed the relationships between the d i f f e r e n t legs or parts. What I mean by "web" i s a drawing with a central idea, such as "inquiry" written i n the centre 64 of a page with a c i r c l e around i t . Coming out of the centre are straight l i n e s , l i k e spider legs, at the ends of which are the thoughts or notions about the central idea. This i s a h e l p f u l concept when developing integrated themes such as the Skaloola unit at the Shulus kindergarten. F i n a l l y , the story of Skekeet gives us a model for researching an idea through inquiry, but then coming back to the community to share the knowledge by demonstrating the s k i l l learned. By taking a theory and practice approach to my theme of grandmother sto r i e s I have attempted to accomplish t h i s purpose. 6 5 Chapter Four How Chipmunk Got His Stripes: The Literature Review This chapter introduces the chipmunk's str i p e s as a metaphor for mnemonic devices which work together with the s t o r y t e l l e r and memory to transmit knowledge of a cultur e . As a new s t y l e of memory device, written text i s categorized into four types of writings about and by the Hlakapamux f o r the purpose of reviewing the l i t e r a t u r e i n terms of voice and aims. This is how Chipmunk got the stripes on his back. They say long ago there was a chipmunk living under a big rock. One time he was sitting outside and Bear was going by. He started teasing Bear, "Oh, you big, clumsy old thing!' and "You can't even get around as good as I can!' Bear got mad and went after Chipmunk. Chipmunk went back in his hole and Bear couldn't catch him. Chipmunk came out again and started teasing Bear again. Bear went after him, but couldn't catch him and missed Chipmunk again. But the third time bear got Chipmunk on his back and kind of scratched him. They say that's how Bear got Chipmunk who got the l i t t l e stripes on his back (81). "How Chipmunk Got His Stripes" i s a speta'kl or creation story from the c o l l e c t i o n included i n Our T e l l i n g s : I n t e r i o r S a l i s h Stories of the Nlha7kapmx (Hanna and Henry, 1995, p. 81). The story, t o l d by Nlakapamux Elder, Mandy Brown, gives an explanation about how chipmunks got the s t r i p e s on t h e i r backs and t e l l s us something about the characters of Chipmunk 66 who i s a tease and Bear who i s a grouch. The story-provides an i m p l i c i t warning not to taunt a formidable person. What probably serves as a t y p i c a l mnemonic device to t h i s story i s the sight of the chipmunk with his stripe s , but i t i s the s t o r y t e l l e r who keeps the memory to be brought out when the occasion a r i s e s . S t o r y t e l l e r and memory and memory device work together to maintain the t r a d i t i o n s . The Nlakapamux used special memory devices such as knots on a s t r i n g to record h i s t o r y ( f i e l d notes), but designs on a basket, cert a i n landmarks, seasons, d a i l y routines, almost anything could remind people of past experiences and st o r i e s . Now a new technique f o r remembering experiences has come about; written text. Writing not only helps people to remember but also provides a method for exploring thoughts, ideas, memories, and other text. I would l i k e to examine how we think about st o r i e s d i f f e r e n t l y as we move into t h i s new venue of writing things down and as we read what has been written about us and by us. Considerable anthropological text has been written as well as c o l l e c t i o n s gathered of speta'kl, or creation s t o r i e s , but very l i t t l e i s written about spilaxem, or personal narratives. The voice and aims of anthropologists are highly represented, while the 67 voice and p o l i t i c a l , economic, and s o c i a l aims of the Nlakapamux s t i l l need to be heard. I w i l l discuss four types of writings about the Nlakapamux: (1) those that have been written by anthropologists about the Nlakapamux, (2) those that have been written by anthropologists at the request of or i n collaboration with Nlakapamux Elders and provide verbatim accounts, (3) those that are written by Nlakapamux i n the genre of academic discourse, and (4) those which have been written and analyzed by Nlakapamux. 1. Writings by anthropologists about the Nlakapamux include those by James Alexander T e i t (1864-1922) who was a major c o l l e c t o r of information on the Nlakapamux and other I n t e r i o r S a l i s h groups (Maud, 1982, pp. 63-77). The Scottish ethnographer married an Nlakapamux woman, Antko, and l i v e d among the Lytton people f o r many years ( f i e l d notes). He worked i n collaboration with Franz Boas who edited T e i t ' s work and included i t i n journals and anthropological volumes. Some of T e i t ' s work which I found i n l i b r a r i e s and archives are: Traditions of the Thompson River Indians (1898), Mythology of the Thompson Indians (1912), European Tales from the Upper Thompson Indians (1916), Traditions of the L i l l o e t Indians of B r i t i s h Columbia (1912), The Shuswap (1909), The Thompson Indians of B r i t i s h Columbia (1900), Ethnographic Album of the P a c i f i c North Coasts of 68 America and Asia (1900), Tattooing and Face and Body Painting of the Thompson Indians of B r i t i s h Columbia (1930), Traditions of the Thompson River Indians of B r i t i s h Columbia (1898) and The Salishan Tribes of the Western Plateau (1930). Folk-Tales of Salishan and Sahaptin Tribes (1917) i s a c o l l e c t i o n by James Teit, Marian K. Gould, Livingston Farrand, and Herbert J . Spindon, and edited by Franz Boas. The f i r s t section on f o l k - t a l e s of Salishan t r i b e s includes Thompson and Okanagon tales by T e i t . T e i t ' s c o l l e c t i o n of Thompson tales includes 28 Coyote stories, 38 other speta'kl, or creation s t o r i e s , and one h i s t o r i c a l narrative about Simon Eraser's v i s i t to the Nlakapamux i n 1808. Franz Boas i n a section i n Race. Language and Culture (1940, pp. 397-490) about the mythology and f o l k - t a l e s of the North American Indians wrote a chapter on James Te i t ' s c o l l e c t i o n of speta'kl (pp. 407-424). Boas was p a r t i c u l a r l y interested i n the transformer myths about Coyote, the Hogfennel Brothers, and the Old Man, believed to be the Creator. Boas noted the dual nature of the transformers, such as Coyote who was both culture hero and t r i c k s t e r . This dual nature i s prominent i n st o r i e s of Raven of the T l i n g i t and Tsimshian (Teit, 1898, p. 5), Kunyan of the Athapaskan t r i b e s (7), Kutka of the Kamchadal (7), and "Old Man" i n Klamath myths (7), and i t was t h i s type of study of dissemination and d i s t r i b u t i o n 69 which interested Boas (Teit, 1898, pp. 1-18). The Thompsons and the Okanagan. vol. I of The Salishan People(1978) was written by T e i t ' s contemporary, Charles H i l l - T o u t (1858-1944) with the help of Chief Mischelle from Lytton. The f o l k l o r e i n the volume consists of ten speta'kl. Other studies on the Nlakapamux include "To See Ourselves as the Others' Other: Nlaka'pamux Contact Narratives" (1994) by ethnomusicologist, Wendy C. Wickwire, who argues that o r a l t r a d i t i o n s are credible and accurate h i s t o r i c a l devices. Two books have been written about Thompson ethnobotany; Ethnobotany by James Tei t (1930) and Thompson Ethnobotany by Nancy Turner (1991). Larry and Terry Thompson, l i n g u i s t s from the University of Hawaii, wrote The Thompson Language. (1992), and Thompson River S a l i s h : nlle?kepmxcin (1996). S t y l i z e d Characters' Speech i n Thompson Sal i s h Narrative by Steven M. Egesdal i s a doctoral thesis i n l i n g u i s t i c s from the University of Hawaii. These books and a r t i c l e s tend to represent an anthropological point of view which has i t s own agenda and aims, b a s i c a l l y that of s c i e n t i f i c research. They are not necessarily supportive of F i r s t Nations p o l i t i c a l , economic, s o c i a l , l e g a l , or educational goals, although a l l knowledge has educational p o t e n t i a l . The e a r l i e r works, such as the Boas, Teit, and H i l l - T o u t c o l l e c t i o n s , are of t h i s type. The st o r i e s and accounts are not verbatim accounts, but paraphrased, which d i l u t e s the Nlakapamux voice. They often do not i d e n t i f y the person/s who gave the information. The ethnobotany and language books are highly s p e c i a l i z e d works which speak to an audience of highly s p e c i a l i z e d scholars. In What's Wrong with Ethnography?. Martyn Hammersley makes a point about ethnography which applies to n a t u r a l i s t i c research i n general. Hammersley says "much ethnography has retained elements of positivism, rather than making a s u f f i c i e n t l y r a d i c a l break from i t " (1992, p. 2). He considers that "the two s a l i e n t areas of c r i t i c i s m " have to do with "the issue of representation" and "the relat i o n s h i p between research and practice" (2). C r i t i c s argue that ethnographic data i s a "product of the [researcher's] p a r t i c i p a t i o n i i i the f i e l d rather than a mere r e f l e c t i o n of the phenomenon studied, and/or i s constructed i n and through the process of analysis and the writing of ethnographic accounts" (2). The r h e t o r i c a l strategies used by ethnographers are seen to be "constituting rather than merely representing what they describe" (see, f o r example, Tyler 1985; C l i f f o r d and Marcus 1986; C l i f f o r d 1988). That ethnographic data i s a product of the 71 researcher's p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the f i e l d rather than a r e f l e c t i o n of the phenomenon studied can be seen i n the Franz Boas' studies about the Nlakapamux speta'kl. Boas focussed his research of the Nlakapamux on the dissemination and d i s t r i b u t i o n of ce r t a i n themes, such as t r i c k s t e r characters. This anthropological concern i s r e f l e c t e d i n the amount of data about speta'kl, or creation s t o r i e s that T e i t gathered for Boas, to the exclusion of data about spilaxem. The spilaxem, or personal narratives, would have given us the Nlakapamux voice and context which speak to present c r u c i a l issues l i k e land claims, aboriginal t i t l e , human rights, Indian control of Indian education, the rule of law. Personal narratives would have t o l d us of the devastations of the smallpox and Spanish influenza epidemics, and how the massive reductions of populations affected the Nlakapamux s p i r i t u a l l y , mentally, physically, and emotionally. T e i t himself would have had much to contribute to present p o l i t i c a l discussions, as he was a c t i v e l y involved with Native rights as "a p o l i t i c a l advisor to the Indians of B.C., a tran s l a t o r of t h e i r p e t i t i o n s , and advocate of t h e i r aspirations. He was the secretary of the A l l i e d Tribes of B.C." (Maud, 1982, pp. 76-7). But what T e i t knew about Nlakapamux p o l i t i c s was "never written down. It was not asked for" (76). 72 The second c r i t i c i s m about such outside research as ethnography (Hammersley, 1992, pp. 2,3) i s that i t i s " f a i l i n g to contribute to practice; whether to p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y , narrowly defined, or to various relevant forms of occupational practice (such as that of policy-makers, administrators of various kinds, s o c i a l workers and teachers)." This concern can be extended to include l i n g u i s t i c studies of the Nlakapamux language. These studies sometimes have li m i t e d a b i l i t y to contribute to educational practice, fo r instance. In The Thompson Language (Thompson & Thompson, 1992) Larry and Terry Thompson, authors/linguists from the University of Hawaii, have used the International Phonetic System fo r t h e i r l i n g u s i t i c analysis of Nlakapamux-chin. The Thompsons worked extensively with Annie York of Spuzzum, so the study i s concentrated mainly on the Spuzzum d i a l e c t and examines symbols, phonology, morphology, syntax, numeral system, the kinship system, and one i l l u s t r a t i v e text, namely the story, "The Man Who Went to the Moon." The Thompsons have also had a Thompson language dictionary published. The Nlakapamux dictionary i s an invaluable t o o l f o r referencing and b u i l d i n g vocabulary, i f a person can learn the very complex system. However, 73 l i n g u i s t i c models i n general can be problematic f o r F i r s t Nations language education i n written text and i n approach. FOr instance, two or more d i f f e r e n t l i n g u i s t i c systems are sometimes used within the same language group, as i s the case among the Nlakapamux. The Thompsons' system, which i s used i n the Nicola v a l l e y (Thompson and Thompson, 1992, p. 3), uses 43 symbols for consonant sounds. The primary vowels are /I,u,e,9/(p. 3). In contrast the Lytton d i a l e c t i s written i n the Randy Bouchard system which was developed i n the early 1970's as part of the B r i t i s h Columbia Indian Language Project. Bouchard (Thompson and Thompson, 1992, p. 196) worked with Elder Mamie Henry of Lytton, who learned the system and started teaching a Thompson language course at the Lytton High School i n the f a l l of 1973. The Bouchard system (Hanna and Henry, 1995, p. 205) recognizes 45 meaningful sound differences i n Nlakapamux-chin. This system uses 18 of the 26 symbols used i n English, plus the number seven (7) for the g l o t t a l stop and three special markings, the acute, the apostrophe, and underline, i n combination with English alphabet symbols. The two very d i f f e r e n t writing systems divide many fluent Nlakapamux speakers and t h e i r e f f o r t s to teach and preserve the language into two camps who 74 have l i m i t e d understanding and use of the other system. This d i v i s i o n does not exi s t i n the practise of speaking Nlakapamux-chin, although each area has i t s own d i a l e c t . Complex l i n g u i s t i c systems, which are developed and used at the u n i v e r s i t y l e v e l , can be problematic when such studies are used i n F i r s t Nations language programs i n elementary schools. Often teachers of Nlakapamux-chin w i l l use the written models set out by l i n g u i s t s , which means that students have to learn a new alphabet, one alphabet more than children i n public schools, and two more i f the student wanted to learn both systems. Another d i f f i c u l t y about the written language systems was noted by parents at the Lower Nicola Band School, which had an Nlakapamux Language Program based on the Thompson and Thompson system (personal notes). They said the children could write and r e c i t e l i s t s of vocabulary words, but could not say simple: sentences or phrases, because the word syntax changed when i t was used i n a sentence. The recommendation i n t h i s case was quite simple. The children were to be taught phrases and sentences along with vocabulary l i s t s . Another solution recommended by parents was that we remember the Nlakapamux language was t r a d i t i o n a l l y taught o r a l l y , and perhaps we could continue to do so 75 with and without the written text. My own suggestion was to have an Nlakapamux immersion program available which Included p a r t i c i p a t i o n by students' families i n a l o c a t i o n away from the school or to learn root words with t h e i r l e x i c a l suffixes and prefixes added on as they gained mastery i n prononciation, understanding meaning, and use. In any case, the l i n g u i s t i c forms of Nlakapamux-chin prove problematic i n educational pract i c e . 2. Writings by anthropologists undertaken at the request of or i n collaboration with Nlakapamux Elders often provide verbatim accounts. In, They Write Their Dreams on the Rock Forever (1993), an a r t i s t , an anthropologist, and an Nlakapamux Elder examine the red ochre rock paintings i n the Stein Valley, and Elder Annie York explains the meanings. The Stein Valley was/is considered a sacred place where the Nlakapamux went/go on v i s i o n quests and other s p i r i t u a l pursuits and sometimes recorded t h e i r dreams, insp i r a t i o n s , and vi s i o n s i n the rock paintings (Terry Alec, personal communication, January 1997). This book of f e r s a glimpse into the t r a d i t i o n a l world of the Nlakapamux, showing how the Stein Valley i s sacred. My concern with t h i s book i s that i t shares sacred knowledge with non-Nlakapamux. But Annie says: 76 The reason why Indians strongly demand that that must NEVER be disturbed i s because that writing -a l l those rock writings - they are there to remind the young people that there was a person with knowledge on t h i s earth for thousands of years before people came from Europe (xv). Annie's concern about the Stein Valley being disturbed was very r e a l . Logging interests threatened the v a l l e y consistently and r e l e n t l e s s l y u n t i l the Stein Valley was made into a p r o v i n c i a l park by the p r o v i n c i a l government i n 1995. Annie's reference to the sacredness of the Stein Valley strengthens the argument that i t should not be d e f i l e d or disturbed. She says "The Stein Valley i s l i k e Moses' mountain, or Rome to the Catholics. These are sacred places" (xv). While the book serves as an anthropological study, i t also speaks powerfully through Annie's voice, recorded verbatim, to Nlakapamux i n t e r e s t s . Through sharing the sacred meanings of the rock writings Annie helps to preserve the Stein Valley, the s p i r i t u a l u n i v e r s i t y of the Nlakapamux. In t h i s way anthropologists, educators, and other s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s may also use t h e i r positions of p r i v i l e g e and t h e i r backgrounds as scholars to help the F i r s t Nations preserve t h e i r c u l t u r a l s i t e s , knowledge, and t r a d i t i o n s . And what about l o s t knowledge? Annie shares a song which speaks of her death: When my l i f e ends 77 I'll be just a memory on this earth My l i f e must float like an Indian canoe Downriver to the ocean when the sun is low... I'11 be just a memory when the sky turns red And the moon shines on the sea And all the birds on the ocean shall sing! In an o r a l culture where knowledge i s held by-l i v i n g t r a d i t i o n bearers, what happens when the t r a d i t i o n bearers die without having passed t h e i r knowledge on to the next generation? Education takes place i n classrooms with a B.C. curriculum, a Western school system with l i t t l e or no sacred content of any kind, which i s as i t should be, perhaps. Parents w i l l want to Impart t h e i r own values and sacred knowledge to t h e i r children. However, sacred gatherings, r i t u a l s , and ceremonies have been interrupted also. Many Nlakapamux converted to Catholicism and other Western r e l i g i o n s . Family and national gatherings such as f e s t i v a l s of the t r a d i t i o n a l Nlakapamux have been disrupted by change. Jobs and schooling cut into the time families have to spend together. Fishing and game laws r e s t r i c t the times, seasons, and even the methods of pursuing c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y such as ceremonials, hunting, f i s h i n g , and gathering. Opportunities f o r sharing knowledge have diminished. Sometimes the Elders face the r e a l i t y that t h e i r knowledge w i l l die with them i f they do not share i t . with someone who can record i t i n writing. Often they w i l l ask researchers to write t h e i r s t o r i e s so that 78 the future generations of t h e i r culture group may have the benefit of t h e i r knowledge i n written form. I believe that They Write Their Dreams on the Rock Forever i s one of these writings. Other books of t h i s nature are; Write i t Qn your heart: The epic world of an Okanagan s t o r y t e l l e r (1989) and Nature power: In the s p i r i t of an Okanagan s t o r y t e l l e r (1992) written by Wendy Wickwire and Harry Robinson, L i f e l i v e d l i k e a story: L i f e s t o r i e s of three Yukon Elders (1990) by J u l i e Cruikshank and Annie Sidney, K i t t y Smith and Annie Ned, and Haa Shuka. our ancestors: T l i n g i t o r a l narratives (1987) by Richard Dauenauer and Nora Marks and T l i n g i t Elders. 3. Three examples of writings by Nlakapamux i n the genre of academic discourse include two journal a r t i c l e s by and about the Nlakapamux; Opal Charters' "Indian Control of Indian Education: The Path of the Upper Nicola Band School" (1992) and the researcher's "Quaslametko and Yetko: Two Grandmother Models fo r Contemporary Native Education Pedagogy" (1995). An unpublished manuscript by the l a t e Robert William S t e r l i n g Sr. e n t i t l e d A History of the Nicola Valley Indians (1979) combines a strong narrative voice with s t a t i s t i c a l data about such questions as language retention. The journal a r t i c l e s and studies contribute to an understanding of F i r s t Nations 79 contemporary education as they speak to issues that are relevant to Nlakapamux people and to scholars, educators, and other F i r s t Nations scholars. Charters discusses Indian control of Indian education as i t has been conceptualized and implemented by a l o c a l band school. The researcher uses the s t o r i e s about two Nlakapamux grandmothers to compare and contrast two models for pedagogy. However, the a r t i c l e s speak i n a language which i s sometimes e l i t i s t and somewhat distanced from a general Nlakapamux readership, and which guides us into Western ways of thinking. Using the word curriculum conjures up images of books, curriculum guides, rationales, goals, objectives, classrooms, teachers, and a philosophy which i s either based on one of f i v e orientations to the curriculum (Eisner, 1979, pp. 50-73), or at least j u s t i f i e s why i t i s not. Nlakapamux Interests are i n d i r e c t l y served by academic writing i n that i t i s the means by which the Nlakapamux receive accreditation to become the o f f i c i a l educators of Nlakapamux children, while exploring Western ways of knowing. However, the analysis i s often r e s t r i c t e d to s p e c i f i c topics i n a s p e c i f i c genre f o r a s p e c i f i c audience. 4. Writings and analyses by Nlakapamux include, among other books, Mourning Dove: A Salishan 80 Autobiography (1990) which was written by Christine Quintasket (1888-1936), an Int e r i o r S a l i s h woman from the C o l v i l l e Confederated t r i b e s i n Washington, USA. Her paternal grandmother was from Nicola, an Athapaskan speaking group from the Nicola Valley. Christine Quintasket was known as the f i r s t Native American woman to publish a novel, Co-Ge-We-A. The Half-Blood: A Depiction of the Great Montana Cattle Range (1927), which was about the roundup of the l a s t free ranging bison herd. One c r i t i c i s m of Quintasket's writing was that i t was strongly influenced by publishing concerns and the ed i t i n g of Lucullus V i r g i l McWhorter, Yakima businessman and Indian rights advocate and Helster Dean Guie who worked f o r the Yakima town newspaper. Guie i n s i s t e d that "they write f o r a popular audience" ( x x i i i ) . As a re s u l t of t h i s collaboration with the two editors Quintasket made changes to her work: ... Mourning Dove went even further and removed morals and "just so 1 explanations from some of the s t o r i e s so they could not be r i d i c u l e d by whites... though such a l t e r a t i o n s made the stor i e s unrecognizable to her own family and other C o l v i l l e elders ( x x i i i ) . McWhorter also encouraged her to write t r a d i t i o n a l s t o r i e s and she wrote Coyote Stories (1990) which was o r i g i n a l l y published i n 1933. In terms of voice and aims Quintasket's autobiography (1990), i n p a r t i c u l a r , reads l i k e the author i s 81 speaking, but also contains discussion about the s o c i a l , economic, and p o l i t i c a l concerns of the Salishan people. My Name i s Seepeetza (1992) by the researcher i s a children's novel and the voice i s that of a twelve year old Nlakapamux g i r l i n r e s i d e n t i a l school i n the 1950's. "Seepeetza Revisited: An Introduction to Six Voices" (1995) opens discussion about s i x d i f f e r e n t perspectives we can use to examine the implications of an experience or narrative; the c h i l d ' s voice, the adult's voice, the voice of the author, the researcher, the educator, and the parent. Quintasket's work and the children's novel have a strong S a l i s h voice and reach a much wider audience than academic works tend to; c h i l d and adult, scholars and non scholars, aboriginal, and non-aboriginal. Our T e l l i n g s : I n t e r i o r Stories of the Nlha7kapmx People (1994) i s an important c o l l e c t i o n of o r a l narratives compiled and edited by Darwin Hanna and Mamie Henry, both of whom are members of the Nlha7kapmx, from the Lytton Band. Some of the s t o r i e s i n t h i s c o l l e c t i o n were related i n the Nlha7kapmx language and translated. Some of the s t o r i e s were recorded i n English and these have been recorded verbatim. The s t o r y t e l l e r s include Mildred M i t c h e l l , Walter Issac, Annie York, Louie P h i l l i p s , Herb Manuel, 82 Mandy Brown, Hilda Austin, Mary Williams, Anthony Joe, Mabel Joe, Tom George, Peter Bob, B i l l Walkem, Nathan Spinks, Bert Seymour, P h i l Acar, Rosie Skuki, Christine Bobb, Edna Malloway,; and Fred, Bea and Buddy Hanna. The book includes a foreword by Wendy Wickwire, an afterword by the Cook's Ferry Band Council, an orthographic key, a key to the tapings translations and transcriptions, a glossary of Nlha7kapmx words, and a bibliography. The purpose of the c o l l e c t i o n i s to (i) "take charge of our own c u l t u r a l r e v i t a l i z a t i o n " and to teach the l i s t e n e r s about "nature, respect, and morality." Hanna and Henry present both types of narrative; sptakwelh, or creation s t o r i e s and spxlaxam i or narratives about the f i r s t explorers and missionaries and about contemporary l i f e . This type of writing i s p a r t i c u l a r l y important because i t contextualizes c u l t u r a l knowledge by sta t i n g the names of the s t o r y t e l l e r s and contributes relevant knowledge by the Nlakapamux which i s analyzed by Nlakapamux. The writing speaks to the l i v e d experience of the Nlakapamux people, and to the issues which surround them. The c u l t u r a l knowledge can then be reclaimed by Nlakapamux readers, and through a process of re-contextualization i t becomes a l i v i n g t r a d i t i o n again i n the voice and memory of l i v i n g 83 people. I now know from Herb Manuel's description i n "Coyote and Wolf" (Manuel, 1995, pp. 43-48) what Coyote looks l i k e as a human, what he sounds l i k e , what kind of character he has, where his house i s i n the Nicola Valley. I have never had the p r i v i l e g e of learning d i r e c t l y from Herb i n a contextualized way, or i n any way. He has never t o l d me a story which was s p e c i f i c a l l y for my benefit, chastisement, or knowledge. Herbie Is an orator, and a chief. I have heard him speak i n Okanagan and Nlakapamux-chin and i n English. When I read his words i n the book, i n my mind I can hear his voice. I search for meaning i n his coyote s t o r i e s and I re-contextualIze them with my own knowledge of Nlakapamux ways when I i n t e r n a l i z e his teaching, making i t part of who I am and what I know and how I t r y to l i v e up to the ideals of my people. Coyote, I know, i s the ethics p o l i c e . His s e l f i s h , f o o l i s h behaviour l e t s us know how not to be. When I was reading Herbie's account, I began asking myself, Am I l i k e Coyote sometimes or always pushing my children beyond t h e i r c a p a b i l i t i e s , always wanting recognition? Ideally, o r a l t r a d i t i o n s which have been transformed into text should be guided or a c t u a l l y 84 written by Nlakapamux, as i n Our T e l l i n g s , following a mode which i s relevant to F i r s t Nations, such as verbatim accounts. Such a process provides the Nlakapamux with a s t a r t i n g point i n reclaiming and re-contextual i zing the c u l t u r a l knowledge, t r a d i t i o n s and h i s t o r i e s which to date have been l o s t to many Nlakapamux people and missing from the curriculum. This chapter has examined four d i f f e r e n t types of l i t e r a t u r e on the Nlakapamux people. In conclusion I would say that each F i r s t Nation needs to assess the strengths and l i m i t a t i o n s of inquiry which has been done by outside researchers, and sometimes by t h e i r own researchers. That researchers are educated and t h e i r investigations written does not mean t h e i r research strategies and findings are relevant or useful to the people being studied. A highly accredited degree, a written investigation, a handsomely recompensed research project do not always add up to the best research for and about Nlakapamux people. Local peoples need to look at the aims of a project, who i s running i t , who i s funding i t and why. If our culture group i s being studied, we need to examine and determine the c r i t e r i a f o r v a l i d i t y and success. F i r s t , we need to take charge of research i n our communities; by conducting our own studies with or without the help of accredited scholars, by se t t i n g up 85 research review committees to ensure l o c a l e t h i c a l guidelines are followed and to determine whether or not the research contributes to oppressive p o l i c y . We need to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the design and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of data, choosing methods and methodologies which are c u l t u r a l l y relevant. We need to project our own goals into any and a l l research about and for Nlapamaux. We need to r e a l i z e that we are the f i n a l authority on our ourselves and our issues. Second, we need to see more l i t e r a t u r e , o r a l and written, by Nlakapamux and other F i r s t Nations. The l i t e r a r y silence i s another vote f o r the sometimes narrow perspectives of Western thought. This means that we need more F i r s t Nations publishers so that the F i r s t Nations voice and perspectives are not mutilated, distorted, diminished, appropriated, invalidated, and masked by mainstream publishing, concerns. When we remember Mandy Brown 1s story of Chipmunk and Bear we remember Chipmunk's action of speaking out and challenging Bear, a large and formidable person. I have referred at the beginning of the chapter to Chipmunk's stri p e s as a mnemonic device by which we remember the story and I have used t h i s image as a metaphor f o r other mnemonic devices such as the written word. In a process of going back to seek the 86 deeper meaning of the story I r e a l i z e that Chipmunk paid a p r i c e f o r speaking out i n the wounding and scarring of his back. We do not know i f Chipmunk spoke impudently because he did not have a proper upbringing or because he had an admirable cause which we cannot discern at t h i s time. The point i s that sometimes there i s a p r i c e to be paid for the act of speaking out or taking action against that which i s oppressive and demeaning i n our society. I remember s o c i a l a c t i v i s t s with respect today. 87 Chapter Five Quaslametko and Yetko: Pedagogical Models Stories about two Nlakapamux grandmothers as remembered by an Elder are compared and' contrasted to provide insights about t r a d i t i o n a l E l d e r - c h i l d r e l a t i o n s h i p s and t h e i r a p p l i c a t i o n i n contemporary pedagogy. When she was a l i t t l e g i r l my mother, Sophie St e r l i n g , spent time with two grandmothers, Quaslametko and Yetko. Quaslametko was my mother 1s maternal grandmother who had three sons and only one daughter who was Shannie, my mother's mother. Yetko was my mother's grand-aunt, sister-in-law to Quaslametko. Yetko had born two sets of twins who died at b i r t h ( f i e l d notes). Quaslametko was a master basket maker and craftswoman. She made beau t i f u l cedar root baskets. But she d i d not want my mother and my mother's s i b l i n g s to touch the baskets, the cedar roots or her to o l s . She scolded the children i f they came near her baskets. Upset by her daughter's sometimes poor health and burden of r a i s i n g twelve children, Quaslametko t o l d the children they were "too many." She ordered them outside to pack water and wood f o r the household, and to cook, wash dishes, and clean house: Before we were f i n i s h e d eating she said, "In tsow zoo zah. 1 Wash the dishes. She said i t i n such a mean way. She c a r r i e d a willow 88 switch too. She never h i t us but i f we didn't move fast enough she'd slam i t down on the table beside us. She didn't l i k e us because we were too many, and we made her daughter sick ( f i e l d notes). When my grandfather moved the family from a ranch at Kane Valley to a house i n Merritt, Quaslametko t o l d my mother's parents not to send t h e i r children to school: Quaslametko said, "Chook-oosh ha-ah school. Chook-oosh ex dik shamah school he-ah sk'an-a'sh. 1 Don't l e t them go to school. Don't l e t them go to the White school. They won't l i k e you. She thought we would become l i k e shamahs and forget how to hunt and f i s h and get food from the h i l l s . She thought we'd never stay with our people ( f i e l d notes). Yetko was a herbalist, a gatherer of medicine tea and medicine food. A gentle, kind-hearted woman who laughed a l o t , she packed food and camping gear and took my mother, and sometimes my mother's s i s t e r Theresa, into the mountains or down to the Coldwater River on horseback: That pony she [Yetko] rode was c a l l e d Nkwa-lep-eesht. It was a chocolate brown colour and i t s mane grew so long i t almost touched the ground. She used to say to me and Theresa, "Whee-ken min deep.' Come with us. She adopted Moria, that's Maggie Kilr o y ' s daughter, so she always wanted company fo r her when she went into the h i l l s . Yetko had no fear of animals. She t e l l s us when we have a set of twins bears never bother us ( f i e l d notes). There they gathered plants and picked b e r r i e s . Once, they made a small red willow f i s h t r a p (small so the f i s h warden wouldn't f i n d them and destroy them) 89 and caught fresh trout. They never took weapons because Yetko, having born twins, was considered a bear person, not needing protection (Teit, 1900, pp. 311-12). Yetko explained things to the g i r l s as they went along; what the deer root looks l i k e when i t ' s ready to pick, why trout l i k e to rest i n fishtraps, which medicine plants to use for headache, f o r woman trouble, for fever, f o r rashes, wounds, beestings, for b i r t h control. Yetko used various plants f o r manufacture: She makes her own s t r i n g . They tear the back off c e r t a i n plants. She puts them together then t w i r l s them on her leg, about a foot at a time. Pretty soon she has a big bundle. Then s h e ' l l use that when she makes something c a l l e d "spetzin". She used red willow to make the [fi s h ] t r a p . In l a t e r years the Fisheries started checking on the r i v e r s . They broke them [fishtraps] and came up to her house and t o l d her not to make them anymore ( f i e l d notes). Yetko was also a s t o r y t e l l e r : A f t e r dark she would gather a l l the kids around her and c a l l , "Choot-ka hap.' The kids would have to say, "hap 1. That meant they were going to be quiet, to l i s t e n to the story. If they didn't want to l i s t e n they would have to go outside. They could play a l l they want and make noise out there. But nobody did. We a l l wanted to hear the stories she t o l d ( f i e l d notes). Yetko t o l d s t o r i e s about the elements, Spring wind and Ice who had a giant b a t t l e one time. They were arguing about who was the strongest. Ice said he 90 was more powerful as he was hard l i k e rock. Spring Wind claimed he was the strongest because he melted a l l the snow and i c e . Then Sun, the Sky Dweller, came closer to f i n d out what a l l the commotion was about, and his closeness began to melt Ice, which resolved the issue. The children l i s t e n e d and were amazed. Yetko t o l d of heartless Eagle the Hunter who stalked the l i t t l e Grouse, and of Grouse's p l i g h t as she dodged and scrambled and hid trembling behind small saskatoon bushes from her formidable foe. The children c r i e d when Eagle swooped down and wounded Grouse, and they determined i n t h e i r hearts never to be so cr u e l . The sto r i e s went on and on every night l i k e a s e r i a l . And every night the children couldn't wait to hear the next episode i n the l i v e s of t h e i r favourite characters. Now Sophie i s i n her eig h t i e s . She i s a herbalist, a gatherer of medicine tea and medicine food. A gentle, kind-hearted woman who laughs a l o t , she loves to go into the mountains with her children and grandchildren to gather plants and pick b e r r i e s . She knows which plants are good f o r headaches, f o r woman trouble, f o r rashes, wounds, f o r b i r t h c o n t r o l . She i s always teaching these s k i l l s to her children and grandchildren, and i s one of my son E r i c ' s mentors. 91. Sophie l i k e s to t e l l s t o r i e s when we are picking berries, t r a v e l l i n g by car somewhere, when we are cleaning and canning salmon, when we are waiting at a funeral or i n a doctor's o f f i c e . She t e l l s bear sto r i e s , camping disas t e r s t o r i e s , s t o r i e s about oldtimers and she r e c a l l s word for word the many relevant pieces of information about her l i f e , her family, her world. Sophie has never made a basket. Neither have any of her brothers and s i s t e r s , t h e i r children, grandchildren or great grandchildren. The exquisite art of cedar root basketmaking i n our family has been l o s t . In looking f o r ways and means of e f f e c t i v e l y teaching Native children i n contemporary enculturation settings whether they be public schools, band schools, or other, we can consider the two grandmother models of Quaslametko and Yetko. They were sisters-in-law. So, the two pedagogies they represent although d i f f e r e n t can also be perceived as being related by marriage, perhaps complementary, sometimes e x i s t i n g together, sometimes i n c o n f l i c t , and c e r t a i n l y both of value. Quaslametko seemed most e f f e c t i v e In getting many children to achieve short term goals such as packing water and f i l l i n g the woodbox. Her communication with 92 the children took on an authoritarian and accusatory voice as she ordered them to do t h e i r chores. They were obedient because they were a f r a i d and because they wanted to make up for the fact that they caused t h e i r mother to be overworked and sick. Quaslametko could be perceived as conservative i n nature as she res i s t e d change that might be brought about by the formal education of her grandchildren. Yetko spent more time engaging i n plant gathering a c t i v i t y with one or two ind i v i d u a l s . The r e s u l t of this was the long-term a c q u i s i t i o n of s k i l l s and knowledge and enjoyment not only f o r my mother, but also for following generations. For instance, my mother made her second f i s h trap i n 1987, over s i x t y f i v e years a f t e r she and Yetko had made her f i r s t one near the Coldwater River. Yetko's communication with children was that of s t o r y t e l l e r , which i n turn entertained, taught, and controlled them, not with fear or g u i l t , but with i n t e r e s t . Quaslametko as an authoritarian figure may be linked to a hierarchal mode as symbolized by a tri a n g l e with a point at the top. The hierarchal system i s evident i n the public school system and inherent i n North American society. For instance, the organizational structure of a t y p i c a l school has a p r i n c i p a l at the top with several teachers i n the 93 middle and many students at the bottom. The communication or "chain of command" (Hampton, 1986, p. 325) i s one way from top to bottom; from the p r i n c i p a l to the teachers to the students. Other pervasive hierarchies with l a s t i n g influence on society were the B r i t i s h class system and the Roman Catholic Church with the i n f a l l i b l e pope at the top, the cardinals below the pope, then the archbishops, the bishops, the p r i e s t s , and lay people at the bottom of the chain of command. In looking at mainstream society's h i s t o r y of pedagogical practice that "set f o r t h the generalized models of practice-centered thought" (Brauner, 1964, p. 238) we f i n d i n the 1790's the B e l l Lancaster Monitorial Program, or Monitorial Method. This hierarchal system which was based on economy and control used students as tutors and d i s c i p l i n a r i a n s , and learning was considered to be whatever t r a i n i n g would r e s u l t i n the acceptable mastery. "Instruction held f i r s t place, with consideration f o r the ind i v i d u a l l e f t f a r behind..." (239). The philosophy underlying the Monitorial Method, the present public school system, and i n some ways Quaslametko's attitude about t r a i n i n g her grandchildren, i s p a r t i a l l y described as follows: Individual. A c h i l d i s natu r a l l y disruptive and thus must be controlled now to be trained l a t e r . 94 Group d i s c i p l i n e maintained though obedience of each member allowed e f f i c i e n t organization f o r d r i l l and memorization. The c h i l d was seen as a small beast (244) . Instructional. D r i l l , memorization and perfect r e c i t a t i o n l e d to mechanical techniques of i n s t r u c t i o n . With attention given to ind i v i d u a l units of i n s t r u c t i o n being mastered by-each group, subjects remained discrete and separate. There were fix e d standards (244). Institutional. The school developed as a military-type hierarchy i n which obedience to authority and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y within the chain of command were paramount (244) . In t h i s model the c h i l d has to be controlled f i r s t , to be trained l a t e r . The school i s a m i l i t a r y -type hierarchy i n which obedience to authority and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y within the chain of command were most important. These descriptions stress obedience, control, and authority i n the same way that the modern schools tend to, and i n the way that Quaslametko d i d with her grandchildren. There are many variables to consider i n assessing Quaslametko as representative of hierarchies. Given the number of grandchildren Quaslametko had to care for i n the absence of her sick daughter, i t i s understandable that she chose to use an authoritarian manner which would get the household jobs done quickly and e f f i c i e n t l y . Given the numbers of students that teachers have per classroom, over t h i r t y , i t i s not surprising that some of the points i n the Monitorial Method are highly questionable, at least i n r e l a t i o n 95 to my family's experience. As Sophie says of Quaslametko's methods: To t h i s day I don't l i k e doing dishes, or housework. We [as children] didn't do a good job because she talked to us so mean ( f i e l d notes). Two factors may have had a bearing on Quaslametko's attitudes and behaviour (which do not seem t y p i c a l of the Nlakapamux). In 1918, when Sophie was three years o l d an epidemic of Spanish Influenza k i l l e d a large number of Native people i n the Nicola Valley (Christina Voght Anderson, personal communication, December 28, 1992). So Quaslametko may have been motivated to practise stringent hygiene i n the home so as to prevent death by f l u . Perhaps she was angry at the white people f o r bringing the disease. Also, Quaslametko and her husband, Chief Yapskin, had embraced Catholicism and were probably strongly influenced by the teachings of the p r i e s t on c h i l d d i s c i p l i n e . An i n t e r e s t i n g Insight about Quaslametko came from a conversation with my mother who said: I f i n a l l y remembered why Quaslametko was the way she was. The teacher at [Kamloops Indian Residential S]chool t o l d me to help t h i s g i r l c a l l e d Melina. She was from Coldwater too. Anyway she got mad because I got her to f i l l up the page with numbers. I couldn't help i t . That's the way I was taught so I had to do i t that way. She thought I was being mean to her so she said, "Your grandmother wanted your mother to marry a chief's son.' I guess i t was true 96 too because my mother was a chief's daughter. Quaslametko was married to Chief Yapskin. William Voght Sr. talked to Yapskin and they arranged the marriage between my mother and my father. My father [William Voght Jr.] was a half breed and Quaslametko didn't l i k e white people ( f i e l d notes). The reason why Quaslametko may have been so against the marriage was because another white s e t t l e r i n the v a l l e y had l i v e d with an Nlakapamux woman, but l a t e r had asked her to leave when he arranged for a white bride from England. The Nlakapamux woman's family had a l l died i n the f l u epidemic and being a l l alone i n the world she committed suicide by hanging herself on a tree (F i e l d notes). Quaslametko may have been a f r a i d the same would happen to her daughter. These explanations are not complete. Sophie also said that Quaslametko was so cranky that one by one her three young sons moved out of the house ( f i e l d notes,). There are p o s i t i v e aspects of Quaslametko's methods too. Sophie said Quaslametko was always busy working: Well, I guess i t ' s a good thing [Quaslametko] was kind of mean. It helped us not to be lazy. She worked from morning to night herself so we di d the same ( f i e l d notes). So, i n the F i r s t Nations t r a d i t i o n of teaching by example Quaslametko l i v e d her teaching role by keeping busy every day, a l l day. 97 Yetko's f r i e n d l y , respectful manner towards the children, and her way of working together with them r e f l e c t a more e g a l i t a r i a n s t y l e of i n t e r a c t i o n which can be symbolized by a c i r c l e . The c i r c l e i s often representative of native s o c i e t i e s and philosophies. In The Sacred Tree (Bopp et a l . , 1984) i t says, "The Medicine Wheel i s an ancient powerful symbol of the universe. It i s a s i l e n t teacher of the r e a l i t i e s of things. It shows the many d i f f e r e n t ways i n which a l l things are interconnected" (32). James T e i t (1900) i n his discussion of the s o c i a l organization of the Thompson Indians points to i t s e g a l i t a r i a n nature when he says, "At these councils such subjects as... matters of public int e r e s t were discussed, each man having a voice i n the matter" (289). In "Our World According to Osennontion and Shonaganleh:ra" (Canadian Woman Studies. 1989) Skonaganleh:ra says: The Elders and T r a d i t i o n a l People... t a l k about how everyone has her/his own medicine wheel. In that medicine wheel i r r e s p e c t i v e of colour, was everything that she/he needed ... the values and b e l i e f s , and s o c i a l mores, about how we were to get along (8). The c i r c l e provides a contrast to hierarchies, generally symbolizes Native philosophy and represents egalitarlanism. A modern pedagogical d i s c i p l i n e which resembles Yetko's i n t e r a c t i o n with her grandchildren i s the 98 humanistic view of learning. In Educational Psychology i n the Canadian Classroom. (1992) Winzer and Grigg state that the "humanistic educator acts as a f a c i l i t a t o r , concerned with creating an open climate of trust and acceptance i n which children are free to experiment and learn" (300). According to humanistic educators good teachers have three a t t i t u d i n a l q u a l i t i e s that enhance t h e i r a b i l i t y to work e f f e c t i v e l y with students. 1. Realness or genuineness; they must be capable of accurately and openly communicating t h e i r feelings to t h e i r students; they are being themselves (400-1) . 2. Respect; humanists believe that the second most important c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of e f f e c t i v e teachers i s a profound and deeply f e l t respect f o r each student. Each i s seen as a unique human being who has worth i n his own r i g h t . This respect i s unconditional (401). 3. Empathetic understanding; the a b i l i t y to understand student reactions from the ins i d e . . . The teacher must be able to view the world through the student 1s eyes i n order to understand t h e i r feelings and perceptions without analyzing or judging (401-2) . Yetko showed herself to be re a l and genuine when she was able to communicate so e f f e c t i v e l y with the children that Sophie remembered her teachings over s i x t y years l a t e r . Yetko showed profound respect f o r the children when she took the time to explain the deeper meanings of things such as f i s h psychology. She showed empathy by speaking to them as fellow human beings who have dignity. She explained rather than 99 ordered. She went with the children and showed them how to do things. She pa r t i c i p a t e d i n every a c t i v i t y . She l i k e d them. "She was my fr i e n d , " said Sophie ( f i e l d notes). The question i s , do these teacher q u a l i t i e s improve student development and learning? One study (Winzer & Grigg, 1992) showed that: [students of] highly f a c i l i t a t i n g teachers missed fewer days, had increased s e l f -concept, made greater academic gains, presented fewer d i s c i p l i n e problems, committed less vandalism, increased scores on IQ tests, made gains i n c r e a t i v i t y scores, were more spontaneous, and used higher l e v e l s of thinking (402). In the case of Yetko and my mother the outstanding gains were my mother's p o s i t i v e feelings about her t r a d i t i o n s and culture, her retention of knowledge over s i x t y years, her p o s i t i v e self-concept, her enjoyment i n the learning, process, and her a b i l i t y to pass on to future generations her love of plant gathering and s t o r y t e l l i n g . In reviewing the two d i f f e r e n t philosophies of teaching Native children, I admit to a bias i n favour of Yetko's methods of teaching, her careful sharing of knowledge with the l i t t l e g i r l s , her taking them into the mountains to learn on s i t e with hands-on experiences, her laughter, her spontaneity, her s t o r y t e l l i n g . She may not have had much choice about the p o l i t i c s i n the changing world of her day, or 100 about the structure of the formal education system, but she had the power to choose what type of person she would be. As Osstenontion and Skonaganleh:ra (Canadian Woman Studies, 1989) said: I understand the code, the law, that I am to follow. I understand that I have the strength of my relationships to honour the smallest plant and the smallest c h i l d and the most sacred of ceremonies. In the context of a l l that I don't need to change myself. I don't need a b i g st i c k , a loud voice, a women's group to represent me (11). This i s perhaps the legacy we as Native people have received from our ancestors and our past, the philosophy of the c i r c l e , a recognition not of rights, only r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , a perception of strength not as force but as Internal, a process of going back to pick up those things that were l e f t behind (17). As educators we may not have the option to overhaul the educational system, or to change society's philosophy of self-concept. But we can, l i k e Yetko, choose a teaching s t y l e which i s genuine, respectful, and empathetic. On a more personal l e v e l , I can see both Quaslametko and Yetko i n myself. I was Yetko when I t o l d s t o r i e s and sang songs to my children, when I made them puppets and taught them to see the relati o n s h i p between the sun and the r a i n and the branches on the trees. I was Quaslametko when as a single working parent of three teenagers I had to 101 es t a b l i s h and i n s i s t on a s t r i c t , d i s c i p l i n e d schedule of household jobs. I was Yetko when I asked my children which school they would attend and Quaslametko when I said no they could not go to the l o c a l highschool dance. When he was sixteen, my son E r i c wrote a poem which speaks of his grandmother, Sophie, and the mountains where they had gone many times to gather medicine plants and pick b e r r i e s . It represents In imagery the continuity of the learning process, the sharing of information, and the way s t o r y t e l l i n g passed from generation to generation, from Yetko to my mother, myself and my son. This poem was r e c i t e d at the Speech Arts F e s t i v a l i n Merritt i n 1985: Up i n the H i l l s Up i n the h i l l s and f a r away, My grandmother goes on a summer day. She t e l l s us st o r i e s of long ago, Where animals water and wildflowers grow, Stories of people who l i v e d here before Animals and ancestors who l i v e here no more. Up i n the h i l l s where the a i r i s clean, The water i s sweet and the grass Is green, There 1s a song and a legend for each time we go, To the h i l l s f a r away where wildflowers grow. My daughter Haike, now a graduate of law school, speaks of her childhood with her grandmother, Sophie. After school every day Haike stopped o f f at her grandmother's house to have tea, usually medicine tea, and a tr e a t . During tea they would discuss f o r hours 102 the symptoms of rare and f a t a l diseases Haike thought she might have or might get one day. Haike (Muller, 1992) says: She waited for me to ask questions. When I r e a l l y wanted to know something, that•s when she'd t e l l me. But she waited f o r me to take the i n i t i a t i v e . She was always the person to consult i f I thought I had a f a t a l disease or strange symptoms. It was not so much what she said but how she said i t . She took me seriously. She treated me l i k e an equal. I'd bring some hints of my own from books and things, so i t was a sharing. In the s p i r i t of returning the g i f t , I look forward to taking the many g i f t s of the grandmothers and passing them on to the next set of grandchildren -through l i t e r a t u r e . This chapter has introduced the two grandmothers, Quaslametko and Yetko, who played a major role i n the c h i l d care and upbringing of my mother and her brothers and s i s t e r s i n the early part of the 1900's. The memories of Quaslametko and Yetko are kept a l i v e i n Sophie's s t o r i e s about them and i n the c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s they passed on through example and t r a i n i n g . Their l i v e s were interconnected through t h e i r culture, through marriage, through the grandchildren they shared, and through the common experiences of Nlakapamux women/people i n t h e i r day. In many ways the l i v e s and a c t i v i t i e s of the two grandmothers r e f l e c t a contrast i n t h e i r characters and Interactions. Quaslametko's authoritarian manner 103 has been connected to the h i e r a r c h i c a l , military-type philosophy of the B e l l Lancaster and Monitorial Method of the 1790's, a method whose influence continues to the present. Yetko's f r i e n d l y way of teaching the children by example i s s i m i l a r to that of humanistic educators who r e f l e c t realness or genuineness, respect and empathy i n t h e i r interactions with learners. The contrast between the c h i l d rearing styles of the two grandmothers gives us an opportunity f o r r e f l e c t i v e thought about our own interactions with learners. Do we control them with fear and g u i l t or do we use s t o r y t e l l i n g , hand-on experience, and fr i e n d l y manners to make learning enjoyable? Probably we use both styles, drawing upon the methods of each of the grandmothers as the need ar i s e s . I have demonstrated how the influence of both grandmothers p e r s i s t s to the present generation. Yetko's knowledge of medicine food and medicine plants i s s t i l l used by many members of the Yapskin clan. I am happy to say that one member of the family clan, Mary Jane, started weaving cedar baskets i n 1997. Both grandmothers took the r e p o n s i b i l i t y for the care and t r a i n i n g of the grandchildren when Shannie became i l l . This r e f l e c t s the strength of the value which the Nlakapamux place on the family. 104 Chapter Six Yetko, Sophie, and the Fishtrap: Stories as Teachers This chapter explores the spilaxem as a phenomenon i n which s t o r y t e l l e r and l i s t e n e r engage i n story as: l i v i n g and l i v e d experience i n the b u i l d i n g of a f i s h trap. The process returns what was taken from the researcher at r e s i d e n t i a l school, the knowledge of who she i s c u l t u r a l l y . My academic interest in storytelling began with a fishtrap. In January of 1987 I asked my mother, Sophie, to help me build a Salish fish trap as a project for a night course on the Native Peoples of British Columbia. As we walked around the chickenhouse to gather red willow for the project, my mother started to tell me about how her grand-aunt, Yetko, had shown her how to build the trap when my mother was about six or eight years old. They were down at the Coldwater River one day gathering plants and making "spetsin" or twine. Sophie showed me how you take some strings from the plant and roll it on your knee to twirl it into twine. Then Sophie said Yetko thought it would be nice to have fresh trout for supper. She gathered red willow and started to make the fish trap right there. My mother watched for awhile, then she began to hold sticks in place so Yetko could tie them. As they worked togther Yetko explained what she was doing, how she was doing it and why she was doing it a certain way. She explained 105 where it was best to place the trap so that fish would go into it and how to hide the trap from the fisheries people who were patrolling the rivers and breaking up the traps. They went up to Yetko's house and told her she was not allowed to make fish traps anymore (Sterling, 1992, p. 11). At one point in the building of the flshtrap I stopped to watch my mother. As she was chopping the willow sticks and tying them together with black baling twine she was remembering Yetko and the day at the river gathering twine. My mother was chuckling at something Yetko said or did. "Oh, she was a nice old lady," said Mum. "How many fishtraps have you made, Mum?" I asked. "Two," she said. "I mean in your entire lifetime?" "Well," she said. "This one and the one T made with Yetko." "You mean you remembered how to make a fishtrap from that one time when you were a l i t t l e girl and Yetko showed you? That's like sixty-five years ago!" I was thinking, wow, sixty-five years later, she remembered! Enculturation and s o c i a l i z a t i o n into Nlakapamux society does not happen i n any covert or planned way. L i f e simply goes on. The Nlakapamux go to work, hunt 106 and f i s h , gather and prepare winter food and ra i s e the babies. When my mother and grandmother went berry picking, n a t u r a l l y we children went along. We learned by simply being there where the best berry locations were. We ate deer meat and f i s h and bannock and drank skutzuh' tea fo r lunch. By season we picked wild strawberries, saskatoons and soap berries and black berries and huckleberries into our cedar root baskets, and gathered medicine tea and t i g e r l i l y bulbs when we saw them. We learned that bears l i k e to hide t h e i r cubs i n g u l l i e s and we recognized and respected bear sign. Then we went home and cleaned the berries, canned or dried them for winter use, and cooked some for supper. I am aware of the importance of those simple, da i l y , pleasurable a c t i v i t i e s . I understand the strength of my parents' and grandmother's Influence on what I value i n l i f e and how I l i v e . How d i d t h i s happen without formal t r a i n i n g i n the culture? How did t h i s happen when I spent only f i v e and a half years at home as a child? The answer i s through the ora l t r a d i t i o n s . Stories make t h e i r appearance anywhere, anytime; when we are s i t t i n g under a bush picking the berries together, t r a v e l l i n g somewhere, celebrating a birthday. The sto r i e s keep our energy 107 flowing as we stay up a l l night canning salmon during the coho and sockeye runs. I had always l i k e d the s t o r i e s about Yetko. Her f u l l name, K 1wista-yetko, means w a t e r f a l l . She was s i s t e r to Yapskin Antoine, and the daughter of Stanislaus Yapskin and Shushiana. Sophie remembers her: [Yetko] l i v e d r ight across the [Coldwater] River. She's Yapskin's [Antoine] s i s t e r , that's my mother's aunt. We'd do anything to be with her. She was so wonderful. She learned us how to catch horse, to t r y and saddle a horse. Then we'd go out digging f o r roots. We'd go out doing something, pick berries or saskatoons, whatever there was to pick. There were b i g baskets on the horse. She shows you what to do, t e l l s you what to do. I think she just enjoys going out that time. I remember that time we followed her up t h i s h i l l past Tulameen. She was going to get b i t t e r r o o t s up there, way up. Isaac Antoine was on his way down. He stoned some grouse. He says, "Oh I got some food here f o r you.' So he handed them.over to my grandmother. She took one out and started plucking i t . Then the next thing you know the grouse came a l i v e and flew away into the bushes. She t o l d us, "Run a f t e r i t and get i t ! . 1 She was a l l excited. She couldn't stand to miss one grouse. Oh, I laughed and laughed about that (Sophie, November 1, 1992). Yetko was my mother's grand-aunt, s i s t e r to Chief Yapskin Antoine, and one of two grandmothers who helped to rai s e my mother and her s i b l i n g s . Yetko was the s t o r y t e l l e r . She c a l l e d the children to bed every evening and t o l d them the speta'kl, or creation s t o r i e s , as they f e l l asleep. As s t o r y t e l l e r Yetko was thus the tradition-bearer, the teacher of values and morals, and the entertainer. Entering into a 108 Yetko story to construct a f i s h trap added a new dimension to s t o r y t e l l i n g ; that of a l i v i n g story experience. Sophie, as a l i t t l e g i r l , had l i v e d the story with Yetko, becoming part of the story by being there as a hearer and learner. Sophie as Elder had transmitted the story by word of mouth as she r e - l i v e d the experience i n another r o l e - that of imparter of knowledge. She imparted knowledge i n the way she had learned i t ; by example, by ac t u a l l y b u i l d i n g the trap, and also by t e l l i n g a story at the same time as she b u i l t the trap. From the f i s h t r a p story I learned many things. I helped make a fishtr a p , so I learned the basic components. I could admire how Yetko made a f i s h t r a p with a knife and the plants around her by the r i v e r and her knowledge. I could perceive that the land was a f r i e n d l y place which gave the Nlakapamux a l i v i n g . I learned a l i t t l e about f i s h psychology. I learned there was an Nlakapamux technology f o r making s t r i n g and twine which was c a l l e d spetzin. I knew where to f i n d the twine plant, at the Coldwater River, and Sophie taught me the technique f o r making twine out of the plant strings, and f o r storing i t by r o l l i n g i t . up a c e r t a i n way. I could see that s t o r y t e l l i n g combined with hands-on experience was a powerful educator. 109 Later, when I was enrolled i n the Native Indian Teacher Education Program (NITEP) and then graduate school i n education, I analyzed the f i s h t r a p story i n two submissions; one which examined the Year 2000 (1989) document i n terms of Yetko's teaching s t y l e , and one which was published by Amnesty International's Fourth R to commemorate (not celebrate) the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus coming to North America (1992). I i d e n t i f i e d o r a l t r a d i t i o n s used with experiential learning as a key component i n education, s t o r y t e l l i n g as a most e f f e c t i v e memory device, friendship as an important part of the grandmother-child (teacher-learner) rel a t i o n s h i p and the presence of F i r s t Nations adults as imperative i n the education of F i r s t Nations children. At the time I i d e n t i f i e d four aspects of the story which had an educational a p p l i c a t i o n i n that they provided i n s p i r a t i o n f o r teaching techniques In the classroom. F i r s t , my mother used s t o r y t e l l i n g to help her remember d e t a i l s about the construction of the f i s h t r a p . Stories help us to remember d e t a i l s . Second, my mother was able to remember from that one time how to make a trap, s i x t y - f i v e years l a t e r . Stories help us to remember events f o r many decades. Third, my mother maintained a l i f e - l o n g p r o f i c i e n c y i n and love for the a c t i v i t i e s she p a r t i c i p a t e d i n with 110 Yetko; berry picking, s t o r y t e l l i n g , food gathering and gathering herbal medicine. Stories help to make our experiences enjoyable. Fourth, the rel a t i o n s h i p between Yetko and my mother was e g a l i t a r i a n rather than h i e r a r c h i c a l . She described Yetko as f r i e n d ( f i e l d notes). Stories make friends. However, there was much more i n the f i s h t r a p narrative, many more layers of meaning. There are s o c i a l , economic, p o l i t i c a l , psychological, educational, h i s t o r i c a l , and l e g a l elements i n the story, a l l of which have a p o t e n t i a l f o r education. For instance, when my mother was a l i t t l e g i r l i n the 1920's, i n s t i t u t i o n a l racism had invaded the everyday l i v e s of the Nlakapamux i n the form of f i s h e r i e s laws. The story, then, points at an economic dilemna. What were the Nlakapmux to eat? The story reveals how p o l i t i c a l domination took the form of oppressive laws against F i r s t Nations f i s h i n g practises, and i n t h i s way t r i e d to force the Nlakapamux and other F i r s t Nations to change t h e i r economic t r a d i t i o n s . The story also shows there was a resistance movement i n that the grandmothers were teaching the children to hide the fishtraps from the f i s h e r i e s o f f i c e r s . I had heard the grandmother st o r i e s a l l my l i f e , but I had never stopped to consider t h e i r implications. As I researched o r a l t r a d i t i o n s f o r I l l graduate studies I began to understand how st o r i e s had the power to take me back to a time and place which I had l o s t because of my Incarcerated childhood at the r e s i d e n t i a l school. I could discover and explore the knowledge that had been denied me and come to understand who I was i n r e l a t i o n to my c u l t u r a l group. I could recover my c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y , i n a kind of emancipatory process (LeCompte, 1993, p. 9) which took place as I wrote, analyzed, and interpreted the stories within an autobiographical framework. When I was eight years o l d I was i n grade four at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, s i t t i n g at a desk learning from books. At the r e s i d e n t i a l school my Nlakapamux history, culture, values, language, and customs had not been known, acknowledged, or taught. On the contrary, anything about any F i r s t Nations culture was suppressed, sometimes b r u t a l l y , always as i f i t were something e v i l or despicable. For many years I understood education to mean acquiring a Western degree In a Western learning i n s t i t u t i o n i n order to have c r e d i b i l i t y as an educator. My father encouraged my family to get an education f o r the economic benefit. My maternal great grandfather, Chief Yapskin Antoine, made a statement about education which was remembered by Robert W;. S t e r l i n g at an education conference i n 1984: 112 In 1906, Yapskin, an i n t e r i o r Thompson chief, received a v i s i t from a Catholic p r i e s t . The p r i e s t was o f f e r i n g to take the children away from t h e i r home and place them i n a r e s i d e n t i a l school. Afte r two months of thinking, Yapskin talked with his people and said: "We are the people and we are strong In our own ways; but there are white people among us now and they are strong i n t h e i r own ways. We are weak i n t h e i r ways. We are the people and we w i l l never change. But to stand on our feet and look the white man i n the eyes, to deal with him f a i r l y , we must know his ways (9). This need to become educated i n order to be able to deal with a changing world and a new society has been i d e n t i f i e d i n many F i r s t Nations learning i n s t i t u t i o n s . From my e a r l i e s t childhood my brothers and s i s t e r s and I were encouraged to value education i n my family. But f o r the longest time getting that education has meant denying my c u l t u r a l heritage and cutting myself o f f from that heritage because the education which provides accreditation and jobs i s available only i n schools, colleges, u n i v e r s i t i e s , and other Western learning i n s t i t u t i o n s . Empirical evidence showed me that t h i s type of education was not successful among F i r s t Nations learners. The s o c i a l f a l l - o u t from the r e s i d e n t i a l schools was s t i l l evident decades a f t e r the schools were shut down i n the 1970's (Chrisjohn, 1994). Integration, or education provided by the p r o v i n c i a l government (Kirkness, 1992, p.14), "has not provided the answer to the demand f o r a meaningful education f o r F i r s t 113 Nations children." The drop-out rates f o r F i r s t Nations learners have remained staggering. In 1972-73 the National Indian Brotherhood drafted the p o l i c y paper Indian Control of Indian Education which a r t i c u l a t e d the philosophy, goals, 'principles and dire c t i o n s which "must form the foundation of any school program f o r [ F i r s t Nations] children" ( i i i ) . The p o l i c y states i n "Curriculum and [Fi r s t Nations] Values": Unless a c h i l d learns about the forces which shape him: the hist o r y of his people, t h e i r values and customs, t h e i r language, he w i l l never r e a l l y know himself or his p o t e n t i a l as a human being. Indian culture and values have a unique place i n the hist o r y of mankind. The Indian c h i l d who learns about h i s heritage w i l l be proud of i t . The lessons he learns i n school, h i s whole school experience, should reinforce and contribute to the image he has of himself as an Indian (9). One method of learning F i r s t Nations history, customs, values and language i s through the o r a l t r a d i t i o n s . Stories show F i r s t Nations learners t h e i r unique place i n t h e i r nation's h i s t o r y as well as i n the country's and world's history. The grandmother sto r i e s contribute to a p o s i t i v e s e l f image by humanizing F i r s t Nations experiences. Nothing can ever give back the stolen years at the r e s i d e n t i a l school. I was separated from my family and community ten months of the year f o r eleven years. Because of a s s i m i l a t i o n i s t p o l i c i e s which were 114 s t r i c t l y enforced at r e s i d e n t i a l schools I l o s t the language of my grandmother, and the a b i l i t y to communicate with her. I l o s t the c u l t u r a l knowledge, the language, and the nurturance. But I believe I can s t i l l learn from the grandmothers through s t o r i e s about them, through dreams and memories. Everything the grandmothers did was embedded i n the t r a d i t i o n a l Nlakapamux culture, r e f l e c t i n g what was valued and believed and expressed through action and word and memory. My de-humanized existance at the r e s i d e n t i a l school could be of f s e t by a process of re-humanization through the sto r i e s of my grandmothers. The grandmothers were not numbers, made i d e n t i c a l to 400 other children by haircuts, uniforms, si l e n c i n g , and regimentation. The grandmothers laughed and worked and t o l d s t o r i e s to l i t t l e c hildren and rode up into the mountains, were kind, were s t r i c t , made twine out of plants, cut willow switches to make the children behave, rocked the babies to sleep. In that context I could step out of the r e s i d e n t i a l school and enter into the grandmothers' world where my humanity and uniqueness were accepted, understood, and probably enj oyed. As an educator I began to see the h i s t o r i c a l and pedagogical implications of the story. It gave me a 115 glimpse into the hi s t o r y of the Nlakapamux and t h e i r educational practises with p r a c t i c a l applications f o r learning i n any setting, t r a d i t i o n a l or contemporary. At a deeper l e v e l of meaning the story of Yetko and the f i s h t r a p gives me joy, a sense of i n c l u s i o n . I wonder i f she would have l i k e d me too, i f she would have said to me, "Seepeetza, wee1 ken min deep... Seepeetza, come with us..." And away we would have gone into the mountains on the chocolate-brown coloured horse c a l l e d Nkwalepeesht with a mane so long i t reached down and touched the earth. More than everything else the story of Yetko i s a personal one. She was my blood kin, an ancestress, a member of my family clan, nookwa', my long l o s t r e l a t i v e , teacher of my mother whose friendship and presence I can experience through my mother's s t o r i e s about her. Yetko makes me happy. I think about her tending the young women i n the moon lodges, teaching the g i r l s the Day-Dawn song at sunrise facing the east, l u l l i n g the l i t t l e children to sleep with her magical s t o r i e s about Grouse, Bear, Eagle, and COyote. I have not experienced, a l l these practises personally, only heard about them. I probably romanticize them. But I know through s t o r i e s that c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s took place, openly In t r a d i t i o n a l times, secre t l y when federal and 116 p r o v i n c i a l laws forbade them. The grandmother st o r i e s are Important. Through sto r i e s about her, Yetko gives me a sense of who I am as a member of the Yapskin clan. She was a gatherer of medicine food, engaging i n berrypicking a c t i v i t i e s which we Nlakapamux women and men s t i l l carry on every year. Yetko was the s t o r y t e l l e r , the t r a d i t i o n bearer the h i s t o r i a n , teacher of morals and values, the entertainer, an Elder-friend. I can aspire to become l i k e her. Yetko, i n the f i s h t r a p story, i s therefore teaching, and the story about her i s a l i v i n g t r a d i t i o n . In t h i s way the stories about the grandmothers are the teachers, because they are a l i v e i n the memories and l i v i n g words of the s t o r y t e l l e r . Whether the story i s transmitted by word of mouth or i n written form the experiences they allow us to have are i n the present, because as hearers we are i n the present. This chapter has examined how a culture survives through the oral t r a d i t i o n . Through the story of Yetko, Sophie, and the f i s h t r a p I have discovered some deeper meanings i n o r a l t r a d i t i o n . As we l i v e and. re-l i v e the story experiences we carry on the t r a d i t i o n s and transmit them to the next generation through the acts of hearing and t e l l i n g and r e t e l l i n g i n 117 c u l t u r a l l y contextualized settings. Whatever s t o r i e s I hear about Yetko and the other grandmothers inform me about my culture because they l i v e d the culture, and they continue to transmit that culture by whatever they do and say i n the s t o r i e s . They remain a l i v e i n the present tense of the sto r i e s , reviving, restoring, and r e v i t a l i z i n g what has been l o s t f o r awhile, c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y . We do not know u n t i l we examine them them how important the or a l t r a d i t i o n s are i n terms of c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y , the sense of i n c l u s i o n they give us, how they nurture, teach and guide us. In terms of educational practise s t o r y t e l l i n g combined with hands-on experience can be an excellent teaching method, aiding long-term memory and making the learning experience and subsequent work a c t i v i t y enjoyable. These aspects should be inherent i n learning experiences. I have also suggested using a concrete-to-theory model of teaching rather than always a theory-to-concrete one. This would be b e n e f i c i a l at the graduate l e v e l as well. Metaphor, s t o r y t e l l i n g , and narrative research would be an int e r e s t i n g way to begin dialogue about academic concerns and the exploration of ideas. 118 Chapter Seven Quaslametko's Baskets: The Critical Voice in Spilaxem Quaslametko spoke out against schooling because she said i t would erode the Nlakapamux culture. Her husband, Chief Yapskin, spoke for schooling because i t would help the Nlakapamux deal with change. Quaslametko's words bring out the importance of the Nlakapamux critical voice in defending the family value and her star baskets reinforce cultural identity. Quaslametko was a master basket-maker. She made beautiful cedar root baskets for trade. The baskets which were not good enough for trade were kept for household use. I have three of Quaslametko's baskets which my grandmother, Shannie, brought to Joeyaska Ranch where I grew up. I rescued them from flooding water at the house where I lived with my children for eight years. The two larger baskets have star patterns on them and the third, the way I interpret it, has a trail of tears or footprints leading from the surface world to the star world. The largest of the baskets is two handspans high, about 25 centimeters. At the base it is one handspan wide and two handspans long. At the top it is almost two handspans wide and three handspans long. It has a rounded rectangular shape which grows in a conical way from bottom to top. There are 44 stars which are symmetrical in design, and look like short crosses. Each star has four rays in black or red cherry bark and a centre of two rows, three coils wide in the 119 natural cedar root colour. There are five rows of stars running horizontally around the basket and 13 columns which angle from right to left down the basket at a graceful diagonal. The star basket has at the four corners four buckskin loops through which you can put cloth belts which you tie around the waist leaving both hands free to pick berries. When the basket is almost full, you place berry branches across the top of the basket and tie the branches down with strings or laces which you tie onto the corner loops. This way you do not spill the berries if you trip over a tree root or lean too far to climb over a log. This basket has a colourful woven tumpllne which was given to me by my friend, Antoinette Austin, in 1992. It was the the year we used the basket in the play, Owl Talker, which Antoinette produced and directed for a drama course at UBC. The star pattern is faded in many places and the top row has two tears, but the basket is s t i l l intact and I could use it for picking berries if I wanted to. I find it too large. It can hold about four ice-cream buckets full of berries and when it gets about half-full it has a tendency to tip over and spill the berries on the ground. It makes more sense to f i l l a smaller basket or bucket and pour the berries into the 120 large one for carrying down the mountain. The second largest basket is slightly smaller than the other star basket, and f i t s Into it like they were made as a set, easy to store when not in use. It is a golden cedar colour with red and black stars. The design created by the stars is very intricate. The stars, side by side, alternate in red (natural), cherry, and black (dyed) cherry colours, and create six rows of black stars and six rows of red stars which flow top to bottom, right to left, in graceful diagonal lines. The buckskin loops near the four comers are old and discoloured, but s t i l l strong. Two of the laces have been replaced with white store-bought string, by my grandmother, Shannie, I think. The top row has five gaps, worn away by time and use. One of the gaps, three rows deep, has been re-looped with white string, and the bottom has fallen off. The smallest of the baskets is one and a half handspans high, and looks as if it would f i t perfectly into the set with one basket missing. It is slightly larger than the basket I used to pick berries when I was a l i t t l e girl. The pattern is different from the other two, and T almost think it was made by another basket weaver, not Quaslametko, because the pattern is less precise and because the coilwork is more slender. 121 It is silvery grey in colour with black and red cherry designs. It has 17 columns running from top to bottom which are not equidistant from each other. One column is 14 colls away from the next row, and one is five. Each column has alternating sets of three black stitches to the right and three red stitches to the left. Only one column has its red stitches to the right and the black stitches to the left as if the basketmaker were playing a l i t t l e joke on whoever would use the basket in the future and examine its pattern. The 17 columns remind me of slim waterfalls of melting snow which flow in curly rows down mountainsides in spring or rivulets of tears running down a person's face. It could also be trails or tracks leading up and down mountains, or up and down from the sky world of the mythological age. The tears remind me of the dark side of l i f e which is sad. There is a dark side to each of us also. This can be seen In the story about Quaslametko who had a generous nature but also carried a willow switch and spoke to her grandchildren in a mean way (Sterling, 1995, p. 115). This dual nature is evident also in Coyote who was both culture hero and trickster (Teit, 1898, 4). There is a value in contemplating the dual nature of Coyote who was Involved with creation in the 122 mythological age. This point of view challenges "othering" in that when we recognize the potential for good and evil in all human beings then it is difficult to view all the members of a race, religion, or ethnic group as bad while believing all the members of my race, religion, or ethnic group are good because we follow a perfect god. In Coyote we have a creator who is flawed, very much like ourselves. He can be selfish, vain, cruel, dishonest, and lascivious. Perhaps we could spend more time examining our own individual shortcomings rather than stereotyping and punishing groups for aspects they cannot change. I can tell by the size and purply black stains in them that all three baskets were used for berry picking. They smell tangy and sweet, like huckleberries, and the coiled basketwork feels cool and smooth between the stars, and bumpy and rough-textured where there are stars and where the rows have worn away. The baskets are lovely and strong, even after a century of use. How beautiful Quaslametko's trade baskets must have been. I look for star patterns when I visit the basket sections in museums and wonder if this might be her work, her tradegoods, the star her trademark. When she was a young woman, Quaslametko walked 123 over the mountains with her three s i s t e r s from Boston Bar where she was born, to the Nicola Valley, to marry men at the Coldwater Reserve. Quaslametko married Chief Yapskin Antoine and had two daughters, one who died at b i r t h and Shannie, who was my maternal grandmother. Quaslametko's sons were Isaac, Michel and James Antoine. Sophie says: [Quaslametko] that's my mother's mother, that's Antoine Yapskin's wife. She comes from between here and Boston Bar. So they s e t t l e d down from up at the Meadow[s], and had a bunch of kids, l i k e my mother had a s i s t e r but the youngest s i s t e r died, and three brothers, Michel, James, and the youngest, Isaac ( f i e l d notes). Quaslametko was one of two grandmothers who helped r a i s e my mother and her s i b l i n g s . The reason t h i s was necessary was that Shannie, my mother's mother, bore eighteen children to her husband, ten of whom survived. Because of so much child-bearing Shannie was s i c k l y and needed help. Quaslametko was rather s t r i c t and authoritarian with the children, but as teacher and t r a i n e r she i n s t i l l e d c e r t a i n t r a d i t i o n a l values i n her grandchildren, c e r t a i n c u l t u r a l knowledge which helped them throughout t h e i r l i v e s . Quaslametko taught her grandchildren the language, Nlakapamux-chin. She shared her knowledge of gathering food. Sophie says, "Both Quaslametko and Yetko took us out to get tatoo-ln [wild onions], and indoo' [pine s a p ] " ( f i e l d 124 notes). She demonstrated master craftsmanship i n her basket-making 6. She taught them a work ethic as she worked hard from morning t i l l night herself ( f i e l d notes). Quaslametko continues through st o r i e s about her and through her baskets to ask c r i t i c a l questions about education and the survival of the Nlakapamux and to provide leadership through example and master craftsmanship. I w i l l discuss how her for t h r i g h t outspokenness about, education encourages us to question the present educational system i n terms of c u l t u r a l values and knowledge and how her baskets continue to provide i n s p i r a t i o n and c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y . Quaslametko had a strong b e l i e f i n Nlakapamux ways. This i s evident i n her attitude about school. When my mother's parents moved from t h e i r ranch at Kane Valley into the town of Merritt so the children could attend school, Quaslametko b i t t e r l y opposed the plan. Sophie r e c a l l s her words: Quaslametko said, vChook-oosh ha-ah school, Don't send your kids to school. They'll be l i k e shama's, white people.' She thought we would become l i k e shama's and forget how to hunt and f i s h and get food from the h i l l s . She thought we'd never stay with our people (Sterling, 1995, p. 115). What seems to be at the root of Quaslametko's concern was that the young people not lose the a b i l i t y to survive as hunting and gathering people, and the 125 separation of those educated i n Western I n s t i t u t i o n s from those continuing i n t r a d i t i o n a l Nlakapamux ways. Her concern was well j u s t i f i e d i n view of the fact that r e s i d e n t i a l schooling, which dominated the scene for a hundred years, had considerable success i n destroying F i r s t Nations cultures and languages. Residential schools also separated children from t h e i r families and communities (Chrisjohn*, 1993) . Public schooling was not a place where Nlakapamux ways were acknowledged except i n the most derogatory way. Letters from teachers i n the Nicola Valley to the superintendent, January 17, 1876 to May 15, 1883, r e f e r to the Voght children, William, Sophie, Mathilda and Christine, as " a l l halfbreeds." On May 15, 1883, Charles Hamilton, teacher i n the Nicola Valley, wrote to C.C. McKenzie, Superintendent of Education: None of the pupils at the East branch would undertake the written exam; they not being s u f f i c i e n t family with the English language, a l l of the children at t h i s school being halfbreeds (Charles Hamilton, May 15, 1883, Department of Education, B.C. Archives). The Voght children spoke the Nlakapamux language learned from t h e i r mother Theresa Klama Voght. The g i r l s a l l married white men and William married my grandmother Shannie Antoine, Quaslametko's daughter. Quaslametko's views about school were the opposite of those of her husband Chief Yapskin, my great-grandfather. He was approached by the Roman 126 Catholic missionaries about having the Nlakapamux children sent to the Kamloops Indian Residential school. In 1981, Robert William S t e r l i n g (Sterling, 1981) related a narrative by Nlakapamux Elder, the l a t e Johnny COllins, about the h i s t o r i c a l meeting which took place between the missionaries and c h i e f s . Chief Yapskin said: We are the people and nothing can change that. Only now, white people are among us and they have knowledge i n ways that make them strong. While we are strong i n our own ways, we are weak i n t h e i r s . Since t h e i r ways are becoming stronger, we must learn to understand t h e i r ways so that we can deal with them eye to eye. We older ones are now set i n our ways and won't change, but our young ones are ready f o r new things. We want our children to go to the r e s i d e n t i a l school to learn the knowledge and ways of white people so they can come back and explain them to us. In t h i s way we can deal with them without weakness (6). Chief Yapskin's v i s i o n d i d not materialize the way he hoped, of course. For one thing, the Nlakapamux believed i t would take two years, at most, for the children to come home from the r e s i d e n t i a l school. Nevertheless, Yapskin spoke with great c l a r i t y and wisdom about dealing with change sta t i n g that we need to know the whiteman's knowledge so that we can deal with him "without fear," whereas, Quaslametko spoke with great c l a r i t y and wisdom about retaining our unique c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y . I do not see that Quaslametko and Yapskin disagreed on that issue. 127 I f i n d no great d i f f i c u l t y i n taking both Quaslametko's and Chief Yapskin's words to heart because i t simply means reta i n i n g my culture while acquiring knowledge (and accreditation) outside my culture. The Nlakapamux cannot have survived f o r millennia without being adaptable and yet strong i n the ways which sustained them i n the past. When I f i n d a better wisdom to l i v e by I w i l l c e r t a i n l y consider changing my p o s i t i o n . What i s important about Quaslametko*s words and her attitude was that she challenged Western education and j u s t i f i e d her claims on sound l o g i c . What was going to happen to the a b i l i t y of the Nlakapamux to l i v e on the land, and to remain united as a people i f they went to school? The Nlakapamux highly value the family and kinship t i e s are the most powerful. If those are broken can we survive as a d i s t i n c t and unique group of people? Quaslametko teaches us through her words i n three ways; she gives us a c r i t i c a l approach to education, she gives the family value as the c r i t e r i o n by which we can assess the success or f a i l u r e of education and other endeavors, and she expresses the importance of Nlakapamux knowledge, s k i l l s , and attitudes, supporting c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y and independence. C r i t i c a l approaches are most important not only 128 i n education, but also i n p o l i t i c a l , economic, and so c i a l issues as well. F i r s t Nations now face the challenges of self-government and self-determination, treaty negotiations, s o c i a l j u s t i c e , aboriginal t i t l e . The example Quaslametko gives us i s that she spoke out, and asserted her concerns, defending her claims with sound argumentation. She spoke on behalf of the Nlakapamux culture, implying c o r r e c t l y that i t has the right to e x i s t . In view of the powerful r a c i s t hegemonies perpetuated i n r e s i d e n t i a l and public schools, we need to hear Quaslametko's voice and our own voices raised with hers with those questions of what happens to our c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y and family values i f we become educated i n Western schools. Jobs, schools, r e l i g i o n s , c h i l d apprehension p o l i c i e s , economic opportunities, and prisons separate f a m i l i e s . We need to think about how we can overcome some of these separations. In a contextualized Nlakapamux set t i n g the material culture of basketry i s connected to the basket-maker and to the s t o r y t e l l i n g t r a d i t i o n ; both the speta'kl and spilaxem. The speta'kl, or creation stories, symbolized by the star patterns on Quaslametko's baskets, t e l l us about star mythology i n which the stars are known as sky people. The spilaxem, or personal narratives, t e l l us about my. 129 great-grandmother, Quaslametko, who becomes my teacher through the st o r i e s about her. I have gained from Quaslametko's baskets an appreciation of fi n e craftsmanship, a way of combining beauty with p r a c t i c a l i t y and an in t e r e s t i n star mythology. The following narrative verse has imagery and symbolism which I w i l l use to explore o r a l t r a d i t i o n through poetry: The Four Sided Star Quaslametko's basket has forty-four stars Each with four sides for the four directions and the four seasons, the f i f t h being within. Seven Blackfoot youths: set out in early spring travelling west. I will hold my right arm out to my sisters the stars and my left arm I will follow to the west to you, Nookwa', my beloved. Yapskin has asked his grandmother to make him eight or ten pairs of moccasins so he could walk somewhere and find himself a wife, the girls in their village having died in the epidemic. Four stopped along the way at a place they liked, a place they wanted to stay. Three kept travelling west until late fall and Yapskin, the one who drags his foot,, found Sushiana at Boston Bar. Their son Yapskin Antoine married Quaslametko my mother's grandmother the basket maker, whose symbol was the four-sided star. I have lost my way, my grandfather, Spupizuh'. The road has gone two ways 130 dividing- me and breaking my heart, but, the hunter has held the eagle feather over my head and shown me how to find my way. He was there when I counted Quaslametko's forty-four stars for the four directions and the five seasons, the one being within. I am holding my left arm out to my sisters the stars and my right arm, my right arm is leading me home. The poem i s an adaptation of a speta'kl, a creation story, about stars, i n a new genre. My brother Austin t o l d me that Elders t o l d him that f a l l i n g stars are the souls of our people leaving t h i s world and going into the sky world (A. W. St e r l i n g , personal communication). As stars the Nlakapamux wage war against the darkness, a good metaphor fo r the struggle against c u l t u r a l and l i t e r a l death, despair and ignorance, s o c i a l i n j u s t i c e . I think of the four-sided star as a family crest, drawing strength from i t s mystical q u a l i t y and beauty and connection to my ancestors. It reminds me to embellish p r a c t i c a l endeavors with loveliness, to take time to laugh and enjoy myself, no matter how busy, or how serious the circumstances. In "The Four-sided Star," I have pondered the long voyage of my great great grandfather, Stanislaus Yapskin, who t r a v e l l e d from early spring to l a t e f a l l to f i n d himself a wife. The stars i n t h i s narrative 131 poem are used f o r navigation, l i t e r a l l y and figuratively.. An Nlakapamux hunter, Tukiaxkn (personal communication, 1996), explained that you hold your arms up towards the Big Dipper and i f you want to f i n d West you stretch your l e f t arm out to the l e f t and i f you want to f i n d East you s t r e t c h your right arm out to the r i g h t . When you know which way i s East or West you have a better chance of f i n d i n g your way. The stars symbolize ancestors l i k e Stanislaus Yapskin and Quaslametko and t h e i r l i g h t i s the i n s p i r a t i o n and teaching they give us through narrative. The teaching I'd l i k e to discuss i s that of family values. As I have written e a r l i e r Quaslametko defended her culture and family by speaking out about education. Her husband, Chief Yapskin Antoine, encouraged the young people to get schooling because i t would help the Nlakapamux to learn the ways of the white man f o r the purpose of s e l f - p r o t e c t i o n . Chief Yapskin's father, Stanislaus Yapskin, t r a v e l l e d a great distance to f i n d a wife and have a family. The o r a l t r a d i t i o n s t e l l us that Stanislaus Yapskin asked his mother or grandmother to make him eight to ten p a i r s of moccasins because he was planning to walk somewhere to f i n d himself a wife. 132 There were seven young men who t r a v e l l e d together from early spring to l a t e f a l l . Four decided to stay at a place along the way, because they l i k e d i t there. The l a s t three t r a v e l l e d from Penticton over the Boston Bar T r a i l because they heard the railway people were h i r i n g workers. Stanislaus Yapskin met Sushiana at Boston Bar and they married and had several children, one of whom was Yapskin Antoine, my mother's grandfather, and Quaslametko's husband ( f i e l d notes). If we consider early spring to mean the month of March and l a t e f a l l to mean November, then the young men would have t r a v e l l e d for eight months. If we multiply 240 days at 10 to 15 miles per day, then we r e a l i z e that Stanislaus Yapskin must have walked 2400 to 3600 miles to f i n d a wife. The name Yapskin, according to Larry Antoine (personal communication, 1994), means dragging his foot, so Yapskin may have been cr i p p l e d or wounded. In any case his motivation to get a wife and family was very strong; family was something he must have valued and highly prized to make that long journey with a game leg. So the value defended by Quaslametko and sought a f t e r by Stanislaus Yapskin was the family. When I think of my family I think of the f i s h i n g grounds and the mountains where we pick berries and the men and some of the women go hunting. Outside of 133 marriages and funerals the mountain campsite i s the one place where we can consistently get together. We set up camp i n a c i r c l e , cook, share, eat together, pick berries i n small groups, exchange news, t e l l s t o r i e s , speak sometimes i n Nlakapamux-chin. This i s something we must not lose, t h i s gathering time together, and i t becomes an issue f o r p o l i t i c a l , economic, and s o c i a l discourse. When I was a l i t t l e g i r l we went to Coquihalla and to Tulameen Summit to pick b e r r i e s . Now there i s a super highway at Coquihalla and a mining operation at Tulameen which has carved up the mountain v a l l e y where we used to camp. Some men from the mining company stopped my mother and s i s t e r on the road into the v a l l e y and t o l d them they could not pick berries there anymore. In another part of the Nicola Valley the Craigmont and Highland Valley Mines have carved up the hunting grounds of the Nkamcinemux. A dam was b u i l t where Nicola Lake drains into the Nicola River, stopping the humpback salmon from coming up the r i v e r to spawn. In 1996 the Spahomin People put up a roadblack because the Douglas Lake Ranch had put up fences and denied access to t r a d i t i o n a l hunting, b u r i a l , berry-picking, f i s h i n g , s p i r i t u a l , and plant medicine areas of the Okanagans. The one p a r t i a l v i c t o r y came when the Stein 134 Valley, the s p i r i t u a l centre of the Nlakapamux, was declared a park by the NDP Government In 1995. It took a major, ongoing i n i t i a t i v e by the Nlakapamux, other F i r s t Nations, environmental groups, anthropologists, and r a d i c a l a c t i v i s t s . I mention these things because family values of the Nlakapamux are connected to the land and t h i s makes a l l of the issues regarding land c r u c i a l to the s u r v i v a l of Nlakapamux people. This chapter has examined Quaslametko's c r i t i c a l voice against schooling as an e f f o r t to defend her culture. Quaslametko's baskets with the star pattern connect with o r a l t r a d i t i o n to provide d i r e c t i o n i n issues of self-determination, land claims, and s e l f government because they c l a r i f y through the exploration of poetry the strong family value of the Nlakapamux. Quaslametko's husband, Chief Yapskin, saw schooling as a benefit allowing the Nlakapamux to deal with the white man without weakness. Such Nlakapamux leaders and spokespersons should be recognized as the theorists who guide present thinking about Nlakapamux pedagogies, aims, governance, education, and values. Quaslametko's basket design, the four-sided star, symbolizes star mythology which provides d i r e c t i o n l i t e r a l l y and metaphorically i n the quest f o r knowledge which w i l l guide the Nlakapamux i n t h e i r 135 present goals for self-governance. Quaslametko's teaching by example shows us that l i k e her we must work hard to earn a l i v i n g , we must develop our talents, we can combine beauty with our p r a c t i c a l endeavors, and we must think c r i t i c a l l y about education and i t s impact on the c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y of Nlakapamux children. I have explored the meaningfulness of Quaslametko's star patterns i n poetry as navigational, showing us the way metaphorically as the stars showed the way f o r Stanislaus Yapskin who was searching f o r a wife. Like Quaslametko, Stanilaus Yapskin valued the family and I have shown some of the many ways that the Nlakapamux family i s adversely affected by land development which has been taking place i n the Nicola Valley. This creates an awareness of the many d i f f e r e n t ways we must think about our family values because they are undergoing massive challenge and change. The g i f t Quaslametko gives us Is her strong conviction that our Nlakapamux family i s important and worth defending. She gives us the metaphor of the navigational star, a family crest, a speta'kl, a g i f t of beauty. The g i f t Stanislaus Yapskin gives us i s the humility, the s a c r i f i c e , the determination i t requires to survive. He gives us the metaphor of the long journey, a wonderful spilaxem, and the hope of a new l i f e which, 136 l i k e the old, i s centred on family. In the classroom a basket such as Quaslametko 1s would make an excellent guest. The patterns may be discussed and interpreted by the basket-maker or the present owner about where the basket comes from, who made i t , and what i t was used f o r . Speta'kl and spilaxem could be t o l d about the basket-maker, the patterns, the adventures of the basket. 137 Chapter Eight Yaya' and the Firbough: A Philosophy of Respect Given that respect i s an attitude which i s underpinned by one's b e l i e f s , a philosophy of education based on the Nlakapamux concept of respect i s explored as l i v e d by an Nlakapamux grandmother and transmitted through narratives about her. J was facing my first major challenge in graduate studies. A paper was due for a course in Foundations of Curriculum. I didn't know what to write about, couldn't speak philosophese, didn't know if I should be doing graduate studies. That Sunday, during church service, I was drifting off to sleep in my chair at the back of the building when T had a waking dream. In it my grandmother, my yaya', was standing about four feet away from me, talking to me in my language. She held something out towards me. It was a small branch from a f i r tree. It was green and fragrant, and soft the way it moved in her hand. It was then that I knew what to do. I knew that we could use metaphors in academic writing. I could write about my grandmother as an example of someone who lived the Nlakapamux concept of respect, exploring the issues for educational purposes. I went home grateful and happy and excited about what I could do with my grandmother's gift, and began to write the paper (personal notes) . When my mother's mother, Shannie Antoine Voght, 138 went into the woods to gather range mushrooms or r i v e r mushrooms she took a sharp knife. She would s l i c e the caps o f f the mushrooms leaving the stalks i n the sand so that new mushrooms would grow again. She would sprinkle sugar into holes i n the ground when she pulled out t i g e r l i l y roots, then cover the hole over so as to leave the earth i n the same condition as she found i t . She said that when you take something from the ground you must leave something. She thanked the plant. Shannie l i v e d to be 89 to 102 years old. As there was no baptismal record we had to calculate her approximate b i r t h date by determining her age at the time of her f i r s t c h i l d . Up to eight months before she died she l i v e d i n a l i t t l e mountain cabin where she cooked on a cookstove, washed her clothes by hand and packed water from a nearby spring. Af t e r Shannie had a stroke my s i s t e r and my mother took care of her at my mother's house. During those months my s i s t e r Sarah noticed that although Shannie experienced recurring bouts of memory loss, d isorientation, speech loss and other symptoms, she always made the Sign of the Cross and bowed her head before eating, then l e f t the choicest part of her deer steak, the j u i c i e s t peas and a ti n y portion of her saskatoon be r r i e s . When my s i s t e r t r i e d to get her to eat the l a s t part of her 139 meal Shannie refused. She said i t was f o r the " s p i r i t s " ( f i e l d notes). During those months when I went home to v i s i t , my grandmother beckoned f o r me to come over to her. When I d i d she attempted to t e l l me about her l i f e . We had great d i f f i c u l t y because she spoke very l i t t l e English and I spoke very l i t t l e Nlakapamux (or Thompson). She said that she had not wanted to marry my grandfather, and that she had run away from him at f i r s t . But then he had come f o r her i n a wagon and she went with him because her father t o l d her to. Shannie was born i n a shi'istkn, a S a l i s h p i t house, on a grassy f i e l d i n a l i t t l e v i l l a g e overlooking the Coldwater River, near M e r r i t t . She w i l l have gained much of her understanding about respect from l i v i n g i n the p i t house, a semi-subterranean winter dwelling housing several f a m i l i e s . She was the only daughter of Chief Yapskin Antoine and his wife Quaslametko. A quiet person, Shannie spoke always i n Nlakapamux which i s a soft, musical language. She sometimes came to look a f t e r my brothers and s i s t e r s and me when my parents had to go somewhere. I do not remember her r a i s i n g her voice, or s t r i k i n g any of us children or i n s u l t i n g anyone or harming people i n any way. She d i d not treat c h i l d r e n i n a d i f f e r e n t way than she treated adults, except 140 that she could not communicate well with us because we had l o s t the use of our language at r e s i d e n t i a l school. I remember her laughing a l o t and working hard and helping people and owning a small herd of Hereford cows. I remember her t e l l i n g my mother to t e l l us to look a f t e r our feet so that they would carry us wherever we needed to go. This attitude of respect Shannie had f o r the plants, f o r Elders, f o r things, f o r herself, and f o r God i s t y p i c a l of Nlakapamux people. When we have funeral gatherings and celebration gatherings i t i s a given that Elders are served f i r s t and honoured. The hunters thank the animals they have s l a i n f o r giving t h e i r l i v e s to feed the people. V i s i t o r s are treated with h o s p i t a l i t y and courtesy. These q u a l i t i e s have survived and as F i r s t Nations take more control of the education of F i r s t Nations children one of t h e i r main objectives i s that of teaching t h i s attitude of respect. But i s the F i r s t Nations concept of respect relevant i n the public school system and how might we apply i t to classroom teaching? In view of the fact that 30,000 F i r s t Nations learners attend public schools i n B r i t i s h Columbia, these are relevant questions. In the Ministry of Education document, Enabling 141 Learners: Year 2000: A Framework fo r Learning (1989), the section e n t i t l e d "Native History, Cultures and Languages" acknowledges a mandate fo r Native input In the classroom: C u r r i c u l a r content which r e f l e c t s Native cultures w i l l be incorporated i n appropriate places throughout the p r o v i n c i a l curriculum, fo r the benefit of a l l learners (18). This basic necessity f o r F i r s t Nations c u r r i c u l a r content remains entrenched i n the Integrated Resource Packages. In the introduction to English Language Arts K to 7: Integrated Resource Package(IRP) 1996. under "Appreciating Culture" i t states: Students increase t h e i r understanding of and respect f o r t h e i r own and other cultures through l i t e r a t u r e and other forms of communlcartion (3). In t h i s chapter I w i l l discuss F i r s t Nations c u r r i c u l a r issues i n terms of the older Year 2000 Document because i t speaks more s p e c i f i c a l l y about respect as an attitude and makes the point about the benefit to a l l learners. Two questions came to mind i n terms of c u l t u r a l learning. Since " c u r r i c u l a r content which r e f l e c t s Native cultures" could include the Native concept of respect, the f i r s t point we need to examine i s that of d e f i n i t i o n . What exactly do we mean by respect, and i s respect a b e l i e f or an attitude? How would the i n c l u s i o n of the F i r s t Nations concept of respect benefit a l l learners (18)? 142 "The Year 2000" (1989) has three learning dimensions of knowledge, s k i l l s and attitudes. The l a s t learning dimension Involves developing attitudes related to: • valuing oneself as a person of di g n i t y and a b i l i t y ( i . e . self-respect) • valuing the i n d i v i d u a l i t y of others and respecting t h e i r rights ( i . e . respect f o r others) (14) We see that self-respect and respect for others comes under the attitude learning dimension. In "Attitudes as Educational Goals" (1990, p. 27) J e r r o l d R. Coombs says: "To have an attitude i s to have a cer t a i n stance towards something" and every attitude "involves a d i s p o s i t i o n a l component" which i s "accompanied by a ce r t a i n f e e l i n g state." But the deeper implication i s that having attitudes requires having b e l i e f s : Having an attitude involves having c e r t a i n b e l i e f s about the object i n v i r t u e of which one has feelings and dispositions . . . they are i n e x t r i c a b l y bound together. Consider, for example, the attitude of respect f o r others. TO have t h i s attitude she must believe that one should not v i o l a t e the rights of others (27). For Nlakapamux respect has a deeper meaning which i s embedded i n s p i r i t u a l i t y . James Teit (1900) i n The Thompson Indians stated that the Nlakapamux "believe i n the existence of a great many mysterious beings" (338) which suggests a b e l i e f i n the existence of s p i r i t beings i n animate and inanimate objects: 143 The "land mysteries" were the s p i r i t s of mountain peaks. In the lakes and at cascades l i v e "water mysteries." Some of these appear i n the form of men, or women, g r i s l y bears, f i s h of peculiar shape, etc. emerging from the water. People passing within sight of these places always turn t h e i r faces away from them, l e s t they might see these apparitions and die (338). So, when an Nlakapamux desires not to v i o l a t e the rights of others t h i s includes humans, animals, elements, and objects because of the b e l i e f that a l l things have s p i r i t s which have the a b i l i t y to interact with t h e i r own s p i r i t s , i n some cases causing death. To treat any object with disrespect i s possibly to incur the disfavour or wrath of i t s s p i r i t which could res u l t i n a poor hunting season or some other personal misfortune. There i s an e g a l i t a r i a n q u a l i t y here i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p between man and object, the equalizer being the existence of these s p i r i t s or souls. Sometimes when we are i n the mountains, my mother t e l l s me to speak to the water when I wash my face and ask i t to clean my heart of hard feelings as well as to clean my face. My grandmother used to t e l l us not to k i l l spiders because i t would cause thunderstorms. If we accidentally k i l l e d one we were to apologize by saying something l i k e , "I'm sorry grandfather spider." This attitude of respect apparently had the power to prevent disaster, and implies a b e l i e f that water and spiders are persons you can t a l k to. 144 This Nlakapamux b e l i e f system may not be i n keeping with the Western C h r i s t i a n B i b l i c a l mandate from God to Adam and Eve, the f i r s t man and woman. In Genesis 1:26 (New International Version Bible, 1984) i t i s written: Then God said, "Let us make man i n our image, i n our likeness and l e t them rule over the f i s h of the sea and the birds of the a i r , over the livestock, over a l l the earth, and over a l l the creatures that move along the ground" (p. 1). The re l a t i o n s h i p between man and creature appears to be h i e r a r c h i c a l with man placed by God above the animals. Although no mythology i s presented i n public school classrooms as the truth, which might be perceived as indoctrination, the basic b e l i e f s of a society are going to be inherent i n that society's enculturation system, or schools. Like competition which i s perhaps never "taught" i n a lesson i t i s nevertheless propagated i n the marking system and learners know very well how important i t i s to be i n the top group. One way that the B i b l i c a l view of man's dominance over animals i s evident i n reading material i s i n the portrayal of animals as "cute" i n cartoons, suggesting that the animals are harmless,, helpless and dominated by humans, and therefore le s s important. In F i r s t Nations mythologies animals are often portrayed as humans, protagonists, or mystical 145 beings, suggesting t h e i r equality to people. My point i s that whether or not fundamental b e l i e f s are ever overtly presented i n the classroom the mainstream b e l i e f system i s going to be a hidden agenda i n the classroom. If the teacher i s , say, a Presbyterian she i s going to l i v e according to Presbyterian precepts by attending service, sharing experiences and ideas with students which r e f l e c t Presbyterian Ideals perhaps without ever mentioning God, or good and e v i l , or Genesis 1:26. The same would go f o r a F i r s t Nations teacher. She would bring her c u l t u r a l biases into the classroom with her and the students would be affected by i t whether or not she ever mentioned c u l t u r a l s t o r i e s , experiences or b e l i e f s . To not present other b e l i e f systems i n an unbiased manner i s cousin to presenting one point of view as the truth which i s akin to indoctrination and, i n my view, harmful i n a m u l t i c u l t u r a l society where we are expected to "promote understanding and respect among d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l groups and races and to eliminate discrimination and racism" (The Intermediate Program: Foundations. 1991, p. 74). Ignorance about an ethnic group's fundamental b e l i e f s can r e s u l t i n fear and bias. It seems expedient to foster some interes t i n other philosophies i f f o r nothing else but to compare and contrast them. How i s appreciation or 146 respect between c u l t u r a l l y unique neighbours possible without our knowing something about the b e l i e f systems that underpin our many d i f f e r e n t attitudes and predi spos i t i ons? In "The Ethics Of Teaching" (1992) Strike and S o l t i s discuss respect i n terms of philosopher Immanual Kant's version of the Golden Rule: According to Kant the Golden Rule requires that we act i n ways that respect the equal worth of moral agents... that we regard human beings as having i n t r i n s i c worth... That i s why we have a duty to accord others the same kind of treatment we expect them to accord us (15). The Golden Rule states simply that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. At the moment I cannot conceive of any ethnic group or creature or object to whom/which t h i s p r i n c i p l e , i n general, cannot apply. Where F i r s t Nations diverge from the Golden Rule i s i n the concept of people. In mainstream society the word people refers to human beings who are "free, r a t i o n a l and responsible moral agents" (15). For the Nlakapamux the word people might include Coyote who could change into human form at w i l l , or a l l the speta'kl who are transformed humans from the mythological age. Strike and S o l t i s (1992, pp. 15-16) go on to define further the " p r i n c i p l e of equal respect f o r persons [which] Involves three subsidiary ideas": 147 F i r s t the p r i n c i p l e of equal respect f o r persons requires us to treat people as ends rather than means. Second we must regard a l l people as free, r a t i o n a l and responsible. Third, no matter how people d i f f e r , as free moral agents they are of equal value (15-16) . In the second idea, the point i s made that we must not only respect "freedom of choice...[but also] ...the choices people make when we do not agree with them" (15). So, regardless of differences i n b e l i e f s we may respect the choices of others, or agree to disagree. In Caring and Curing: A Philosophy of Medicine and Social Work (1980) Downie and T e f f l e r discuss what i n human beings i s to be respected or valued. Two aspects include "a capacity for self-determination... [and]...a capacity for forming and pursuing i d e a l values..." the l a t t e r of which i s "a secularized version of the C h r i s t i a n concept of man alone as made i n God's image and possessing a soul capable of salvation" (p. 38). This i s d i f f e r e n t from Nlakapamux b e l i e f s about the soul. James T e i t (1900) wrote: Every l i v i n g person has a soul. A l l animals and everything that grows, such as trees and herbs, and even rocks, f i r e , and water are believed to have souls, since they were people i n the mythological age (357) . With such d i f f e r e n t b e l i e f systems i t i s not surprising then that F i r s t Nations might have a di f f e r e n t concept of respect. For one thing, 148 mainstream "people" refers to humans and humans alone, and respect i s directed only to those humans who q u a l i f y . T e i t (1900, p. 357) indicates that f o r the Nlakapamux a l l things are transformed people. One of the d i f f i c u l t i e s Downie and T e f f l e r (1980) have with the concept of "capacity and s e l f -determination" i s that "infants, the severely abnormal, the severely mentally i l l , the sen i l e and those i n a terminal coma" cannot be said to have a capacity f o r self-determination, yet are respected (39). What Downie and T e f f l e r (1980) do to resolve t h i s issue of varying degrees of self-determination i s to i d e n t i f y "three l e v e l s of concern": On the lowest l e v e l are the animals who are regarded as having a presumptive right not to s uffer. Next we have what we may c a l l sub-normal humans who are not accorded f u l l respect but are not treated l i k e animals either. F i n a l l y we have the normal humans who are accorded f u l l respect (40). The three l e v e l s of concern bring questions to mind. What p r e c i s e l y do they mean by "according f u l l respect"? Where do children f i t into t h i s hierarchy, and at what age are they considered to be l e v e l one, l e v e l two,, or l e v e l three? For t r a d i t i o n a l F i r s t Nations, based on Nlakapamux b e l i e f s , those l e v e l s do not exist, at least i n p r i n c i p l e although i t i s possible that the r i t e s of passage and other customs may suggest that differences e x i s t . My grandmother's 149 actions described at the beginning of the chapter imply that, i n general, a l l things were treated with respect. While i t i s not necessary or even perhaps desirable for s o c i e t i e s to accept each other's b e l i e f system as the ultimate r e a l i t y , i t i s h e l p f u l f o r two s o c i e t i e s who l i v e i n such close proximity, and whose l i f e s t y l e s a f f e c t the other's, to have some understanding and respect f o r the philosophies which guide the behaviour and attitudes of i t s c i t i z e n s . The e f f e c t s of such things as toxic dumping and clear cut logging raises questions that the present s o c i e t a l concepts of respect are not i n s p i r i n g c i t i z e n s to protect Canada's natural resources. This i s where F i r s t Nations c u r r i c u l a r content, explaining the attitude of respect based on the b e l i e f i n s p i r i t s or souls e x i s t i n g i n a l l things, may be presented "for the benefit of a l l learners" (Year 2000, 1989, p. 18). We need t h i s generation of children to become c i t i z e n s who would be more careful about land use. The Year 2000 Document (1989) states that the goal of education i s to enable learners to become educated c i t i z e n s . But the framework fo r learning which underpins a l l p r o v i n c i a l programs consists of knowledge, s k i l l s , and attitudes, a l l the dimensions of which are i n t e r r e l a t e d and many are interdependent 150 implying that knowledge and attitudes are interwoven to a greater or l e s s e r degree. The question i s , how are we to design and evaluate learning experiences based on the F i r s t Nations concept of respect so as not to use indoctrination which i s contrary to a moral education? Four suggestions come to mind. S t o r y t e l l i n g i s a universal F i r s t Nations o r a l t r a d i t i o n which passes information from one generation to the next, entertains,, teaches, and guides, among other things. In "On Fairy-Stories" (1966) J.R.R. Tolkien says: The s t o r y t e l l e r proves a successful "sub-creator." He makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter. Inside i t , what he relates i s "true": i t accords with the laws of the world. You therefore believe i t while you are, as i t were, inside (37 ). The process apparently suspends b e l i e f during the actual s t o r y t e l l i n g , giving, the hearer enough time to develop an empathy or understanding of the text. Then when the story Is over the l i s t e n e r may choose on the basis of good argument whether or not to accept the b e l i e f , part of the b e l i e f or accept the attitude based on a t h i r d b e l i e f or simply agree to disagree with the understanding that others have a d i f f e r e n t attitude and b e l i e f about existence. Hopefully, learners w i l l have gained some empathy.or understanding. The need f o r teaching and p o l i c y making tools i s 151 evident. The o r a l t r a d i t i o n has much to o f f e r and i t i s recognized by the Nlakapamux as one of the most e f f e c t i v e methods of t r a d i t i o n a l education. We have to remember to be respectful i n recognizing that stories, family crests, and knowledge have been obtained at a price, and are therefore owned by individuals, families, or groups. The owners of the sto r i e s , crests, and knowledge are the ones who have the right to make the decisions about how t h e i r property i s used. They have to be i n control throughout the entire process. For teachers and educators wanting to learn about the issues surrounding F i r s t Nations o r a l t r a d i t i o n s a number of a r t i c l e s have been written by F i r s t Nations authors such as Jo-ann Archibald, Michael Dorris, Eber Hampton, Verna J. Kirkness, and Terry Tafoya. Some books written by F i r s t Nations authors about o r a l t r a d i t i o n s include; The Manitous: The s p i r i t u a l world of the Oiibway (Johnson, 1995), Keeping Slug Woman A l i v e : A h o l i s t i c approach to American Indian texts (Sarris, 1993), Red earth white l i e s : Native Americans and the myth of s c i e n t i c fact (Deloria J r . , 1995), Knot-La-Cha:The autobiography of Chief Simon Baker (Baker and Kirkness, 1994), and F i r s t Nations and schools: Triumphs and struggles (Kirkness, 1992). My second suggestion i s to have books i n the 152 classroom written by F i r s t Nations authors; h i s t o r y books, poetry, novels, f i c t i o n and books on F i r s t Nations myths and legends. That way at least two b e l i e f systems may be present f o r students to read and ponder even i f the teacher never utters a word about them. For classroom use three books which include st o r i e s written for and/or by F i r s t Nations children are Courageous S p i r i t s : Aboriginal Heroes of Our People (Archibald et a l . , 1992), My Name i s Seepeetza (Sterling, 1992), and My Family My Strength: A c o l l e c t i o n of i l l u s t r a t e d s t o r i e s by children across B r i t i s h Columbia (Muller & S t e r l i n g , 1994). These books are written i n the F i r s t Nations voice and inherently contain the values of family and sharing. Such books are informing and self-informing i n that they teach members of a nation as well as non-members about the community's issues and concerns. My t h i r d suggestion i s to explore educational philosophies which are based on Nlakapamux and other F i r s t Nations concepts. Two components are often present i n the mission statements of F i r s t Nations learning i n s t i t u t i o n s ; that the F i r s t Nations concept of respect be taught and that learners must be given the knowledge to l i v e successfully i n two s o c i e t i e s . If we take i t that respect of the Creator, of people, of animals and plants, the land and s e l f are the most 153 important learning objectives or learning outcomes we s t r i v e to achieve i n teaching we would have to define what we mean by respect. William K. Frankena i n "A model fo r analyzing a philosophy of education" (1970) suggests that an ana l y t i c philosophy of education "consists i n the analysis of educational concepts, arguments, slogans and statements" (15). I have explored the meaning of the Nlakapamux concept of respect as an attitude and predispositions based on the b e l i e f that a l l things have a human s p i r i t which can interact with our human s p i r i t s and cause good fortune i f we treat them well and observe the taboos or cause misfortune i f we do not treat them well and do not observe the taboos. Frankena says: Education i s pri m a r i l y a process i n which educators and educated interact, and such a process i s c a l l e d education i f and only i f i t issues or i s intended to issue i n the formation, i n the one being educated, of ce r t a i n desired or desirable a b i l i t i e s , habits, dispositions, s k i l l s , character t r a i t s , b e l i e f s or bodies of knowledge ( i f i t i s intended to but does not i t i s c a l l e d bad education), f o r example, the habit of r e f l e c t i v e thinking, conscientiousness, the a b i l i t y to dance, or a knowledge of astronomy. For convenience, I s h a l l r e f e r to a l l such states as d i s p o s i t i o n s . Then education i s the process of forming or t r y i n g to form such dispositions (16). The desirable d i s p o s i t i o n we need to fost e r i n a l l students as future educated c i t i z e n s i s the a b i l i t y to treat with respect the land, the Creator, a l l persons, a l l l i v i n g things and ourselves because there are unfortunate re s u l t s i f we engage i n v i o l e n t 154 actions against them. If, f o r instance, we continue to dump toxic waste into r i v e r s then the water w i l l eventually become poisonous and drinking i t , l i v i n g near i t and using i t w i l l contaminate and k i l l us. It i s not necessary to believe that a l l things have a l i v i n g human s p i r i t as did/do the Nlakapamux, but i t stengthens the desired a b i l i t y to know that such a b e l i e f e x i s t s . The b e l i e f w i l l be embedded i n the Nlakapamux and other F i r s t Nations o r a l t r a d i t i o n s and the t e l l i n g of these t r a d i t i o n s can help educate the students about care of the land. F i n a l l y , as always the onus Is on the teacher to come into the classroom with an attitude of respect for students and an open mind about new ideas. Her attitudes and behaviour w i l l have a profound e f f e c t p a r t i c u l a r l y on F i r s t Nations who t r a d i t i o n a l l y learn by example, and who notice by non-verbal cues when teachers have biases against them. The ide a l teacher of F i r s t Nations concepts i s the F i r s t Nations teacher or resource person who has had a common background i n a F i r s t Nations community. In any case, the teacher must also see to i t that she teaches those things necessary f o r the development of c r i t i c a l thinking s k i l l s so that learners may make t h e i r own judgements about other points of view, other cultures and races, based on sound thinking. 155 This chapter has examined the Nlakapamux concept of respect, given that respect i s an attitude which i s underpinned by one's b e l i e f s . Shannie's attitudes about God, s e l f , plants, animals, and people give an example of the Nlakapamux concept of respect as l i v e d by an Nlakapamux person. Western philosophies based on Immanuel Kant's discussion of respect as conceptualized by the golden rule and C h r i s t i a n b e l i e f s about the h i e r a r c h i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between man and animals have been discussed to provide a comparison with Nlakapamux b e l i e f s f o r the purposes of c l a r i f i c a t i o n . The Year 2000 Document has been examined for those tangent points of common int e r e s t at which the public education system meet with F i r s t Nations content f o r the benefit of a l l learners. The Nlakapamux b e l i e f that a l l things have a l i v i n g s p i r i t worthy of respect causes me to c u l t i v a t e c e r t a i n behaviours towards a l l l i v i n g things, the environment, the Creator, and myself. I may not l i k e c e r t a i n individuals or agree with t h e i r ideas, but I hope I can accord the same standards of h o s p i t a l i t y and care that my grandmother did. In educational theory a philosophy of respect based on Nlakapamux b e l i e f s may be presented i n classrooms through the process of sharing the o r a l t r a d i t i o n s and discussing them i n the context of the 156 underlying b e l i e f s . As in s t r u c t o r I display my respect at the f i r s t class by forming a t a l k i n g c i r c l e at which a l l participants have an equal voice. Each of us has the opportunity to hold the eagle feather or tal k i n g rock and when we have i t we have the f l o o r as long as we need. This allows us the opportunity of hearing from a l l members of the group, not only those who are a r t i c u l a t e and competitive. When we have issues to resolve we have the t a l k i n g c i r c l e so that we may work together as a group to discuss them. 157 Chapter Nine Shannie's Life: An Nlakapamux View of History This l i f e h i s t o r y w i l l provide an Nlakapamux account and allow us to examine' issues and perspectives of the Nlakapamux from a t r a d i t i o n a l time to the present. This spilaxem challenges the r a c i s t hegemonies evident i n Western education and provides an argument that Nlakapamux l i f e h i s t o r i e s represent a silenced voice, a missing part of h i s t o r y which needs to be heard. Sophie told me a story about when Shannie was a l i t t l e girl. I guess Shannie's father, Chief Yapskin Antoine, was going to go on a hunting trip with some friends of his. Then for some reason Shannie wanted to go too. She asked her mother if she could go but Quaslametko said no. Shannie grabbed at her mother's skirts and started to cry and scream and carry on like that. Well Quaslametko had only the one daughter and she really treasured her so she asked Yapskin if they could go along. Yapskin said okay, so that's how Shannie got to see the beautiful waterfall. They went way up into the mountains to a place they called "Cedar" because there's no cedar in the Nicola Valley, you have to go way up towards the coast. That place was so beautiful, so quiet and they drank from the water, but they wouldn't let the water spill back into the pond because it seemed like a sacred place. Shannie was my maternal grandmother, my yaya'. Shannie was so much a part of my childhood I almost feel as if I can go back to our family home on 158 Joeyaska and she's going to show up, a tiny figure with a bright silk kerchief around her head seated between my parents in Dad's navy blue Fargo pick-up truck. A small, neat woman with long hair and twinkling eyes she moved softly on moccasined feet and wore several cotton skirts. I remember her most vividly in the kitchen; frying golden bannock and cooking deer stew cut into tiny, perfect cubes and serving a lovely pot of tea in china. I remember the delicious canned strawberries which she brought back from the States and think of her when I see the gooseberries and currents she planted on Joeyaska Ranch. In memory I hear her talking and laughing with Sophie in Nlakapamux-chin in the musical tones of the language. I remember how happy my mother was when Yaya' came to visit and how she used to make my dad laugh with her stories. One time Yaya' almost fell over backwards laughing at Yosimite Sam on the Bugs Bunny Show. Bugs shot Yosimite's pants off and Yosimite blushed and held his hands over his shorts. Shannie took care of the children in my extended family when our parents had to go somewhere, or she came with us to the mountains to pick huckleberries at the end of summer. In winter, Shannie would take apart old wool suits with a razor blade, cut the material into 159 squares, wash them and. sew them back together by hand, into warm winter quilts. She embroidered an intricate bird track pattern around the edges, like a trademark, which none of us could figure out and duplicate. She made her own clothes by hand out of old clothes, or sheets, or bolts of store bought cotton. I know she was proud of me, not for anything I did, but simply because I existed. She used to brag about how many grandchildren she had. Before I had any memory at all Shannie disobeyed everybody and taught me some basic Nlakapamux-chin, for me it was a gift beyond price. She did a dance holding one eagle feather. Morning Star and I do that dance. I miss her sometimes so I take my drum and sing Mary Jane's Healing Song. I can hear Yaya' voice in mine because, of course, being her granddaughter, I sound like her. My mother was crying one time, remembering the time Shannie had to walk fifteen miles to Joeyaska with two small children a f t e r she had lost her husband's estate and been banished from her father's land. My mother said, "But, I shouldn't be sad. It's Christmas Eve. I should be happy. " I thought then that she had every right to be sad and I told her so. After that, I wanted to know all about my grandmother and through the months that followed I asked my mother about her. 160 Shannie was born around 1890 i n a shee-eesht-kin, a semi-subterranean p i t house, the winter home of the Nlakapamux. She "woke up" or had her f i r s t memory i n her father's p i t house i n a grassy f i e l d on a high bank overlooking the Coldwater River. I went there with my mother, one time, to see where my grandmother was born. I stood on the bank looking at the steep h i l l on the other side of the r i v e r where pine trees wave i n the constant wind which blows down from the mountains. There are homes scattered around the Coldwater Band h a l l and the church and the l i t t l e cemetary. My cousin, Charlene Shaw, i n a narrative e n t i t l e d "My Granny the Survivor," wrote about her/my grandmother f o r an English course (see appendix C). Charlene described Shannie: In my mind I can see her, standing barely f i v e feet t a l l . A kerchief covered her grey hair, with two braids t r a i l i n g down her back. Her eyesight must have been good because I never saw her wear glasses. She was soft-spoken and could understand basic English i f I spoke slowly. She always wore several blouses and s k i r t s . She had t i n y feet and small, d e l i c a t e hands (no pag.). Shannie's father was Yapskin Antoine, t r a d i t i o n a l chief of the Coldwater Band and her mother was Quaslametko. Shannie had three brothers, Isaac, James and Michel. She was the youngest c h i l d and only daughter. Charlene writes: 161 As an adult I would learn that Granny had a hard l i f e . She was born i n a p i t house... before there were any records kept of b i r t h s or deaths. Her father, who was an Indian chief, arranged a marriage for Granny at age 14 to a white man who was 26 years her senior. She bore him 10 children (nopag.). Sophie t e l l s me that when Shannie was thirteen to eighteen years old, her father arranged a marriage f o r her to William Voght J r . , a half-breed whose wife had died i n c h i l d - b i r t h . He had two small daughters, C h r i s t i n a and Minnie. William was the son of Theresa Klama Voght, an Nlakapamux from Boston Bar, and William Henry Voght Sr. known as the "Father of Merritt" and (Nicola Valley Archives, 1978, p. 1) one of the f i r s t white s e t t l e r s to come into the Nicola Valley i n 1873. To commemorate the 67th anniversary of the incorporation of the town of Merritt the Nicola Valley Archives Association devoted three pages i n i t s A p r i l 1978 e d i t i o n to remember William Henry Voght, the "Father of Merritt," my great grandfather. One paragraph includes his wife Klama who i s described as "a shy, r e t i r i n g person who was s a t i s f i e d , yes, happy to allow her husband to have the l i m e l i g h t " ( 4 ) . Oral t r a d i t i o n t e l l s us that she prevented war between whites and F i r s t Nations i n the Nicola Valley with only her oratory s k i l l s . Her husband, the benevolent "Father of M e r r i t t , " burnt the racks of drying salmon 162 because he had preempted the land by the r i v e r and he wanted the Nlakapamux to stay o f f the land. The Nlakapamux needed the dried salmon f o r winter food. They were j u s t i f i a b l y angry. It was Klama who stood i n the hot sun f o r an entire day and spoke to the Nlakapamux about the vast changes they were facing and how they needed to adapt to them rather than f i g h t because i f they fought the pony sold i e r s would come and k i l l them a l l (Deanna S t e r l i n g , personal communication, 1995). This i s an example of how written h i s t o r i c a l accounts f a i l to represent F i r s t Nations adequately, i f at a l l . "Young" William, who was i n h i s f i f t i e s , had one brother, Timothy, who died c h i l d l e s s , and three s i s t e r s who married white men. Although Shannie was reluctant to do so, she went to h i s ranch at Kane Valley and became his wife. She bore him eighteen children, ten of whom l i v e d to adulthood. They were William, Mathilda, Theresa, Tim, Fred, Sophie, Jimmy, Elizabeth, Dorothy, and Joseph. C h r i s t i n a and Minnie* sometimes l i v e d there as well. Because of so much child-bearing Shannie's health suffered. When my mother Sophie was born Shannie got jaundice and had to stay i n the h o s p i t a l . Because of Shannie's poor health her mother, Quaslametko, and aunt, Yetko, came and helped to take care of the 163 children. When the children were school age, Shannie and William moved into the town of Merritt where her father-in-law had many commercial interests including a coal mine, vast t r a c t s of land, several ranches, and many town houses which were rented out. Shannie and William moved into one of the houses, and he set up a blacksmith shop to earn a l i v i n g . L i f e was d i f f i c u l t for them. Shannie and William were unable to get finances from the Voght estate. They had to l i v e on what William could earn i n his shop. When people paid him at a l l , they gave him garden vegetables or deer meat. The plan to educate the children Instigated by the now l a t e William Voght Sr. had a major opponent, Quaslametko. She had opposed the marriage from the start and now she began to speak against education. Quaslametko convinced Shannie and William not to l e t the children go to the town school and the missionary, Father Lejeune, agreed. Sophie said that Father Lejeune refused to teach the Nlakapamux to speak English because he didn't want them to deal with the whiskey traders. Father Lej eune thought the children should go to the r e s i d e n t i a l school i n Kamloops to learn t h e i r catechism and to get educated. Father Lejeune took Theresa, Freddy, Sophie, and Jimmy to the 164 Kamloops Indian Residential school, and obtained permission f o r them to attend there even though they were non-status, or not registered under the Indian Act. To obscure t h e i r parentage they were registered with the surname, William. As they could not speak English the children were punished severely for speaking Nlakapamux-chin. Sophie said that they strapped her u n t i l her hands and arms were bruised and had welts. At one point the two brothers ran away from school with two other boys from Coldwater because they hated i t there. Theresa, Jimmy, and Freddy refused to go back a f t e r the f i r s t year. Sophie went back alone. She wanted an education and she l i k e d her friends at school. During the year William heard some stories about the r e s i d e n t i a l school, that the children were hungry there and beaten f o r speaking t h e i r language. He went over by stage and took Sophie home. He didn't explain to her why she had to leave school. Sophie thought he took her home because she had been bad ( f i e l d notes). Sophie and Jimmy went to the Merritt public school for two years. She said the other school children made fun of her old-fashioned clothes. They c a l l e d her "siwash" and " d i r t y bastard." Charlene writes of Shannie: At age 49 my granny was widowed and she s t i l l had three young children to support. Unable to 165 understand English very well she l o s t her house i n town due to back taxes. She returned to the reserve to a h o s t i l e reception, f o r she was now considered a white person. The Indian people persecuted her by burning down the place where she l i v e d (no pag.). In 1935 when William died, the hard times began i n earnest. Three years a f t e r his death, Shannie was served notice by the s h e r i f f to vacate the house because the taxes had not been paid. Shannie, who never had been able to speak much English, asked an interpreter, my father Albert S t e r l i n g , to speak to the o f f i c i a l s on her behalf. She t r i e d to t e l l them that the taxes were supposed to be paid f o r by the Voght estate, but they would not or could not help her. She asked various town o f f i c i a l s to help her, including the mayor. They referred her to the Estate Executor, who claimed to know nothing about i t . Shannie decided then to move back to the Coldwater Reserve where her father had given her a piece' of land and a log house. She sent her belongings by wagon back to her house and land at Coldwater. When she arriv e d her belongings were gone and the house was burned down. The elected chief t o l d her that she was a white woman now, and she was not allowed back on the reserve. She r o l l e d up her sleeve and pointed to her arm. "When di d I become white?" she asked. Shannie was devastated. She s t i l l had two young 166 children to raise, and she had nowhere to go. She walked f i f t e e n miles with her two small children to my parents' ranch at Joeyaska. With tears she t o l d my mother and father what happened. My father offered her and the two children a home with them as long as they needed a place to stay. Shannie slept f o r two days. When she woke up she c r i e d a l l day. After that Shannie consulted with a medicine man. He t o l d her not to worry about the bad things that had happened to her. He t o l d her to immerse herself i n the r i v e r and ask the water to take away her hard feeli n g s . He t o l d her to work for a l i v i n g , at whatever she could f i n d to do. She could be a cook, a housecleaner, even hoe gardens, anything to make a l i v i n g . Charlene writes: Heart-broken [Shannie] went to work at a cow camp. This was during the depression years and a f t e r she worked there f o r some time the boss refused to pay her. The next job she found was baby-sitting; for her services she was paid a cow and a c a l f (no pag.). Sophie says that Shannie was greatly comforted by the words of the medicine man. She l e f t her stock at her sons* ranches and she t r a v e l l e d from town to town l i v i n g at the various homes of her married children, or working for people as cook, housekeeper, or babysitter. For a time Shannie l i v e d at a small, remote place 167 c a l l e d Dot by the Nicola River with a c h i l d l e s s Nlakapamux man c a l l e d Don-el. They spent a l o t of time r i d i n g i n the mountains, camping, hunting small game, and picking berries and medicine plants. When he died, she l e f t Dot and moved into the home her son Tim b u i l t for her, next to his own at Indian Meadows. Shannie was v i s i t i n g her youngest daughter Dolly, when she suffered a stroke. They rushed her to the h o s p i t a l . From there, she came back to Joeyaska. My mother and s i s t e r Sarah took care of her f o r eight months. Shannie died i n the hospital at M e r r i t t on August 29, 1979, leaving 294 d i r e c t descendants. Shannie was born into a t r a d i t i o n a l Nlakapamux family s e t t i n g i n an earth lodge to a chief's family. She was given i n marriage to a half-breed and had to l i v e i n a society which held l i t t l e meaning and no place for her. She l o s t her widow's estate, and the land her father had given her. She died not understanding how i t was she stopped being F i r s t Nations. Yet Shannie's l i f e was i n many ways a great one. She never l o s t her language or the love of the land or the values of family and sharing. She became symbolic for me, of F i r s t Nations peoples everywhere, who were expected to die out i n the 1920's but Instead survived the ravages of colonialism to found dynasties. 168 This short summary of my grandmother's l i f e uncovers a small part of a broad spectrum of oppression against the Indigenous Peoples of North, South, and Mezo America. With the coming of Columbus and the Europeans a concept had to be invented and/or adopted to j u s t i f y the horrors of conquest and colonialism that followed. In 1550, at a d e l i b e r a t i v e council set up by Charles V of Spain to assess the Spanish conquest of the new world, a j u s t i f y i n g concept was a r t i c u l a t e d by Juan Gines de Sepulveda, the most famous Spanish philosopher of the time (Berger, 1992) . In the t r a d i t i o n of A r i s t o t l e ' s philosophy based on the concept of hierarchies Sepulveda supported the ideology of natural r a c i a l i n f e r i o r i t y maintaining that some people are born to slavery. This ideology vindicated the subsequent slavery and genocide and colonialism which occurred i n the new world at the hands of Spain, then other European countries. By affirming the r a c i a l s u p e r i o r i t y of Europeans Sepulveda j u s t i f i e d t h e i r subjugation of the Native peoples of North America. Sepulveda•s philosophy l e f t a legacy of genocide which permeates a l l white/Native relationships i n North and South American society from the world views to the laws of the land to personal bias. 169 Colonialism, which propagated the idea that Western r e l i g i o n , c i v i l i z a t i o n , and knowledge were superior to those of non-Western peoples took many-forms including l e g i s l a t i o n ; i n Canada through the Indian Act. The purpose was ostensibly to " c i v i l i z e " and " Christianize" (Williams, 1990, p. 4), but i t became evident that the true purpose was to acquire land and resources. The e f f e c t of colonization was the breakdown of F i r s t Nations p o l i t i c a l , economic, s o c i a l , l e g a l , and educations systems from one ocean to the other. In Canada, the Indian Act propagated i m p e r i a l i s t endeavors, established reserves, defined who was an "Indian" and who was not, and made the F i r s t Nations peoples wards of the federal government. P o l i c i e s included such things as land use of reserve lands by non-Natives. Indian Agents were given authority to enforce regulations. Amendments banned t r a d i t i o n s such as potlatches, sundances, and give-away ceremonies, r e s t r i c t e d hunting and f i s h i n g , allowed for expropriation of F i r s t Nations lands f o r railways and highways, and abolished reserve boundaries i n some areas. In 1880 the newly created Department of Indian A f f a i r s imposed an e l e c t i v e system of band government as a means to destroy the t r a d i t i o n a l p o l i t i c a l systems. In 1894 p o l i c y required F i r s t Nations 170 children to be sent to r e s i d e n t i a l schools which separated them from F i r s t Nations adults, from t h e i r communities, from the land, from the culture and even from mainstream society. It was to be 1951 before a new Indian Act was passed with only minor changes to the o r i g i n a l . Lack of l e g i s l a t i o n between the l a t e 1800's and 1951 bear out the h i s t o r i c inference made that the Government of Canada d i d not expect the F i r s t Nations to survive. Sepulveda 1s philosophy of r a c i a l i n f e r i o r i t y and super i o r i t y and Canada's oppressive l e g i s l a t i o n regarding F i r s t Nations Peoples were evident i n the education system. Books by F i r s t Nations persons who attended r e s i d e n t i a l schools (Johnston, 1988, Knockwood, 1993, Moran, 1992, Ste r l i n g , 1992) have indicated that the Indian r e s i d e n t i a l schools completely disrupted the l i v e s of the students. F i r s t Nations languages, c u l t u r a l knowledge, clothing, food, r e l i g i o n , customs were s t r i c t l y forbidden on pain of punishment. Residential schools separated F i r s t Nations children from t h e i r communities, families, languages, h i s t o r y and c u l t u r a l t r a i n i n g . State schooling also became a vehicle f o r white supremacist indoctrination. Timothy J . Stanley (1990) says: School text-books were p a r t i c u l a r l y important i n transmitting a nexus of ideas about patriotism, c i t i z e n s h i p and "character' which made supremacist notions v i r t u a l l y impossible to 171 challenge. Above a l l text-books fostered "an ideology of difference" which legitimated the white occupation of the province as both natural and morally necessary, at the same time that i t rendered F i r s t Nations [Peoples] and Asians as "Other 1, as "that which Europeans were not", as morally depraved and i l l e g i t i m a t e i n t h e i r presence (144). Schooling and text-books presented a world-view which was consistent with a white supremacist hegemony and teachers were required to use only prescribed texts which were read, memorized, and r e c i t e d from. School inspections and examinations were based on the prescribed texts (Stanley, 147). Text-books consistently referred to F i r s t Nations as (154-5) "wild," "savage," "cruel," and " u n c i v i l i z e d . " The "English Language Arts K to 7: Integrated Resource Package" (1996) has p r o v i n c i a l l y recommended learning resources rather than text-books, some of which i s excellent. However, one book, Copper Sunrise (1972) talks about the a n n i h i l a t i o n of the Beothuk i n what i s known as Newfoundland. There i s a cautionary note i n the IRP: In t h i s s a t i r i c a l portrayal, derogatory language i s used to re f e r to F i r s t Nations [Peoples] e.g. the term "savage 1 i s used as well as "barbarous wretches,' "foul animals' and "unwashed mindless vermin.' This may be offensive and the irony, without teacher guidance, could be misinterpreted by some students (B-29). Stanley's c r i t i q u e of text-books used i n B r i t i s h Columbia i n the l a t e nineteenth and early twentieth centuries applies to t h i s contemporary "suggested 172 reading" by the Ministry of Education. Stanley (155) says: Once again t h i s kind of description reduced entire peoples to a single "iconic "he" 1. Unlike the Chinese Other, t h i s [ F i r s t Nations] Other was described i n the past tense. This r e f l e c t e d and would have reinforced the notion that [ F i r s t Nations]... were... a "vanishing race' (155). Not only does Copper Sunrise reinforce the notion of a dying people, but also i t uses graphic, r a c i s t , derogatory language which leaves l a s t i n g images i n the minds of readers. How would an educator debunk such antipathy i n so powerful a medium, presented to young people who may or may not have the s k i l l s to discern the insidious fabrication? What i f the teacher was ignorant of the issues and knew nothing about F i r s t Peoples? My answer i s that we need to hear the F i r s t Nations stories, i n the F i r s t Nations voice. Shannie's l i f e h i s t o r y personalizes h i s t o r i c a l information and humanizes the F i r s t Nations people, through the s t o r y t e l l i n g process. Shannie was a l i t t l e g i r l , a young married woman, a mother of many, and the grandmother of a dynasty. She wept and laughed and prepared food. In the story I experience her pain and weep with her and for her. She becomes dear to my heart. She becomes my hero, a model of strength and graciousness. How could I ever have been asked to hate and discard my hist o r y and my culture 173 when Shannie and her language and her story and her ways are my hist o r y and my culture? In a very much needed, and pa i n f u l , process of deconstruction and reconstruction I have had to take a closer look at issues of racism, to personalize t h i s information by t e l l i n g my grandmother's story. By using my reconstructed knowledge obtained within a methodology of praxis, or r e f l e c t i v e transformation, I take the fragments of a story and re b u i l d i t f o r my own knowledge and fo r the benefit of learners i n B r i t i s h Columbia. In my grandmother's l i f e there were many issues. Although she married into a wealthy, white family Shannie l i v e d i n poverty, making her own clothes and depending f o r food on her Nlakapamux r e l a t i v e s and her own food-gathering know how. Class issues i n t h i s instance may include marginalization of William and Shannie because of t h e i r blood t i e s to the Nlakapamux and also a clash of values. Why was he unable to get access to his father's vast estate? A f t e r William's death the Canadian l e g a l system indicated a lack of fairness i n the j u s t i c e system towards F i r s t Nations, towards woman and children. Not only was there no l e g a l mechanism i n place to help her, but the tax regulation system threw a widow out onto the streets. Not one white o f f i c i a l or Catholic 174 clergyman intervened on her behalf. It was the medicine man, condemned by the church and state, who gave Shannie sound advice and helped her to take charge of her l i f e . Where hereditary chiefs d i d not cooperate with Catholic i n i t i a t i v e s , the p r i e s t s co-opted other "Catholic Chiefs" who together with the elected band chiefs of the Department of Indian A f f a i r s (DIA) undermined the authority of the t r a d i t i o n a l c h i e f s . It i s u n l i k e l y that a t r a d i t i o n a l chief would banish a widow and her children from the people unless a major taboo had been broken. The c o n f l i c t between t r a d i t i o n a l and DIA chiefs continues today and was graphically portrayed by the Oka c r i s i s In the summer of 1990, where t r a d i t i o n a l chiefs attempted to secure and defend a grave s i t e and DIA chiefs opposed them. Arranged marriages, p a r t i c u l a r l y arranged i n t e r -r a c i a l marriages, bring up the gender issues of male-female power r e l a t i o n s . In r e f e r r i n g to the s i t u a t i o n Shannie said they had stolen her, i n d i c a t i n g that they had taken her away without her consent, which smacks of kidnapping, e s p e c i a l l y i f she were thirteen or fourteen years old at the time. Shannie*s overt objections to her marriage, In the form of running away, were disregarded. The fact that Quaslametko was enraged about the 175 marriage reveals the male-weighted power r e l a t i o n between Shannie's parents. Either Quaslametko had no say at a l l or her very strong objections were waved aside by her husband, Chief Yapskin Antoine, who arranged the marriage. Regarding education, Quaslametko's decision was overruled by Father Lejeune, even though she spoke out and defended her claims with legitimate concerns. I n t e r - r a c i a l marriages and partnerships resulted i n progeny. The half-breed and the enfranchised F i r s t Nations woman who has l o s t Native status through marriage suffered s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , and economic marginalization from both s o c i e t i e s . Shannie's children, u n t i l recent years when the Indian Act changed, could not stay on reserve with r e l a t i v e s with whom they had more i n common than the town people. They were scorned at school where they were c a l l e d "siwash" and " d i r t y bastard." Underlying a l l the r e l a t i o n s between F i r s t Nations and Europeans has been Sepulveda's misguided and k i l l i n g notion of the superior race. It i s l i k e a mythological beast which swallows people, and l i k e the HIV virus i t changes shape when i t i s discovered by the body's immune system. It seems a monumental task to tackle the deconstruction of so compelling (to i t s perpetuators) a f a l l a c y , a task which w i l l require as 176 r e l e n t l e s s an I n i t i a t i v e as the f i v e hundred years of oppression. What we have to work with i s "the emergence of ideas, ideas about the rule of law, about human rights, about the primacy of moral and e t h i c a l obligations" (Berger, 1992, x i i i ) . The role of education must be to t e l l the F i r s t Nations s t o r i e s i n view of true equality under the law, human right s and et h i c a l and moral obligations. I was unaware of the hist o r y of oppression u n t i l I took a course i n anti-racism at UBC. For me, the moment of truth occurred when I was reading the a r t i c l e by Timothy J . Stanley (1990) about the perpetuation of racism i n B r i t i s h Columbia through public education text-books. The text-books referred to F i r s t Nations as "wild," "savage," "crue l , " and "u n c i v i l i z e d . " Not that every race and ethnic group does not have such people; J e f f r e y Dahmer, I d i Amin, the Homolkas, and H i t l e r . But I thought of Shannie then, a woman born i n a Sa l i s h semi-subterranean p i t house. I had not known her to raise her voice, much less harm anyone by action or word or attitu d e . She was gentle and gracious and kind, and meticulously clean. She was an entrepreneur i n the days before World War II would l i b e r a t e mainstream society women i n the labour market. She met adversity with 177 innovativeness and strength. She loved her family and respected a l l things. In the face of such evidence I saw the l i e at l a s t , the insidious f a b r i c a t i o n that the dominant race was the authority, the better one. I look at the hist o r y of genocide; and the large scale destruction of the environment and I think of my grandmother and her profound respect f o r a l l things, a l l people, a l l r e l i g i o n s . I thought of the textbooks and what they said about F i r s t Nations people. I said i t then and I say i t now. It i s a l i e . In t h i s chapter Shannie's l i f e story gives an alter n a t i v e view of what happened i n the Nicola Valley from the l a t e 1890's to the 1979, revealing issues and perspectives which are not found i n recorded h i s t o r i e s . The vacuum created by the missing F i r s t Nations perspectives contributes to ignorance and bias. Some of the issues raised i n the l i f e h i s t o r y of Shannie have been part of the colonization experiences of Indigenous Peoples a l l over the world and need to be addressed by the dominant society. Berger says: In many parts of the New World the Indians have been destroyed, i n others they have been removed from t h e i r ancestral lands, i n s t i l l others they . i'jjf^lia've been reduced to poverty ( x i i i ) . ,' I n Canada t h i s i s true of F i r s t Nations Peoples. Shannie l o s t her husband's estate because trie j t i s t i c e system f a i l e d to protect her. She l o s t the land her 178 system f a i l e d to protect her. She l o s t the land her father gave her because the federal government imposed the Indian Act which defined who was an Indian and who was not. Some of the issues are in t e r n a l and need to be addressed by the Nlakapamux people themselves. F i r s t we need to acknowledge and recognize the o r a l t r a d i t i o n as a record of hist o r y remembering that written and or a l accounts come from the same source, human memory. Second, we need to hear those l o c a l F i r s t Nations h i s t o r i e s , by F i r s t Nations i n and out of the classroom. Third, we need to consider the implications of the sto r i e s i n terms of human rights, the rule of law, e t h i c a l and moral obligations, s e l f -determination of peoples. Fourth we need to take p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l , l e g a l , educational, and economic action to right the wrongs. Narratives by oppressed peoples i s a good place to begin. 179 Chapter Ten Skaloola the Owl: Healing in Mythology This chapter uses the metaphor of Skaloola the Owl, t h i e f of children, as an analogy of r e s i d e n t i a l schools to examine the ways in which a people may recover t h e i r mythologies fo r t h e i r own understanding and for the healing of present and future generations of Nlakapamux chi l d r e n . In the Mythological Age when all creatures were s t i l l humans, Skaloola the Owl stole children. He hid at the edges of villages, watching boys and girls to see if they might wander too far from camp or stay out too late after dark. Then he would snatch them up and put them into a big basket on his back, and run away with them into the mountains. The hunters and warriors went after him, but at some point the tracks always disappeared and there was no sign of Skaloola or the children. They were never seen again. Some people said that Skaloola kept the children as his own. He taught them owl talk and made them forget their parents and their people. Others said that he made slaves of the children. He made them work hard all day then tied them up at night and fed them worms. The really old people reluctantly ventured to say that Skaloola ate the children. Then one day the Ancient One, the Creator, sent Coyote the Transformer to the Nlakapamux to deal with all the people who were breaking taboos. Those who 180 were dishonest or lazy or cruel were transformed into animals so they would not be able to harm other people. Skaloola, thief of children, was one of these. Coyote used his magic to turn Skaloola into a night bird who would be too small to carry off children anymore. Now, Skaloola remains our kinfolk, don't forget. He comes around to warn us of impending danger and death. In his transformed state he is, once again, a friend to people. The story of Skaloola the Owl i s speta'kl, a creation story which came to me i n b i t s and pieces over the years, mostly from my brothers and s i s t e r s and extended family. The f i r s t version of i t came when I was about s i x or seven years old. One summer evening a whole group of cousins converged upon our ranch and ended up playing scrub, an informal version of baseball, i n the f i e l d with my older brothers and s i s t e r s . We younger ones made mudpies nearby. It was getting dark when suddenly someone y e l l e d . "Skaloola!!!" The entire group of us turned simultaneously and ran screaming into the nearest house. Older s i b l i n g s grabbed l i t t l e brothers and s i s t e r s by the hand as they scrambled inside. Once there, we kept completely s i l e n t . Then the older g i r l s tended to scrapes and 181 cuts. The boys went back outside to check and came back i n with a report, summed up with a shake of the head meaning the owl had not been sighted. Then someone spoke i n a hushed voice. "Who saw the owl?" "It was Sarah." "No, i t wasn't me." "Who was I t ? " "Yeah, who was i t ? " A f t e r a short silence an older cousin started t a l k i n g about bats that come out at night and go a f t e r you and get tangled up i n your h a i r . Somebody thought there was a skaloola house, something l i k e an underground c e l l a r which was f i l l e d with owls which would pick at you and hurt you ( f i e l d notes). As we huddled together i n the darkness of the l i v i n g room, those who had any information about the Skaloola would have an opportunity to have t h e i r say. Even those of us who were small would be regarded with complete attention and c r e d i b i l i t y as we related even the most outrageous d e t a i l s . Everyone's point of view was heard and respected. F i n a l l y one of the older brothers or s i s t e r s would sum up the s i t u a t i o n with a statement l i k e , "It's time to h i t the sack anyway," or "I heard Uncle say that the Skaloola i s just coming to warn us about something bad gonna happen." 182 This r e a l l i f e drama happened many times, with more and more Information about the Skaloola story being added, on each time. When we got older, we gathered any time there was an occasion and t o l d s t o r i e s , shared information, held debates and discussions. I remember my cousin John on one of those occasions t a l k i n g about becoming a f i g h t e r p i l o t and " k i l l i n g the communists." We didn't know what communists were but i t sounded rather e x c i t i n g to be a fi g h t e r p i l o t . This process gave us information about the outside world, and followed us into the r e s i d e n t i a l school where we experienced a r e a l l i f e enactment of the Skaloola story. Myths such as the one about Skaloola have a power for healing, not i n a separate sense, but as an inherent q u a l i t y which pervades a l l aspects of Nlakapamux l i f e . It has maintained a continuity from one generation to the next with Elders t e l l i n g the story to older children who share t h e i r information with the younger ones. As F i r s t Nations we have "refused to die" and today " w i l l not be assimilated" (Berger, 1992, p. 159). Af t e r s u f f e r i n g many years of colonialism F i r s t Nations need to assess t h e i r situations and develop t r a d i t i o n a l and contemporary strategies f o r healing t h e i r s o c i e t i e s . 183 This chapter has examined the Skaloola story f o r i t s Inherent healing qualities'' from the t r a d i t i o n a l context of the parents, and the children. From the parents' perspective the myth of Skaloola serves as a form of teaching s o c i a l control fo r the purposes of personal safety. From the children's perspective Skaloola created a s o l i d a r i t y among the children of the family group by opening up discussions and communications about a common enemy. Through the dramatic enactment of the myth we received and gave caring, acceptance, and understanding and achieved s o l i d a r i t y . Second, the myth about Skaloola gives us a powerful analogy about the government's "steal i n g " of F i r s t Nations children and separating them from t h e i r families and communities. This occurred through the r e s i d e n t i a l schools, and i s s t i l l occurring i n the c h i l d apprehension program through Social Services. The comparison gives us c l a r i t y i n understanding the seriousness of the crimes committed against F i r s t Nations, and places the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r those crimes on the proper shoulders. F i n a l l y , by using the Shulus Kindergarten Model I w i l l demonstrate how we may use myths to f a c i l i t a t e healing among Nlakapamux and other children i n an educational and counselling s e t t i n g . 184 As a device for s o c i a l control, the Skaloola story gives a tangible picture of some very r e a l dangers. For small children to wander too f a r from camp or to stay out too l a t e a f t e r dark could r e s u l t i n the loss, death, or maiming of the c h i l d . Inexperienced young boys playing loudly i n the hunting areas could scare away game and cause the starvation of the entire v i l l a g e . There was also the r i s k of abduction by a neighbouring enemy t r i b e or inappropriate sexual encounters. Such dangers presented i n a conversational, l i n e a r mode of ta l k i n g may come across as abstractions which the l i t t l e c h i l d might not be able to grasp or to take seriously. But, myth presented as the scream , at dusk, the f l u t t e r of wings, the abject t e r r o r on the face of an older, stronger, more capable cousin paints a picture that i s very r e a l to the c h i l d . Catastrophe i s avoided and lessons taught which take care of the group u n t i l the children are older and see the larger implications of the myths. Parents are free to take care of the other very r e a l concerns of the family such as gathering food f o r the harsh winters. Moral t r a i n i n g i s also accomplished through the speta'kl. Dramatized themes t e l l the children how not to be, not thieves, not l i a r s , not persons who would 185 ever harm t h e i r own people or break the taboos. Later versions of the Skaloola story s a i d that he used the young g i r l s f or sexual g r a t i f i c a t i o n which served as a warning to us that there were such people and to be wary of them. The transformation aspect displays the negative consequences of wrong behaviour i n that humans become animals and were thus r e s t r i c t e d i n t h e i r humanity. This provides an explanation f o r existence and creates a respect f o r a l l creation based on kinship t i e s , the most powerful ones possessed by the Nlakapamux. The f e a r f u l reaction of loved ones to e v i l acts serves as a deterrent to transgressions of the moral code. In th i s sense the myth i s a pro-active, preventative way to keep the family group healthy and safe -- mentally, s p i r i t u a l l y , physically, and emotionally. From the ch i l d ' s perspective the myth of Skaloola the Owl causes an instantaneous reaction. There i s a certai n voice tone used for warning. It i s heard i n the way "Skaloola!" i s c r i e d out. It i s not the loud scream of movies, but lower pitched l i k e a whispered screech. I have heard my mother cry out l i k e that when a ton of hay f e l l on my dad and he reacted quickly enough to avoid the main bulk and keep himself a l i v e u n t i l my brothers dug him out. He knew from my mother's voice tone that the danger was r e a l and the 186 knowledge probably saved h i s l i f e . I heard the same blood-curdling sound coming from my own mouth when my brother-in-law was being gored by a b u l l i n a rodeo once, and i n a busy i n t e r s e c t i o n of Vancouver my daughter saw a small spider spring down from the car c e i l i n g and screamed the "Skaloola" scream. I almost fainted. There seemed to be a chronology of movement and reaction a f t e r "Skaloola!" was screamed. Instant f l i g h t was followed by absolute s t i l l n e s s and silence as i f we were i n hiding. Then the older boys checked on the perceived danger and when i t was "safe" we began discussions about the danger. Plans of action were formulated. Several innate things were also happening. As children we learned to perceive danger, to respond to a s p e c i f i c "danger" c a l l , to take f l i g h t , to help the small and helpless, to hide, to remain absolutely quiet, to know our roles i n a c r i s i s , to teach, to c l a r i f y , to discuss and debate and share information, to display bravery, to comfort and protect each other. Close proximity, forbidden between male and female children a f t e r the age of nine or ten (Edwards, 1989), was permitted i n the extenuating circumstances. The closeness i n t h i s context was comforting and healing. As a resu l t of Skaloola, we sensed that 187 tough things would happen i n l i f e , beyond our control, but we would survive. A basic "hardiness" or "sense of coherence" followed i n spite of the many stresses of l i f e (Antonovsky, 1979). These s k i l l s we took with us into the r e s i d e n t i a l school. Brother and s i s t e r s were separated into the boys' side and g i r l s ' side. We saw our brother and boy cousins only on Friday across the gymnasium at movie time and only occasionally walking to classes. G i r l s were divided into juniors, intermediates and seniors and made to sleep i n separate dormitories and recreation rooms. A kind of brainwashing f o r competitiveness and i n d i v i d u a l i t y also separated us. This needs a further discussion than I can accommodate here. On a few occasions s i s t e r s d i d get to see each other. On V i c t o r i a Day a l l the g i r l s i n the school went to Skiddam Fla t s for a p i c n i c . Sometimes on Saturdays we could v i s i t outside i n the playground. A f t e r supper we had a few minutes to t a l k i n the dining room and i n the h a l l as we walked back to our recreation rooms. One year my older s i s t e r Deanna and I were both intermediates. When we got together we lapsed back into our "Skaloola" groups. We s t i l l do. We shared information about the nuns and p r i e s t s , warned each other about situations or people, 188 expressed opinions, shared our troubles, gave and received feedback, and t o l d s t o r i e s . On one occasion a f t e r I confronted one of the nuns f o r picking on my l i t t l e s i s t e r I went to speak with my older s i s t e r about i t . I f e l t devastated wondering i f I were as e v i l as the nun had t o l d me I was. I was wondering i f I would be expelled from school and excommunicated from the church, or i f I would get my head shaved l i k e the kids who ran away from school. My s i s t e r t o l d me several s t o r i e s about run-ins she had had with nuns. I f e l t v a s t l y r e l i e v e d and comforted knowing. I was not the only one to challenge the violence and go through a very traumatic experience of verbal, physical, and emotional abuse as a r e s u l t . In any case, the s t o r i e s my s i s t e r t o l d me presented a completely d i f f e r e n t point of view about the nun's very questionable actions. The nun was the vio l e n t one. I f e l t I was no longer alone and isolated, and probably not that "bad". Someone was on my side. The "Skaloola" framework given by our Salishan ancestors was s t i l l i n place, s t i l l keeping the Nlakapamux children i n possession of t h e i r souls. Four possible fates awaited the "stolen children" i n the Skaloola myth. F i r s t , the children would be f o r c i b l y adopted into the owl family, taught the owl 189 language, and made to forget t h e i r families and people. In that sense the Nlakapamux children were also f o r c i b l y adopted into the Roman Catholic, white family through mandatory baptism at b i r t h , mandatory r e g i s t r a t i o n into the r e s i d e n t i a l schools, and mandatory confirmation at the age of twelve. They were taught and made to speak English, and forced by punishment and threat not to speak F i r s t Nations languages. By keeping the children at school ten months of the year f o r twelve years the r e s i d e n t i a l school system succeeded i n separating the children from the Nlakapamux adults and the enculturation process which would teach them to be Nlakapamux. This i s separation from the c u l t u r a l s e l f , from parental love and care, from a l l that i s cherished and valued by a hunting and gathering people. The problem i s that i t was not a sincere adoption. There was no welcome fo r F i r s t Nations people i n the town churches, labour force, the u n i v e r s i t i e s or sometimes even In the stores. The children remained aliens i n Skaloola's world and aliens i n Canadian society. Second, Skaloola made slaves of the children. He made them work hard a l l day, then t i e d them up at night and fed them worms. Accounts of r e s i d e n t i a l schools speak of the half-days of work, half-days of 190 school, the hunger (Sterling, 1992, p. 87), and the loneliness f o r home (Moran, 1988, p.. .48). At St. Joseph's i n Williams Lake "the food was rotten" (Furniss, 1992, p. 21). I was t o l d that there were leg manacles ( f i e l d notes) f o r runaway F i r s t Nations students i n the basement at St. George's School i n Lytton. Another kind of "tying up of children" would be the federal l e g i s l a t i o n under the Indian Act which forced a l l status children into r e s i d e n t i a l schools (Furniss, 1992, p. 2). The question which underpins the rule of law i s , "What would happen i f everybody did i t ? " Based on that question, why then were not a l l Canadian children apprehended and sent to r e s i d e n t i a l schools? And, what would the national reaction be? And, why wouldn't F i r s t Nations question again and again the right of anyone to pass such a law? Third, the older version of the story had the Skaloola using the young g i r l s f or sexual g r a t i f i c a t i o n , another version of slavery, another v i o l a t i o n of human rights, another form of abuse. Given the disclosures about Bishop Hubert O'Connor and others, sexual abuse may have been rampant i n the r e s i d e n t i a l schools (Birnie, 1994). S p i r i t u a l abuse should also be included. We had 191 been taught about eternal h e l l and damnation If we transgressed any of the rules and regulations, made the smallest error, and disobeyed or even questioned the supervisors. They placed judgement and g u i l t upon children, not f o r sins they committed on purpose but for being children. The clergy used the concepts l i k e the fear of God, fear of h e l l and d e v i l s as forms of s o c i a l control, without e x p l i c a t i n g t h e i r true meanings as the children got older. They imposed t h e i r personal l i f e goals (vows) of poverty, chastity, and obedience on ch i l d r e n who d i d not have the d i a l e c t i c a l s k i l l s to defend t h e i r own or t h e i r culture's l i f e goals. Many have suffered g u i l t and shame i n engaging i n personal closeness (Knockwood, 1992) and i n sexual intimacy, even within a marriage ( f i e l d notes). A l l forms of abuse have a cycle which becomes complete when the v i c t i m becomes the oppressor. Nlakapamux society Is no d i f f e r e n t . Any c h i l d coming back from Skaloola's house should have gone through r i t u a l cleansing and ceremonies of singing and drumming and dance f o r healing. They should have been taken, I believe, into the mountains f o r v i s i o n quests. They should have been reminded that Skaloola was the enemy of people. They should have been shown great kindness and understanding i n re-entering t h e i r 192 r i g h t f u l society. Fourth, Skaloola ate the children. Several comparisons come to mind. Commodification of, say, the education of F i r s t Nations i s a kind of cannibalism, as i s assimilation. But f i r s t comes death. L i t e r a l death (Furniss, 1992) at the r e s i d e n t i a l schools. Symbolic death by removal from F i r s t Nations society. Cultural death by re-s o c i a l i z a t i o n . Death of the soul by pre-judgement and sex abuse. Separation of the parts of us does not ex i s t (Ornstein,. 1987) . We cannot assume that F i r s t Nations children were healthy human beings when parts of them had become necrotic. What t h i s analogy does i s unmask colonialism as the embodiment of Skaloola, a l i a r and t h i e f and murderer. This becomes necessary when the church and state decry t h e i r oppressive a c t i v i t i e s as f a u l t y but innocent of blame or c u l p a b i l i t y . It c l a r i f i e s the Nlakapamux p o s i t i o n i n modern society as an on-going one of oppression, dispossession, and v i c t i m i z a t i o n . It exposes the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the church, state, and F i r s t Nations as one of e x p l o i t a t i o n on the part of the church and state, not friendship. As F i r s t Nations we need to r e a l i z e that technological society " i s not going to save us" (Ornstein, 1987, x i v ) , that the " r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r 193 change" (Adamson, 1984, p. 8) Is ours. We need to take steps to heal ourselves and our communities. In the national and global sense we need sweeping changes i n the p o l i t i c a l , economic and s o c i a l and l e g a l structures which we operate under, not only psychological ones. The children's well-being was never the major concern of Skaloola or the r e s i d e n t i a l school system. Skaloola had to be forced through transformation (philosophical?) to behave with humanity, as w i l l Western society. That i s how speta'kl heal us. They t e l l the truth. During the month of June 1993, my s i s t e r Mary Jane and I taught kindergarten at the Lower Nicola Band School i n Shulus near M e r r i t t . One of the things I wanted to do was to develop integrated units based on Nlakapamux s t o r i e s . The f i r s t one was Skaloola the Owl. We started the unit by t e l l i n g the story of Skaloola i n the morning t a l k i n g c i r c l e . Using the drum and voice tone, and hand gestures and f a c i a l expressions we dramatized the story to make i t in t e r e s t i n g . In physical education we used dance inter p r e t a t i o n to have the children simulate to the beat of the drum the movements of the owl, watching, hunting and perching i n trees. In Language Arts we 194 had them draw pictures of the Skaloola i n t h e i r journals and we wrote t h e i r s t o r i e s , verbatim, beside the i l l u s t r a t i o n s . In Art we wrote a b i g book together; the children drawing the i l l u s t r a t i o n s and I writing the text. In Science we found a photograph of an owl i n an encyclopedia and compared i t s b i r d q u a l i t i e s with those of f i s h . In Music we sang the Skaloola Song. In Social Studies we played the Skaloola Game to the beat of the drum and the music of the song. Then, with therapist Jean Andersen, we used the Skaloola story to i n i t i a t e discussion about sex abuse and kidnapping, and what to do i f such things occurred. The children reacted to Skaloola i n d i f f e r e n t ways. When we played the Skaloola Game, often the c h i l d who was supposed to be pursued by Skaloola chased Skaloola instead. Once, when Mary Jane was Skaloola, one of the l i t t l e boys clung onto her legs. It may have been that he was seeking closeness with Mary Jane who i s a maternal person. Or he may have been attempting to slow Skaloola down or hamper her chase. If we look at the symbolism of these actions, i t may be that t h i s w i l l be a generation which w i l l confront and attempt to stop racism. Several features remain central i n the education of F i r s t Nations children: the presence of F i r s t 195 Nations adults, the f r i e n d l y r e l a t i o n s h i p between the teachers and the students, the hands-on a c t i v i t i e s , the e g a l i t a r i a n nature of the teaching-learning process and learning from concrete to theory rather than from theory to concrete (Sterling, 1992). Once again, through drama, Skaloola was, i s , and can be the medium for teaching, t r a i n i n g , sharing information, i n i t i a t i n g discussion, enculturating, v a l i d a t i n g , entertaining, warning, and keeping Nlakapamux children well. T h i s chapter on the inherent healing q u a l i t y i n the speta'kl about Skaloola the Owl i s a metaphor fo r picking up the fragmented pieces of a culture and rebuilding i t . The metaphor gives us the theme of theft of children. It shows how the c u l t u r a l l y contextual!zed version of the story/drama enacted among the Nlakapamux provides s o c i a l control, s o l i d a r i t y among the children i n a kinship group, and warning against e v i l acts. The c u l t u r a l l y decontextualized enactment of the story at the r e s i d e n t i a l school/s shows how the Nlakapamux children were stolen f o r the good of the dominant culture, not f o r the good of the children. The theft of children continues through c h i l d apprehensions by the Ministry of Social Services. V i o l a Thomas, Secewpmx a c t i v i s t , said at a r a l l y (CBC, 196 June 26, 1997) at Grandview School i n Vancouver that Social Services has become a body of "baby-snatchers" apprehending up to 60% of F i r s t Nations children i n the Vancouver area. This i s a c r i t i c a l issue we need to be informed about as educators, F i r s t Nations parents, and c i t i z e n s of a democracy. Studies demonstrate the high rate of depression, suicide, and behavioural and emotional problems that Native children experience when they have been apprehended and placed i n white foster homes. One example i s Richard Cardinal, a Native boy who was apprehended by the Ministry of Social Services. Richard committed suicide a f t e r spending years moving from one foster home to another despite repeated, unsuccessful attempts to get help and to reconnect with his Native family. The Ministry d i d not encourage or support his e f f o r t s to f i n d his family and his pleas for help (Andres, et a l . , 1988, p. 20). F i n a l l y , the Skaloola story finds i t s way into the children's c i r c l e to pick up where i t l e f t o f f many years ago, t h i s time i n the Shulus kindergarten i n June 1993. The ancient words of the Skaloola Song were given to me by Sophie and I taught i t to the children. . We celebrated Skaloola i n song, dance, drama, s t o r y t e l l i n g , i n Language Arts, math, science, s o c i a l s studies, physical education, i n games, books 197 and i n the c i r c l e during story time and counselling time. We sang the drum song together: neesta' skaloola (I'm scared of Owl) neesta' skaloola (I'm scared of Owl) ah kwan jeet skaloola (He might find/steal me) neesta' skaloola (I'm scared of Owl). 198 Chapter Eleven Kwis-kwa-jeet: A Spiritual Journey This chapter examines the researcher's understanding of Nlakapamux spirituality through the metaphor of a journey. Dreams, symbolism, speta'kl and sgilsm are introduced as ways First Nations peoples may seek spiritual guidance in their oral traditions in the face of growing scepticism about organized religions. It was the Fourth Moon when Chinook was heard arguing with Ice. They were making such a big racket with their angry voices that they could be heard for miles around. They were having a contest to determine which of them was the strongest. "I'm the most powerful," said Chinook. "I can melt every bit of snow and ice that's all around, as far as the eyes can see." "Well, that's nothing, look at me," said Ice. "I'm as hard as rock." "When I come blowing in to this valley everything changes overnight! Everything changes, becomes all green, for not one, but two and three seasons," replied the Chinook. "That's nothing," said Ice. "I cover the rivers and lakes the land the trees and even the smallest puddle becomes a sheet of ice. Everyone, the deer and the bear and whole families can walk across the river because of me. For the entire winter season I can turn water as hard as stone." 199 "That's winter only," said Chinook. "One season isn't much to brag about." "Let me remind you," said Ice. "I am so powerful that nothing can come against my strength in the highest mountain peaks. Summer, early autumn, late fall and winter and spring, I am always there. And I will be, forever." By this time Chinook and Ice were extremely agitated and their voices were getting louder and angrier. Just then Sun happened to be going by when he heard this big commotion. He got kind of curious so he went down to have a look. He remained there watching the big fight, until he realized it was time to get going. Reluctantly, he continued on his way. The next day he decided to come and have a look again. Of course he got carried away watching the big argument between Chinook and Ice and he stayed longer this time. This continued for many days with Sun staying longer each day. Soon Sun's warm presence began to have its effect on Ice. Ice began to melt, and with the melting he became weaker and weaker. Soon he was too weak to fight and the issue was resolved right there. Chinook was the strongest. This speta'kl, or creation story, was t o l d to Sophie by her grand-aunt, Kwista-yetko, the s t o r y t e l l e r . We were cleaning berries one time when 200 Sophie t o l d the story to me, and I have relayed a paraphrased version. The story rested f o r some years u n t i l i t was revived because of something somebody asked me i n a doctoral seminar at the UBC. A student i n the seminar asked me to comment on whether or not the world of academia would accept personal narratives as v a l i d i n t e l l e c t u a l discourse. I thought of replying that any discourse based on sound argumentation should f i n d acceptance, when suddenly I found myself recounting the dream I had had i n which the mythological creature touched me on the arm and turned me f r o s t y and white a l l over. What that had t o l d me was that I had been empowered to enter the Land of Ice and Snow to accomplish a purpose. I had to believe there would be people i n that land to guide me and help me learn enough of the language to complete the task. In other words I was studying at the graduate l e v e l because something happened to me i n a dream that made me r e a l i z e I could and should do so, and that people would help me get through the process. The purpose of the endeavor would be accomplished. I knew t h i s from the dream and from other events which followed from the story of Ice and Chinook. The question of the v a l i d i t y of personal narrative made me r e a l i z e that I think a ce r t a i n way 201 about my experiences. Up to t h i s point my explanations for going to un i v e r s i t y tended to be what I thought would make sense to the person I was t a l k i n g to. I r e p l i e d that my father always encouraged me to get an education, or that I got t i r e d of being at the low end of the pay scale. For the f i r s t time I r e a l i z e d that those answers, while not fa l s e , were not the whole picture, not the re a l reason. My response to the guestion about the v a l i d i t y of personal narratives started me thinking about how and why we do cert a i n things and how we explain what we do. It made me r e a l i z e that c e r t a i n dreams and experiences have significance and meaning to us and they guide our actions and behaviours i n a way that i s d i s t i n c t to our b e l i e f that a l l things are l i v i n g . I am not sure, exactly, what s p i r i t u a l i t y means. We l i v e by ce r t a i n moral codes learned by example and tr a i n i n g from our parents, teachers, and peers. Those codes are often held by the Elders who dispense them through Coyote s t o r i e s . Coyote i s the ethics p o l i c e who teaches us through the sto r i e s how not to behave. He i s s e l f i s h , vain, dishonest, l a s c i v i o u s . He even sent his son on a sky t r i p so that he could take his son's two wives (Teit, 1898, and Hanna and Henry, 1995). The E l d e r / s t o r y t e l l e r w i l l t e l l a c e r t a i n Coyote story to correct and chastize a person so that 202 a d i r e c t reference i s not made to the aberrant behaviour or to the person/s who engaged i n i t . In t h i s way the Coyote st o r i e s allow people to be warned about deviant bahaviour while allowing them to save face. I t r i e d t h i s technique one time with a person whose behaviour was hurting some members of a family. I t o l d a Coyote story and made a point of mentioning how everybody laughed at Coyote behind his back and remembered a l l his former f a i l i n g s . The person got to save face while changing behaviour. Some of the mystical experiences of the Nlakapamux are so personal and private that they are never discussed. Other experiences, such as dreams, are shared with family and friends f o r the purpose of int e r p r e t i n g t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e and sharing our knowledge of c e r t a i n experiences. Spending time i n the sweatlodge allows a person to pray four times and more during the duration of the sweat. T e i t (1900, pp. 337-366) recorded Nlakapamux r e l i g i o n i n eight headings; conceptions of the world (337), prayers and observances (344), f e s t i v a l s (350), guardian s p i r i t s (354), soul (357), shamanism (360), prophets (365), and e t h i c a l conceptions and teachings (366). I'm not sure that a s p i r i t u a l path necessarily means a r e l i g i o n . Perhaps i t i s more l i k e a philosophy or a series of philosophies which influence 203 our thoughts and actions and attitudes. This spring, for instance, I saw eagles on four occasions. At Lost Lagoon i n Stanley Park I saw an eagle d r i f t i n g above the lagoon, c i r c l i n g counter-clockwise seven times. Then i t flew North, then East into a cloud that had the shape of a swan. Another time I saw an eagle s i t t i n g i n a tree calmly preening i t s wings while a l l around her there were dozens and dozens of crows s i t t i n g i n three trees screeching at her. I saw two eagles f l y i n g above the Longhouse the day I brought my thesis i n fo r a preliminary perusal by my thesis advisor and another flew over the car I was d r i v i n g at Jericho Beach. Since the eagles bring a blessing message I was very happy and honoured with t h e i r sightings. I took i t to mean the research would go well. The gladness of the message gave me the energy to work hard and have f a i t h i n the process. This spilaxem which follows t e l l s the story of how i t was that I came to be doing graduate studies, and what gave me the audacity to think I could use personal narrative as academic discourse. In t h i s way I w i l l t r y to speak to the concept of s p i r i t u a l i t y as I understand i t , and to examine how we may restore s p i r i t u a l well-being to Nlakapamux people through s t o r y t e l l i n g . When Sophie f i r s t t o l d me about the b a t t l e 204 between Ice and Chinook i t seemed to me that the story-explained the spring thaw i n March. The sun coming closer to the world to watch the b a t t l e between Ice and Chinook caused the transformation of Ice into water which brought on the new season of spring 1 1. "That's the explanation of seasons?" I asked Sophie. She stopped cleaning berries f o r awhile, staring off into her childhood. "The seasons, they're l i k e woman chi e f s , " she said. They get jealous of one another and they squabble. The one who wins gets to rule u n t i l another one takes over." "Woman chiefs?" I said. This was wonderful. I wanted to hear a l l about i t . But Sophie couldn't remember. "When Yetko t o l d us st o r i e s we d r i f t e d off to sleep," she said. "I can only remember b i t s and pieces." I don't know why but I kept thinking about the way Sophie described the seasons as woman chi e f s . I f e l t l i k e I knew who they were already, knew what they were l i k e . It was not d i f f i c u l t to imagine summer chief as benevolent and kind l i k e Yaya', hoeing the garden and picking strawberries and preparing salmon for winter. F a l l would be l i k e Yetko who knew the medicine plants, l i k e keekoo' 9 which i s gathered a f t e r 205 the f i r s t f r o s t when the plants f a l l on the ground. The winter chief would be l i k e Ska-ups10, an o l d woman i n the v a l l e y who murdered her s i s t e r i n order to ste a l her land. Ska-ups would be greedily scheming to keep her season longer. Sometimes she would win, thereby creating another ice-age. Spring would be Winter's daughter, who planted an apple tree which continued to grow for years and years. The daughter of Ska-ups would be the only one who could survive her mother's wrath, the only one who could take over from that powerful woman. Along with Spring came her cousin, Chinook, whose job was to melt the snow and ice to make way fo r the new season. The winter chief would have to overcome Chinook before she could take over the land. I could imagine her biding her time and waiting i n the mountains where her power was strong. Then one day Ska-ups finds Chinook sleeping and she grabs him and t i e s him up and drags him to the Land of Ice and Snow where she locks him up i n an i c e lodge from which he can not escape. What i f four Nlakapamux youths went on a quest to free Chinook? Who would they be? Maybe Bear, Muskrat, a bi r d , maybe Crow, and Frog. They would be too d i f f e r e n t to get along. They would have no idea how to get started on t h e i r journey. They would have to receive some help, some s p i r i t u a l power so they 206 would know where to begin. The next time I saw Sophie I t o l d her about wanting to write a story about Chinook getting captured by the Winter Chief, and getting rescued by the four Nlakapamux youths. I asked her i f she knew any st o r i e s l i k e that. She said no, but I waited, hoping she would think of something that would help me get some kind of s t o r y l i n e or theme or p l o t . F i n a l l y Sophie spoke. "They got to t r a i n to go on a long t r i p l i k e that. They run to the r i v e r before the sun i s up, every morning. They take a dip, a l l the way i n . They ask the water to take away a l l t h e i r bad feeli n g s . " For a long time I didn't know what to do about the story, except to l e t i t go. Then one day I met a Halkomelem t r a v e l l e r and I was t e l l i n g him about the story that wouldn't get t o l d . I said I was disappointed because Sophie just t o l d me about bathing i n the r i v e r , not about the story. The v i s i t o r looked at me with astonishment. "But she gave you the f i r s t step," he said. "You're supposed to do what she t e l l s you, then you w i l l know what to do next. She can't t e l l you the story because i t ' s your story. You have to go to the r i v e r and bathe l i k e she t o l d you." "Ohhhhh," I said, wisdom dawning. 2 0 7 Not long after, I went to the Coldwater River with my daughter. We went to Big Rock. No one else was there. We were swimming and f l o a t i n g and diving in , holding our noses. My daughter said there was a b i g f i s h i n the water. It was swimming around, unafraid. "This I've got to see," I said. We both dove i n to have a look. I could see the eighteen-inch f i s h slowly swimming, moving gently l e f t to r i g ht and l e f t and r i g h t . It swam right by my daughter, and they continued c i r c l i n g l i k e they were dancing with each other. When I t o l d Sophie about the f i s h she said i t sounded l i k e i t was a Dolly Varden. She said Dad didn't l i k e Dolly Vardens because he caught one once and i t had a snake inside i t . Dad loved f i s h and f i s h i n g but he never ate a Dolly Varden again, a f t e r that. I wondered what was the meaning of a l l . t h i s . Then I remembered what Dad said when I was a l i t t l e g i r l . He always said we should get ourselves a good education. From that point on I began to think seriously about going to uni v e r s i t y . Some time l a t e r , I found myself, through a series of accidents, enrolled i n the Native Indian Teacher Education Program. Then I was doing a Masters and f i n a l l y there I was i n a doctoral 208 seminar remembering a dream I had had many years before. In the dream a bear touched tny arm and turned me fros t y and white a l l over my body. The bear t o l d me that my l i f e would be tough and that there was a good reason f o r i t . I interpreted that purpose to mean getting a doctorate. The land of ice and snow reminded me of the epistemologies which guide Western education theory and practise, the s c i e n t i f i c method which i n seeking generalizations o b j e c t i f i e s people and views things as non-living. Native American author and scholar Vine Deloria J r . (1995) says: The main difference between American Indian views of the physical world and Western science l i e s i n the premise accepted by Indians and rejected by s c i e n t i s t s : the world i n which we l i v e i s a l i v e (55). This b e l i e f i s evident i n the concept of the speta'kl, the creation s t o r i e s such as Ice and Chinook which maintain that a l l things have a l i v i n g s p i r i t and are transformed people from the mythological age (Teit, 1898, p. 19). I personally might interpret human soul or s p i r i t to mean a l i f e force, which we seem to share with a l l l i v i n g things and/or a presence which we f e e l emanating from, say, rocks i n the sweatlodge where we ref e r to the red hot rocks as grandfathers and ask for t h e i r help i n our cleansing r i t u a l s . 209 If I were to interpret my r o l e In the quest to release Chinook from the icelodge i t would be that of bringing the s t o r i e s and the s t o r y t e l l i n g t r a d i t i o n into research about Nlakapamux people. The s t o r i e s transform the generalized, o b j e c t i f i e d , s c i e n t i f i c accounts of F i r s t Nations which dehumanize them and reduce them to numbers into narratives which bring a l i v e the human beings who laugh and t a l k and grieve and want to l i v e happy l i v e s i n a way that seems good to them. My companions are the writers and researchers who carry the same message. The philosophy of the medicine wheel which relates us to a l l things promotes balance i n our development to include the s p i r i t u a l , physical and emotional as well as the mental (Bopp et a l , 1984, p. 26). We can seek healing and well-being by balancing the intellectually-weighted knowledge of science through s t o r y t e l l i n g which contains physical, s p i r i t u a l and emotional perspectives. We understand that t h i s perspective has been disrupted, however, and we f i n d ourselves i n a dilemna as expressed by Roland ChrisJohn (1993) i n a paper about the e f f e c t s of r e s i d e n t i a l schooling on the F i r s t Nations Peoples i n Canada: One thing that should not be ignored when looking back at t h i s h i s t o r y i s that t h i s e f f o r t at c u l t u r a l genocide had considerable success. For example, today, the vast majority of F i r s t 210 Nations languages are i n danger of dying out; the connection between the world and F i r s t Nations r e l i g i o n s has been disrupted or even severed, and factionalism (founded upon d o c t r i n a l disputes o r i g i n a t i n g i n Medieval Europe) plays a major role i n d i v i d i n g F i r s t Nations communities (1). The factionalism which divides people i s evident i n the Nicola Valley. The r e l i g i o u s boundaries of the Anglicans and Catholics meet at Shulus Reserve 1 2 where there are two churches on the reserve; the Anglican church and the Catholic church. Half the people were Anglican and t h e i r children were sent to St. George's School i n Lytton. Half the people were Catholic and t h e i r children were sent to the Kamloops Indian Residential School i n Kamloops. In one family, one daughter went to Kamloops and one went to Lytton. Intermarriage was forbidden on pain of excommunication and we were taught at Kamloops that a l l Protestants go to h e l l . A f t e r 100 years of C h r i s t i a n i z a t i o n and assi m i l a t i o n we f i n d ourselves i n a s p i r i t u a l vacuum. The s p i r i t u a l knowledge of the Nlakapamux has been disrupted and severed, and t r a d i t i o n a l s p i r i t u a l practises l o s t or abandoned. The problem i s that the organized r e l i g i o n s to which the Nlakapamux turned have l o s t c r e d i b i l i t y . Vine Deloria J . (1995) says: Even today [ C h r i s t i a n i t y ] 1 s chief p e r s o n a l i t i e s f a l l one a f t e r another into disrepute. Catholic p r i e s t s prey on t h e i r parishoners; televangelists engage i n fraudulent f i n a n c i a l practises or are seen i n the seedier parts of town on sexual escapades. Clergy extol the virtues of the 211 "church 1 but ra r e l y speak of God (22). As a re s u l t of the growing scepticism of the Nlakapamux about r e l i g i o n s many people do not have access to s p i r i t u a l i n s t r u c t i o n or guidance from any source. I know t h i s i s true i n the Nicola Valley because I was hired by the Lower Nicola Band School to gather some grandmother s t o r i e s which teach morals and values according to Nlakapamux t r a d i t i o n s . The school board and s t a f f were concerned that the children were often getting no s p i r i t u a l or r e l i g i o u s i n s t r u c t i o n at a l l and t h e i r behaviours and attitudes at school r e f l e c t e d the lack of t r a i n i n g i n t h i s area. I gathered s i x sto r i e s and the band school published them for use i n t h e i r classes. The impact of the lack of s p i r i t u a l t r a i n i n g i s evident among families as well as i n schools. ChrisJ o h n says: Co-existing with these signs of c u l t u r a l disruption are psychosocial indicators of oppression; elevated l e v e l s of suicide, family violence, and breakdown, substance abuse, educational f a i l u r e , and the l i k e seem to be the norm for F i r s t Nations communities (1). While the need f o r s p i r i t u a l guidance and knowledge i s obvious, s p i r i t u a l choices are so personal and private that I refuse to impose my b e l i e f s and hesitate to suggest any s p e c i f i c path. What I can do i s t e l l s t o r i e s about my experiences, dreams, and s i g n i f i c a n t symbols which have worked well 212 for me. Like my ancestors I can sing drum songs, o f f e r h o s p i t a l i t y , maintain my moral code, show respect always, observe the taboos, take part i n r i t u a l s and ceremonials, s t r i v e for personal excellence and balance as indicated i n the medicine wheel, show no r e l i g i o u s intolerance, pray, sweatbathe, spend time alone, meditate, apologize, make r e s t i t u t i o n , take care of my family, and t e l l the speta'kl and spilaxem as I am doing now. This chapter has examined the researcher's understanding of Nlakapamux s p i r i t u a l i t y through the metaphor of a journey. Dreams, symbolism, speta'kl and spilaxem have been introduced for t h e i r contribution to a s p e c i f i c quest f o r knowledge through a doctoral program at un i v e r s i t y . The need f o r F i r s t Nations Peoples to look f o r guidance i n t h e i r o r a l t r a d i t i o n s has been demonstrated i n the face of the growing scepticism about organized r e l i g i o n s . While in d i v i d u a l decisions need to be made regarding s p i r i t u a l i t y , we can take heart from knowing many d i f f i c u l t situations have been faced by our people, past and present. We can learn from them. By sharing these narratives we can help each other overcome the stumbling-blocks placed by government p o l i c y and natural dilemmas which are plaguing Nlakapamux families today. 213 One book which shares family strengths and i n some cases talks of how families worked together to overcome s o c i a l problems i s My Family My Strength: A c o l l e c t i o n of i l l u s t r a t e d s t o r i e s by children across B r i t i s h Columbia (Muller et a l . , 1994). The book which t e l l s 25 s t o r i e s written and i l l u s t r a t e d by F i r s t Nations children was published by the Native Indian Teacher Education Program i n 1994, and i s available from that organization i n Vancouver. The process of sharing can also be f a c i l i t a t e d i n the t a l k i n g c i r c l e , one-to-one counselling, classes, and v i s i t i n g . Stories can be shared o r a l l y anywhere. 214 Chapter Twelve •f koopa' and Skikle-axwa': Oral Tradition and Curriculum This chapter examines the way oral t r a d i t i o n meets at points of tangent i n t e r e s t with the f i v e current orientations to tne curriculum. For the purpose of gaining a deeper understanding we can use narrative and lived-experience to go back to a central question of how we educate F i r s t Nations and other learners. One day, Skikle-axwa', the muskrat, was hurrying along the creek. He was heading up to visit his friend ikoopa', the beaver who had a dam and a large round lodge where the marsh on the mountain drained into a creek. The water was singing as Skikle-axwa' hurried by but Skikle-axwa' didn't stop to talk. He wanted to ask ikoopa' about something. When he got to the beaver dam Skikle-axwa' pretended he just happened to come by. He walked up to ikoopa' who was cutting down a tree. He waited until the tree was almost ready to topple over, then Skikle-axwa' whistled loudly. ikoopa' hearing the whistle looked up, saw the tree falling, then scuttled quickly out of the way. "Thanks for warning me," said ikoopa' who was shaking. It was scary the way trees sometimes came right down on top of the beaver people, hurting them and killing them. "Humei, it's okay," said Skikle-axwa' who knew about the trees doing that. He was happy to be of 215 help because he wanted to get on tkoopa's good side. Skikle-axwa' had a favour to ask. Then ikoopa' invited Skikle-axwa' to come in and eat with the family. "Gee, you've got a big lodge," said Skikle-axwa'. "Yeah," said fkoopa' proud of his cozy home. "It's quite a job keeping it clean though. We keep pretty busy cutting down trees and keeping the water dammed up. We have to keep at it." This was exactly what Skikle-axwa' wanted to hear. "Well, I'm a pretty good housekeeper, myself," said Skikle-axwa' slowly. "I got lots of energy. The trouble is I don't have a place to stay." After a long pause to think it over ikoopa' made up his mind. He knew what Skikle-axwa' said was true. He had a big lodge and needed help to keep it clean, and Skikle-axwa' could also whistle for them when the trees were going to f a l l . "You're welcome to stay here, seeing as you don't mind helping out," said ikoopa'. And Skikle-axwa' did, and they are s t i l l friends to this day. Wet 1suwet 1 ten trappers t o l d me about the way muskrats keep house f o r the beavers and whistle to warn the beavers when the trees f a l l . I made t h i s story up f o r Morning Star, my grandson. It's h i s favourite of my s t o r i e s and I l i k e i t also because i t 216 shows us what we can accomplish with respect and rec i p r o c i t y , l i k e the muskrat and beaver who are so di f f e r e n t and yet so si m i l a r . I hope t h i s process of s t o r y t e l l i n g i n education can be l i k e that, a co-operative e f f o r t , each party recognizing the worth of the other's e f f o r t s and i d e n t i f y i n g issues of common interes t for the purpose of negotiating b e n e f i c i a l solutions for a l l learners. To t h i s end I would l i k e to discuss Nlakapamux oral t r a d i t i o n and how i t connects with education curriculum and in s t r u c t i o n . i n We Talk. You Listen, Vine Deloria J r . (1970, p. 12) discusses the way i n which l i n e a r and c i r c u l a r thinkers meet through common interests while maintaining i n d i v i d u a l i t y : The best method of communicating Indian values i s to f i n d points at which issues appear to be related. Because t r i b a l authority i s integrated toward a center and non-Indian society i s oriented toward l i n e a r development, the process might be compared to describing a c i r c l e surrounded with tangent l i n e s . The points at which the tangent l i n e s touch the circumference of the c i r c l e are the issues and ideas that can be shared by Indian and other groups (see appendix D). This model suggests that peoples may have t h e i r own unique ways of dealing with common concerns. What about overlap? Could we not describe "issues of common in t e r e s t " as overlapping rather than meeting at tangent points? Indian Control of Indian Education (National Indian Brotherhood, 1972, p. 6) asserts that 217 F i r s t Nations believe i n education "as a means of enabling us to p a r t i c i p a t e more f u l l y i n our own s o c i a l , economic, p o l i t i c a l , and educational advancement." It i s important to recognize and acknowledge those d i s t i n c t i o n s i n the interests of self-determination. Saying we understand each other now on c e r t a i n overlapping concerns sets up the temptation to say that we can now design appropriate education systems f o r each other. For the moment the idea of F i r s t Nations control of F i r s t Nations education and/or re c i p r o c a l exchange serves our educational needs best. In Appendix C, the c i r c l e i n the diagram represents " t r i b a l authority" or Nlakapamux views of education based on a hunting-gathering-fishing economy i n which seasons and other cycles are prominent. The symbol of the c i r c l e represents the Nlakapamux worldview as encompassed i n the medicine wheel and as l i v e d by the t r a d i t i o n a l Nlakapamux people and expressed i n the speta'kl and spilaxem. The f i v e l i n e s which touch the c i r c l e at tangent points represent the f i v e basic orientations to the curriculum, i d e n t i f i e d by E l l i o t Eisner (1979) as the Development of Cognitive Processes, Academic Rationalism, Personal Relevance, Social Adaptation and Social Reconstruction, and Curriculum as Technology. 218 I w i l l comment b r i e f l y on how each of the curriculum orientations meets at tangent points on issues of common interest with Nlakapamux ways of learning through l i v e d experience. l . The Development of Cognitive Processes comes from the phrenologists, who believed the mind consisted of 37 muscles, and f a c u l t y psychologists of the 19th century who (Eisner, 1979, p. 51) "emphasized the importance of strengthening... mental f a c u l t i e s through practice, e s p e c i a l l y practice that was tough and demanding." When she was eighteen years old my s i s t e r , Mary Jane, learned a prayer from her/my grandmother, Shannie Antoine Voght. In the prayer are the words, ak zozo' weekeks poteeno shum. Sophie translated the words fo r us. She said i t was a request f o r "strong thinking power." I have no idea i f the Nlakapamux concept of the mind i s that i t i s a muscle or muscles needing exercize, but I believe i t was the desire of the Nlakapamux that the young gain "strong thinking power." It would take a much longer study to determine whether or not "strong thinking power" can be p r e c i s e l y equated with "cognitive processes," but I can see most people wanting t h e i r young to learn the a b i l i t y to reason, although I get the sense that "strong thinking power" might also include wisdom and 219 i n t u i t i o n . The need f o r strong thinking power i s the common issue which meets at the tangent point between the medicine wheel and the Development of Cognitive Processes orientation, with the major difference being that the medicine wheel (Bopp et a l . , 1984, p. 29) would point to s p i r i t u a l , physical, and emotional development taking place along with the cognitive. Who gets to define "strong thinking power" and to determine the c r i t e r i a f o r i t s a c q u i s i t i o n i s an important point. The medicine wheel suggests that the ind i v i d u a l i s the only one who can decide whether s/he has succeeded or f a i l e d i n the quest f o r balanced self-development (30). 2. With Academic Rationalism (Eisner, 1979, p. 55), "the major function of the school i s to fost e r the i n t e l l e c t u a l growth of the student i n those areas most worthy of study." These areas of study include "the basic f i e l d s i n the arts and sciences because they best exemplify and exercize the human's r a t i o n a l a b i l i t i e s . " The pedagogical mode i s d i a l e c t i c a l , including discussion, analysis and comparison. I have heard the Nlakapamux hunters engaging i n discussion, analysis and comparison a f t e r sharing hunting s t o r i e s or spilaxem. I believe t h i s i s a pedagogical mode also i n that younger hunters are learning about animal psychology, place names, t e r r a i n , hunting techniques, 220 t r a d i t i o n a l family hunting grounds, hunting gear and equipment and good camp grounds, among many other things through hearing the hunting s t o r i e s and discussing them. These discussions would seldom tend to be argumentative i n nature, but sto r i e s with c o n f l i c t i n g information would be t o l d to correct misinformation. The sto r i e s themselves do the arguing, as well as the experience and status of the hunter. When someone of stature has spoken, her/his opinions are heard r e s p e c t f u l l y and generally taken to be the f i n a l word on the subject. The common issue or idea that i s shared by the l i b e r a l education learners and the Nlakapamux learners i s the concept of the d i a l e c t i c a l mode, i f that means discussion, analysis, and comparison. There i s kind of a p a r a l l e l experience. In l i b e r a l education there i s a study of the great books with discussion being the primary method of learning from them. In Nlakapamux education important Information i s transmitted through speta'kl, creation s t o r i e s , which may considered as great o r a l l i t e r a t u r e within that society. Discussion, analysis, and comparison take place i n both situations but i n d i f f e r e n t ways, based on c u l t u r a l context. The speta'kl and spilaxem are culture-based o r a l l i t e r a t u r e , excluded from the l i s t of (p. 56) "the 221 great books" of l i b e r a l education but e s s e n t i a l i n Nlakapamux history, education, and culture and I re-i t e r a t e what Michael Dorris (1979, p. 157) said, that the " o r a l - l i t e r a c y t r a d i t i o n i s a cornerstone of every t r i b a l society... [which] o f f e r s the opportunity, to seriously interested outsiders to experience new and provocative v i s i o n s of r e a l i t y . " Informed r e f l e c t i o n , a c q u i s i t i o n of new information, and i n t e r a c t i v e discourse could be the common outcome of both o r a l l i t e r a t u r e and the Great Books. 3. Personal Relevance (Eisner, 1979, p. 57) "emphasizes the primacy of personal meaning, and the school's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to develop programs that make such meaning possible." It i s a system which i s student centred and seeks to involve the learner i n the process of teacher-pupil planning, the major supporting argument being that "for the experience to be educational students have to have some investment i n i t - must have some hand i n i t s development..." Since the Year 2000 document was adopted i n 1988, the concept of student centred learning has been expressed i n a number of ways such as "knowledge as learner-focussed" (75) and "student evaluations." The common issue here i s that the i n d i v i d u a l i s important and has a say when one i s considering appropriate educational experiences. The older hunters i n Nlakapamux society 222 w i l l l i s t e n to the young hunter, respond to expressed needs, and watch him c a r e f u l l y when mapping out a plan of action which w i l l teach him the s k i l l s he needs to be a successful hunter. The classroom se t t i n g i s d i f f e r e n t from the hunting setting, which may be the mountains or bush country and t h i s r e f l e c t s major differences i n the way education i s viewed by the two soc i e t i e s , at d i f f e r e n t geographical learning l o c a l e s . 4. With regard to Social Adaptation and Social Reconstruction, the author (Eisner, 1979, p. 62) notes that proponents to t h i s o r i e n t a t i o n to the curriculum argue that "schools are created to serve the in t e r e s t s of society... and to provide the kinds of programs that are relevant for meeting the [social] needs that have been i d e n t i f i e d . " There are differences i n the ways we i d e n t i f y " s o c i a l needs." Social Reconstruction aims at teaching the learners to develop c r i t i c a l consciousness so that they learn how to a l l e v i a t e s o c i e t a l i l l s . Greg Sar r i s discusses the way he uses s t o r y t e l l i n g i n the classroom to f a c i l i t a t e c r i t i c a l discussion about students' preconceptions. He says: I begin my American l i t e r a t u r e course by t e l l i n g a story t o l d to me by my Kashaya Porno Elders. I then ask students, usually at the next class meeting, to repeat the story as they heard i t . Invariably, t h e i r s t o r i e s t e l l them more about themselves than about the story or about the speaker and culture from which the story comes. Here students can see how they are approaching 2 2 3 the story and begin to explore unexamined assumptions by which they operate and which they use to frame the texts and experiences of members of another culture (149). For Sar r i s , s t o r y t e l l i n g was a way f o r the non-F i r s t Nations students to examine preconceptions they had, mainly about themselves and t h e i r understanding of F i r s t Nations cultures. S a r r i s t o l d the Coyote story. Then he asked the students to r e - t e l l the story i n t h e i r own words, pointing out how the r e t e l l i n g of the story t e l l s more about the student doing the r e t e l l i n g than the culture the story came from. F i n a l l y , there was discourse about the assumptions made by the students about the texts and experiences of another culture. The common issue S a r r i s 1 process has with that of Social Adaptation and Social Reconstruction i s that of c r i t i c a l consciousness. There i s an abundance of r i c h material i n F i r s t Nations experiences which has a s i m i l a r p o t e n t i a l f o r c r i t i c a l discourse. F i r s t Nations face struggles i n the areas of land claims, aboriginal t i t l e , s e l f -determnation, human rights, and inequities i n the rule of law. For instance, personal narratives about r e s i d e n t i a l school experiences are not only informing Canadians about what r e s i d e n t i a l schools were and what happened i n them but creating understandings about the c o l o n i a l i s t thinking that created them. 224 5. Curriculum as Technology (Eisner, 1979, p. 67), used and advocated by educational planners and theorists such as Benjamen Bloom, Franklin Bobbitt, John Dewey, V i r g i l Herrick, Hilda Taba, and Ralph Tyler, "conceives of curriculum planning as being e s s e n t i a l l y a technological undertaking, a question of r e l a t i n g means to ends once the ends have been formulated." This means-end model systemizes educational planning, stressing the formulation of purposes which can then be used as " c r i t e r i a f o r evaluating the e f f i c i e n c y and effectiveness of the plans that were made" (67) . Such a system might be helpful i f a c l e a r l y defined purpose such as a n t i -racism were i d e n t i f i e d and used as a c r i t e r i o n f o r success. The educational problem here i s that t h i s model has a p o l i t i c a l agenda i n that: ...the means-ends orientation to planning i s consonant with the Western world's e f f o r t s to control human a c t i v i t y . By conceiving of curriculum planning and teaching as technological problems, the power and pr e c i s i o n of "applied science" could be employed i n the schools, the vagaries of romanticism could be excised, and the uncertainties of art could be replaced by the r e p l i c a b i l i t y of the science of curriculum development and i n s t r u c t i o n (67). St o r y t e l l i n g , the cornerstone of F i r s t Nations education, i s then suspect i n a means-ends model, as i t leans towards the subjective, romantic art form rather than to applied science which has an objective, empirical base. Where does that leave s t o r y t e l l i n g i n 225 terms of science? Often i n a p o s i t i o n of obscurity, beyond the pale. The narrow focus and lack of s o c i a l value i n t h i s view of curriculum planning as technological problems can be balanced by F i r s t Nations (Bopp et a l . , 1984) concepts of wholeness (26) as demonstrated i n the medicine wheel: There are four dimensions of "true learning." These four aspects of every person's nature are r e f l e c t e d i n the four cardinal points of the medicine wheel [mental, s p i r i t u a l , emotional, p h y s i c a l ] . . . It cannot be said that a person has t o t a l l y learned i n a whole and balanced manner unless a l l four dimensions of her being have been involved i n the process (29). In an Nlakapamux technology such as basketmaking the s p i r i t u a l aspect was observed with c e r t a i n r i t u a l s honouring the cedar tree from which the roots were taken, the emotional aspect existed i n the gratitude shown towards the tree, the physical aspect was evident i n the actual construction of baskets, and the mental aspect was i n the knowledge and s k i l l of the basketmakers. Oral t r a d i t i o n was/Is part of t h i s process i n a number of ways. Basket designs, such as Quaslametko's four-sided star, c a l l to mind c e r t a i n speta'kl, such as star mythology. Yetko and Sophie both used spilaxem as a demonstration technique during the construction of the f i s h trap. What the medicine wheel promotes i s the value of l i v i n g i n harmony with nature through the recognition 226 that a l l things have a human s p i r i t , so that a l l our relationships with a l l things must be based on respect. This i s the tangent point which i s needed i n education and i n society. Models and metaphors such as curriculum as technology show us how to e f f i c i e n t l y and e f f e c t i v e l y carve up the earth. The F i r s t Nations concept of Mother Earth, which i s transmitted through the creation s t o r i e s and other accounts of l i v e d experience, creates a predisposition to take care of an important human en t i t y . Lived experiences as expressed i n the or a l t r a d i t i o n of spilaxem are transportable and adaptable. They can be written or presented o r a l l y by Elders and other F i r s t Nations resource people. What needs to happen i n the educational system i s that a l l students have access to F i r s t Nations l i v e d experience, through personal sharing, i n d i v i d u a l experience, books, journals, v i s i t s , s t o r y t e l l i n g , and v i s u a l presentations. Paulo Freire's pedagogical theory (1993) supports the need f o r Indian Control of Indian Education. Education has to date supported assi m i l a t i o n of F i r s t Nations peoples into lower socio-economic status i n the society. Oral h i s t o r i e s can inform and be s e l f -informing and can complement and f a c i l i t a t e the dialogue necessary f o r c r i t i c a l conciousness and 227 understanding of issues. Hopefully t h i s w i l l lead to plans of action that transform the negative s i t u a t i o n for F i r s t Nations. In that way mainstream society's ignorance of F i r s t Nations cultures and h i s t o r i e s w i l l begin to be d i s p e l l e d as knowledge grows and, hopefully with i t , understanding and the w i l l to change some of the factors which continue to oppress F i r s t Nations. In terms of learning from l i v e d experience Ted Aoki (1986, p.l) suggests we as educators "move to i n -dwell i n the l i v e d place where we experience d a i l y , l i f e with our colleagues and students... a place of engathering where the in-dwelling of teachers and students i s made possible by the presence of care that each has f o r the other" (3). He says: Teaching i s t r u l y pedagogic, i f the leading grows out of t h i s care which i n e v i t a b l y i s f i l l e d with the good of care. Teaching, then, i s a t a c t f u l leading that knows and follows the pedagogic good i n a caring s i t u a t i o n (3). This observance of curriculum as a mode of being, as a part of l i v e d experience rather than curriculum as technology i s very d i f f e r e n t from the means-ends model which p r i v i l e g e s process over learners. Within Aoki's discussion i s a method of going back to inspect or examine one central question; what teaching means. The question i s r e - v i s i t e d and four d i f f e r e n t layers of meanings are i d e n t i f i e d and 228 examined; understanding teaching as a black box, understanding teaching t h e o r e t i c a l l y and s c i e n t i f i c a l l y , understanding teaching as techniques, and understanding teaching as a mode of being. It i s not that some interpretations are correct and some erroneous. Although Aoki favours layer one, i n which teaching i s understood as a mode of being, he describes the three outer layers as "uncannily correct." It's that the r e - v i s i t i n g of the question brings deeper l e v e l s of understanding, and t h i s p a r t i a l l y answers the question of why we r e - v i s i t c e r t a i n experiences - to get at deeper l e v e l s of understanding, with the subtext being the act of caring. In t h i s sense, turning the focus on to teachers and learners i s a humanizing act. Aoki suggests one way to humanize the experience of teaching i s through narratives by those most involved with teaching, teachers and students. Given Aoki's suggestion to use narratives to humanize the experience of teaching we can also use narratives to humanize the experiences of F i r s t Nations people. The Aoki model may be used, not necessarily to di s p e l previous orientations to the curriculum but to go back to a central question f o r the purpose of gaining a deeper l e v e l of understanding, another layer of inter p r e t a t i o n which 229 w i l l speak to the general question of how we educate the young. We are then i n a p o s i t i o n to create a new metaphor, or i n the case of F i r s t Nations, to go back to those things which were l e f t behind or taken from us, and reclaim them. This chapter has examined how Nlakapamux l i v e d -experience as expressed through the speta'kl and spilaxem meet at tangent points of common intere s t with the f i v e current orientations to the curriculum; the Development of Cognitive Processes, Academic Rationalism, Personal Relevance, Social Adaptation and Social Reconstruction, and Curriculum as Technology. ( E l l i o t Eisner, 1979). The need f o r "strong thinking power" as expressed i n my grandmother's prayer i s the common issue between the Development of Cognitive Processes orie n t a t i o n and Nlakapamux knowledge, wisdom, and i n t u i t i o n . The common pedagogical mode i n Academic Rationalism and i n Nlakapamux education is/can be d i a l e c t i c a l including discussion, analysis and comparison. The common issue between s t o r y t e l l i n g as a process of c r i t i c a l discourse as demonstrated by Greg Sar r i s and Social Adaptation and Social Reconstruction i s that of c r i t i c a l consciousness. A common purpose of relevant education f o r F i r s t Nations might be shared by F i r s t Nations educators and proponents of Curriculum as 230 Technology and the narrow focus and lack of s o c i a l value i n t h i s view of curriculum planning as technological problems can be balanced by F i r s t Nations concepts of wholeness as demonstrated i n the medicine wheel i n which the development of a person i s perceived as physical, s p i r i t u a l , emotional, and mental (Bopp et a l , 1984, p. 29). F i n a l l y , Ted Aoki'e concepts of curriculum as l i v e d experience suggests that the r e - v i s i t i n g of the question brings deeper l e v e l s of understanding. By looking at narratives of and by teachers and learners we humanize the process of education by learning from those most involved with i t . This i s what the spilaxem can do also, t e l l the s t o r i e s of those most involved with Nlakapamux education, the Nlakapamux themselves. 231 Chapter Thirteen Conclusions This chapter draws conclusions about the role of o r a l t r a d i t i o n i n the transmission of culture and how t h i s connects with current education theory and p r a c t i s e i n pedagogy, philosophy, history, and healing. By examining the personal meaningfulness i n the grandmother s t o r i e s the researcher models the process of " s t o r y t e l l i n g about s t o r y t e l l i n g " as inquiry. Yetik kai' nim tim xu\ Thank you for listening to me. In spite of vast challenges and changes i n p o l i t i c a l , economic, s o c i a l , l e g a l , and educational structures the Nlakapamux people remain a unique and d i s t i n c t culture group. While i t d i d go through a process of change the Nlakapamux culture survived a s s i m i l a t i o n i s t l e g i s l a t i o n and r e s i d e n t i a l schools, and one of the ways t h i s happened was through o r a l t r a d i t i o n . Oral t r a d i t i o n i s not only a narrative between a t e l l e r and l i s t e n e r but an account which i s c a r r i e d i n memory and words and may be one l i n k i n a long chain of transmissions (Vansina, 1985, p. 28), considered so important that i t remains with a family f o r untold generations. In t h i s sense i t has a history, and to us, i t i s h i s t o r y and a living h i s t o r y because i t records events, concerns, dilemnas, imaginings, i n an on-going process from person to person, generation to generation. The two o r a l t r a d i t i o n s I have discussed i n t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n are creation s t o r i e s , speta'kl, and 232 narratives, spilaxem. The grandmother st o r i e s which begin each chapter are comprised of both speta'kl and spilaxem. Each story i s analyzed i n terms of personal meaningfulness and educational theory and p r a c t i s e . The purpose i s to examine how o r a l t r a d i t i o n s , which have survived through transmission, continue to provide pedagogies, philosophies, h i s t o r i e s , and healing. In t h i s concluding chapter I w i l l discuss the grandmother st o r i e s i n terms of education f i r s t . The spilaxem inform educational theory and practise by t e l l i n g the s t o r i e s of the Nlakapamux. Information about the Nlakapamux and other F i r s t Nations has been l o s t , attacked, misinterpreted, appropriated, obscured, and become fragmented i n reductionist reports, theses, studies, and books. The grandmother st o r i e s revive the issues and bring them to l i f e i n a way that c l a r i f i e s how cruel the process of colonization has been to F i r s t Nations i n Canada. They also speak of a time before contact with Europeans, providing information about teaching and guiding the young, about the basic b e l i e f s and worldview of the Nlakapamux, about the Nlakapamux history which i s missing from texts, and about healing. Such knowledge i s relevant to F i r s t Nations and therefore should be taught to them. 233 Chapter one, "Morning Star and Six Grandmothers: An Introduction to the Nlakapamux," locates the researcher within the culture group under study, introduces the Scawaxamux, one of the Nlakapamux groups of I n t e r i o r Salish, and i d e n t i f i e s the o r a l t r a d i t i o n s , speta'kl and spilaxem, as the focus of the research. Chapter two, "The Owl and the Boy: The Research Question," discusses the basic research question of why we reclaim and reconstruct the o r a l t r a d i t i o n s and re b u i l d them fo r contemporary use i n new and re-invented ways. Three questions help us to determine how well we are meeting/not meeting the educational and c u l t u r a l needs of F i r s t Nations students i n schools and help to a r t i c u l a t e alternatives i n o r a l t r a d i t i o n . The three questions are these. Who am I? Where do I come from? Where am I going? How we reconstruct and reclaim the t r a d i t i o n s using " s t o r y t e l l i n g about s t o r i e s / s t o r y t e l l i n g " has a five-step process which i s discussed i n chapter three, "Skekeet Goes to the Moon: Method and Methodology." Method and methodology are inspired by the speta'kl of Skekeet, the spider who went to the moon where he learned how to make baskets. Skekeet symbolizes the process of Inquiry and his eight legs represent the eight cultures or branches of inquiry. Gaining the 234 concept of basket-making i s the t h e o r e t i c a l aspect. Actually making a basket represents p r a c t i s e . Coming home and showing the people how to make a basket i s l i k e bringing new knowledge back to the communities. In chapter four, "How Chipmunk Got His Stripes: The Literature Review," the chipmunk's st r i p e s i s a metaphor fo r mnemonic devices which work together with the s t o r y t e l l e r and memory to transmit knowledge. Mnemonic devices to remember or a l t r a d i t i o n s may be formal, such as knots on a s t r i n g used by the o r a l recorder, or written text i n current usage. Informal devices l i k e elements, animals, place names, markings, words, and a c t i v i t i e s remind tradition-bearers of locations and events which are then transmitted through story, again and again when they are sighted or experienced. As a new s t y l e of memory device, written text i s categorized into four types of writings about and by the Nlakapamux fo r the purpose of reviewing the l i t e r a t u r e In terms of voice and aims. Those accounts written and analyzed by Nlakapamux people are seen by the researcher to speak most relevantly to the Nlakapamux voice and alms. Because a l l the chapters are in t e r r e l a t e d , they cannot be viewed as separate and apart from one another. They are a l l pedagogical, philosophical, h i s t o r i c a l , and healing i n nature. However, fo r the 235 purpose of discussion I w i l l organize the remaining chapters under four headings: (1) pedagogy, (2) philosophy, (3) history, and (4) healing. 1. Pedagogy and o r a l t r a d i t i o n provide the focus for chapters f i v e , six, seven, and to a c e r t a i n extent, chapter 12. In chapter f i v e , "Quaslametko and Yetko: Pedagogical Models," the c h i l d - r e a r i n g practises of two Nlakapamux grandmothers are compared and contrasted f o r the purpose of providing a way of thinking about how we teach and guide children i n imparting knowledge. In chapter six, "Yetko, Sophie, and the Fishtrap: Stories as Teachers," the s t o r i e s provide the pedagogies. We hear them or read them and f i n d our own meaning i n them. In a process of r e f l e c t i v e thought we apply that meaning to our l i v e s , then pass the s t o r i e s on to the next generation i n o r a l t r a d i t i o n s , written text, and other media. In chapter seven, "Quaslametko's Baskets: The C r i t i c a l Voice i n Spilaxem," the pedagogy discussed i s that of the c r i t i c a l voice of the grandmother which defended the Nlakapamux family value. Quaslametko opposed the idea of Western education because she said i t would cause the children to forget how to make th e i r l i v i n g from the land and separate those educated i n schools from t h e i r people. 236 Chapter 12, "+koopa* and Skikle-axwa 1: Oral T r a d i t i o n and Curriculum, 1 1 i n a s p i r i t of respect and r e c i p r o c i t y opens the discussion of how we may begin to conceptualize the rel a t i o n s h i p between o r a l t r a d i t i o n and the f i v e basic orientations to the curriculum. Ted Aoki's model fo r curriculum as l i v e d -experience, which i s what Nlakapamux c a l l spilaxem, allows us the opportunity to examine the deeper meanings of the central question of how we educate the young. Having a l i f e of t h e i r own the grandmother stories themselves become the teachers, the t r a d i t i o n -guides, the transmitters of culture, the nurturers, and sometimes the healers. The grandmothers through the s t o r i e s are the teachings, showing through example, story, and voice what i t means to l i v e successfuly and happily as members of the Nlakapamux society. 2. A philosophy of education based on the Nlakapamux concept of respect has been explored i n chapter Eight, "Yaya1 and the F i r Bough: A Philosophy of Respect." There i s an analysis of respect as an attitude which i s underpinned by the b e l i e f that a l l things are transformed humans from the mythological age. This philosophy was evident i n the l i f e of a grandmother, Shannie, who l i v e d the Nlakapamux concept 237 of respect and t h i s attitude was transmitted through narratives about her. 3. An Nlakapamux account of hi s t o r y i n chapter nine, "Shannie 1s l i f e : An Nlakapamux View of History," i s a spilaxem which allows us to examine issues and perspectives of the Nlakapamux from a t r a d i t i o n a l time to the present. The grandmother st o r i e s challenge the Western views of history, providing what has been l e f t out of the hist o r y books, accounts by F i r s t Nations peoples. At the national l e v e l l e g i s l a t i o n i n the form of the Indian Act made F i r s t Nations Peoples wards of the government and determined educational p o l i c y without the involvement or voice of F i r s t Nations. Residential schools b a s i c a l l y incarcerated F i r s t Nations children and r e - s o c i a l i z e d them, separating them from home, family, and community, denying them knowledge which would enculturate and s o c i a l i z e them into t h e i r own society. Public schooling was the vehicle f o r white supremacist hegemony, the s o c i a l , economic, and p o l i t i c a l cost of which was staggering to F i r s t Nations and other marginalized groups. At home i n the communities the j u s t i c e system was f a i l i n g F i r s t Nations people l i k e Shannie who l o s t her husband's considerable estate because she was Nlakapamux and she found no advocate or mechanism i n 238 the j u s t i c e system, government, or church to help her. Fisheries laws were imposing regulations on the Nlakapamux people l i k e Yetko whose f i s h traps were broken up by f i s h e r i e s o f f i c e r s . Shannie's l i f e h i s t o r y also challenges the r a c i s t hegemonies evident i n Western education and provides an argument that the Nlakapamux l i f e h i s t o r y and other forms of spilaxem represent a silenced voice, a missing part of h i s t o r y which needs to be heard. We also see i n the narratives that the grandmothers were involved i n a quiet resistance movement; Yeko by teaching the children to hide the fishtraps from the f i s h e r i e s people, Quaslametko by speaking out against school because i t would attack the family, Shannie by surviving to found a dynasty. We know these facts only by o r a l t r a d i t i o n . This information i s not written i n Western h i s t o r y books. 4. Chapters 10 and 11 deal with healing. In chapter 10, "Skaloola the Owl: Healing i n Mythology," the theft of Nlakapamux children by the government fo r placement i n r e s i d e n t i a l schools i s symbolized by Skaloola the Owl who stole children i n Nlakapamux mythology, not for the good of the children but f o r his own purposes. Skaloola had to be transformed into an animal form i n order to l i m i t his a b i l i t y to harm people or s t e a l children. 239 The process of reclaiming and reinventing the story of Skaloola and transmitting i t i n an integrated unit i n a classroom o f f e r s the healing of fragmented st o r i e s , healing of children, healing of memories and culture. S p i r i t u a l healing through narratives i s the topic of chapter 11, "Kwis-kwa-jeet, the Quest: A S p i r i t u a l Journey," which examines the researcher's understanding of Nlakapamux s p i r i t u a l i t y through the metaphor of a journey. Dreams, symbolism, speta'kl, and spilaxem are introduced as ways F i r s t Nations peoples may f i n d s p i r i t u a l guidance i n t h e i r o r a l t r a d i t i o n s i n the face of growing scepticism about organized r e l i g i o n s . Such phenomena allow the Nlapamaux and other peoples to reconnect with t h e i r t r a d i t i o n s and culture and themselves. The grandmother st o r i e s restore what has been l o s t , a sense of who the Nlakapamux are c u l t u r a l l y , where (and who) they have come from, and where they are going. I have stated i n the introductory chapter that the writing of the grandmother s t o r i e s would be descriptive and a n a l y t i c a l , revelatory and emancipatory. The descriptive, a n a l y i c a l aspects of the s t o r i e s seem to apply to the educational purpose of the the s i s . F i r s t , the chapters have provided a descriptive, written account of the grandmother 240 s t o r i e s . Second, the process of analysis has provided method and methodology, pedagogical models and approaches, a philosophy of education, an h i s t o r i c a l account which i s not evident i n any hist o r y book, some ways we might approach s p i r i t u a l healing through narratives. In conclusion I would say that o r a l t r a d i t i o n i s a multi-dimensional phenomenon having so many di f f e r e n t meanings to d i f f e r e n t people/s that i t i s d i f f i c u l t to theorize or make generalizations about i t . There may be commonalities between st o r i e s , s t o r y t e l l e r s , and s t o r y t e l l i n g but they are probably not consistent between individuals, groups or nations or even between t e l l i n g s . Contexts and intentions change. Seasons come and go as do s t o r y t e l l e r s and occasions and needs. My s i s t e r and I could not even agree on the s p e l l i n g of Quaslametko's name. We both heard the same s t o r y t e l l e r d i f f e r e n t l y . We know that the or a l t r a d i t i o n s are a l i v i n g form of culture transmission because they are passed by word of mouth from generation to generation. To be a l i v e means that change w i l l occur, and the l i v i n g stories do change. They have a l i f e of t h e i r own and yet there i s an esse n t i a l part of a story which remains the same. I have heard various versions of the owl story across cultures, nations, and . 241 individu a l s but they a l l involve the theft of children who suffer as a re s u l t of the kidnapping. The process of reclaiming the t r a d i t i o n s means that often we have to take decontextualized fragments from books or shortened versions from t r a d i t i o n -bearers who remember only b i t s and pieces of what were once epic narratives. From the chapter on Skaloola the Owl we have seen how we can recontextualize the stor i e s from our knowledge of the people, the culture and the geographical locations mentioned i n the stor i e s and reinstate the speta'kl and spilaxem i n a prominent p o s i t i o n i n the educational system. We can cross-reference knowledge from o r a l accounts with data gathered by historians and anthropologists to see i f either side can answer questions we have about them Many of my preconceptions about s t o r y t e l l i n g have been challenged i n the process of research. Greg Sa r r i s ' story (1993, p. 172) about the non-First Nations teacher, Mollie Bishop, changed my b e l i e f that t e l l i n g creation s t o r i e s i n a classroom would always be a good experience for members of a culture group. The students i n Mollie's class reacted a n g r i l y to a non-member of t h e i r people presenting the sacred st o r i e s i n a classroom se t t i n g . Now I know that parent and student input i n t h i s process are not only b e n e f i c i a l but imperative and students need to have 242 charge of t h e i r own narrative process and s t o r i e s . I have put f o r t h an argument that o r a l t r a d i t i o n i s a l a s t i n g and e f f e c t i v e method of Nlakapamux t r a d i t i o n a l education and i t can inform educators and restore c u l t u r a l relevance to what and how we teach Nlakapamux children i n the classroom today. The speta'kl and spilaxem have a place i n current educational theory and practise because they contribute a l t e r n a t i v e points of view which future educated c i t i z e n s may draw upon as they seek answers to issues of human rights, self-determination of peoples, the rule of law, and the care of Mother Earth. Oral t r a d i t i o n s restore humanity to s c i e n t i f i c research and provide models fo r inquiry which are h o l i s t i c not dichotomous and/or adversarial. The t r a d i t i o n s speak to educational theory and pr a c t i s e i n terms of pedagogy, philosophy, history, and healing. I have also maintained that s t o r i e s are owned, and protocols must be developed between school boards and the tradition-bearers before the s t o r i e s are brought into schools. The i d e a l teacher or presenter of o r a l t r a d i t i o n i s the tradition-bearer or family or clan who/which owns the story or someone who has t h e i r approval to do so. It i s always appropriate to ask for permission to use the s t o r i e s . Written text i s 243 honoured by Western concepts of i n t e l l e c t u a l property and copyright. The method and methodology of s t o r y t e l l i n g about s t o r y t e l l i n g humanizes the process of research and provides an opportunity f o r F i r s t Nations scholars to combine inquiry with c u l t u r a l l y relevant metaphors, concepts and concerns through the t r a d i t i o n s . In terms of personal meaningfulness I have found that the o r a l t r a d i t i o n s are descriptive i n nature, and can be analyzed to speak to educational theory and pr a c t i s e . But the o r a l t r a d i t i o n s are also revealing and emancipating. I have gained much i n the research process; part of a family history, a number of speta'kl and spilaxem, a method and methodology of s t o r y t e l l i n g about s t o r y t e l l i n g , and a body of knowledge from which I can begin to think about Nlakapamux history. But I have also gained an Nlakapamux perspective. Shannie's l i f e h i s t o r y and the analysis of i t revealed the ravages of colonialism and t h i s changed the way I think about research, writing, and education. From Quaslametko I have gained a c r i t i c a l voice i n viewing issues and i n defending the family value which i s most important i n Nlakapamux philosophy. U n t i l I wrote about i t and r e f l e c t e d upon i t for several years I didn't r e a l i z e that my grandmothers were involved i n a quiet 244 resistance movement or that i t was colonialism which devasted my grandmother, not bad fortune and c e r t a i n l y not h e r s e l f . Metaphor and symbolism speak most poignantly to me i n the o r a l t r a d i t i o n s . The star metaphor has given me a family crest, a s p i r i t u a l connection to my ancestors who l i v e i n the sky world, to my s i s t e r s and brothers the stars and to my great grandmother, Quaslametko, who wove the four-sided s t a r pattern into her baskets. The star symbolizes my grandson, Morning Star, the l i g h t which challenges darkness and brings i n the new day. The stars show me East and West at night when I cannot see my way, l i t e r a l l y and f i g u r a t i v e l y . The i n s p i r a t i o n of the star has given me s t o r i e s to t e l l , a poem which honours the long journey of my great great grandfather, Stanislaus Yapskin, which i s i n i t s e l f a history. F i n a l l y , the grandmother st o r i e s give me a way of thinking about l i f e which i s embedded i n the way my ancestors understood and l i v e d and transmitted t h e i r worldview. I f e e l transformed by the process of thinking about them and celebrating t h e i r l i v e s i n t h i s family memoir and study. My understanding of the Nlakapamux his t o r y and culture i s s t i l l so l i m i t e d but not my pride i n i t . For the f i r s t time i n my l i f e I f e e l as i f I r e a l l y do belong to that grand l i n e of 245 s t o r y t e l l e r s , grandmothers, s o c i a l a c t i v i s t s , chiefs, berry-pickers, c r i t i c a l thinkers, orators, t r a v e l l e r s , educators, f i s h e r s , dreamers, hunters, basket-makers, traders, medicine-people, v i s i o n a r i e s , jokers, providers, and care-givers. Through the process of hearing and t e l l i n g and analyzing the grandmother stories I have a better sense of who I am c u l t u r a l l y , who I come from, and where I am going. I am a s t o r y t e l l e r . I come from s t o r y t e l l e r s and I w i l l transmit what I know through s t o r y t e l l i n g . The blessing message symbolized by the eagle i s an extension of the philosophy I have inherited. Through the oral t r a d i t i o n and through the eagle I receive t h e i r g i f t s of energy and hope, healing and happiness, ready to pass them on to the generations to.come, with my love and my blessing. Kukschem, 0 Lai Kukpe, Ho! The two young eagle chiefs Have burst through the morning Of this new sun And I have lifted my voice Trembling To carry your song One's mother is the cheest-kee-kee Singing in the day-dawn One's mother is the rain Like the moon, like mouse hands And I have seen you Morning Star, Watching the singer Beat the drum. 246 Notes 1. The " t " i n fi+etko and rkoopa" sounds l i k e the Welsh double L, and i s pronounced by c u r l i n g your tongue so that i t touches the back of your front teeth as i f you are going to make the regular L sound, then you blow a i r out the sides of your tongue. I have not adhered to the International Phonetic Alphabet s p e l l i n g of the Nlakapamux words, but occasionally use some of the symbols when the sound cannot be spelled phonetically i n the regular alphabet. 2. In tek w+ the small w i s unvoiced. 3. In Nk w akushin the small w a i s unvoiced. 4. When I re f e r to the mythological age I am merely r e f e r r i n g to a time when the Nlakapamux believe the speta'kl were s t i l l i n human form. I have not explored the meaning of the term "mythological" and at the time of the writing of the d i s s e r t a t i o n I do not think of myths as true or untrue. 5. The concept of s t o r y t e l l e r s as t r a d i t i o n -bearers (Dauenauer & Dauenauer, 1987, pp. 1-59) i s an important one giving weight to the importance of the s t o r y t e l l e r s and s t o r y t e l l i n g i n an or a l culture. 6. A basket-maker at the Grand Coulee Dam Museum t o l d me that i t takes seven years of apprenticeship to become a master basket-maker. 7. Robert S t e r l i n g mentioned t h i s h i s t o r i c a l 247 meeting between Chief* Yapskin and the missionaries about r e s i d e n t i a l schooling on two d i f f e r e n t occasions; at the "CITEP '81" conference i n Vancouver (published i n 1982), and at the "Success i n Indian Education: A Sharing" conference February 17-19, 1983 also i n Vancouver (published i n 1984). The two versions are s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t . 8. Ch r i s t i n a Voght Anderson and Minnie Voght Ryan were the two daughters of William Voght J r . from his previous marriage. 9. Sophie gathers keekoo 1 which i s a heart medicine. It i s c a l l e d deer root because the deer eat i t before the coming of winter. 10. The name Ska-ups i s f i c t i o n a l i z e d , but the incident i s not. The name means pine tree gum. 11. 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Educational Psychology i n the Canadian Classroom. Scarborough, Ontario: Prentice-Hall Inc. York, A., Daly, R., & Arnett, C. (1993). They write t h e i r dreams on the rock forever. Vancouver, Talonbooks. 256 Appendix A A Shortened Version of the Family Tree from Stanislaus Yapskin to Morning Star Stanislaus Yapskin + Sushiana 1. Rachel + A l i s o n (Keremeos) 2. C h i l i h i t z i a 3. Moise (Kilroy) 4. Josephine (aka Kwista-yetko) + Queer 5. B i l l y Lane + Suzanne 6. Yapskin Antoine + Quaslametko (aka Seraphine) 1. Isaac Antoine 2. Michel Antoine 3. James Antoine (got a cane from Queen Vict o r i a ) 4. Shannie Antoine + William Voght Jr. William Voght Sr + Theresa "Klama" a. Timothy b. Christina c. Mathilda d. Sophie e. William Voght Jr + Agnes Paul a. Christina b: Minnie 1. Mathilda 2. William 3. Timothy 4. Freddy 5. Theresa 6. James 7. Sophie Sheila Voght + Albert F. S t e r l i n g 8. Elizabeth 9. Dorothy (Dolly) 10. Joseph 1. Robert 2. Fred 3. Sarah 4. Deanna 5. S h i r l e y + Reinhard Muller 6. Mary Jane 7. Austin 1. Robert 2. E r i c 3. Haike -» Kieran (Morning Star) Appendix B Skekeet arid the Eight Cultures of Inquiry 257 t 258 Appendix C My Granny the Survivor by Charlene Shaw As a teenager I stayed i n the same house as my granny; that i s I slept there, but ate meals with my parents. He stayed i n a one room frame house that my dad b u i l t for her. This gave me several years of contact with her which I would not appreciate u n t i l years l a t e r . As an introverted teen I escaped into the world of Harlequin romances, sometimes staying up lat e into the night to f i n i s h a story. From background noises I could t e l l what Granny was doing. If she was speaking chanting words I knew she was doing her Catholic prayers. If she was cutting a small piece of firewood into k i n d l i n g , I knew she was preparing for bed. Occasionally she would t a l k to herself i n her native Thompson language, then laugh at her own s t o r i e s . As an adult, I found out that Granny had endured many hardships before she got a place of her own. In my mind I can still see her, standing barely f i v e feet tall. A kerchief covered her gray hair, with two long braids t r a i l i n g down the back. Her eyesight must have been good since I never saw her wear glasses. She was soft-spoken and could understand basic English i f I spoke slowly. She always wore several layers of blouses and s k i r t s . She had tiny feet and small, d e l i c a t e hands, I remember watching her carding wool by hand, then twisting i t into yarn. When she got enough yarn she would knit mitts and socks for each family member. As an adult I would learn that Granny had a hard life. She was born i n a p i t house in the early 1900's before there were any records kept of bi r t h s or deaths. Her father, who an Indian chief, arranged a marriage for Granny at age 14 to a white man 26 years her senior. She bore him 10 children. At age 49 my granny was widowed; she still had three young children to support. Unable to understand English very well she l o s t her house i n town due to back taxes. She returned to the reserve to a h o s t i l e environment; for she was ow considered a white person. The Indian people persecuted her by burning down the place where she l i v e d . Heart-broken she went to work at a cow camp as a cook. This was during the depression years and a f t e r she worked there for some time the boss refused to-pay her. 259 The next job she found was baby-sitting; for her services she was paid a cow and a c a l f . She f i n a l l y ended up staying with one of her older married daughters u n t i l her ch i l d r e n were grown. Af t e r returning, from World War II my father b u i l t her the frame house that we stayed i n . Here she peacefully l i v e d out the remainder of her years. There are many i n t e r e s t i n g s t o r i e s about Granny. At family gatherings her l i f e experiences are the topic of many conversations. One morning Granny woke up with an unusually wierd f e e l i n g that sopraething was d i f f e r e n t . It f e l t l i k e morning, although i t still appeared to be dark outside. She got up anyway and went about doing her d a i l y a c t i v i t i e s . When she opened the door to go outside a wall of snow confronted her. This was the winter of 1956 when i t snowed f i v e feet overnight. Fortunately my dad l i v e d nearby and eventually dug a pathway to her door. My granny did not l i k e cats i n her house. One summer evening the door was l e f t open and a black cat came sauntering i n . I r r i t a t e d , my granny got a broom and proceeded' to shoo t h i s cat outside. It to be a skunk! I imagine that i t used i t s powerful defence mechanism, rendering the house uninhabitable for a period of time. The farthest c i t y my granny t r a v e l l e d to was Whitehorse i n the Yukon. On her f i r s t f l i g h t i n a j e t plane the only outward expression my granny displayed was tightening her gr i p on the armrest, as the plane departed. Granny,, i f you were only a l i v e I would ask, you many questions. What was i t l i k e to l i v e the t r a d i t i o n a l native l i f e s t y l e i n the 1900•s? What was your reaction to the arranged marriage? How d i d you cope with the loss of your husband and your house? Why did the reserve people now consider you a white person? Where did you get the strength to deal with the many tragedies i n your l i f e ? It doesn't matter whether i; f i n d any concrete answers. These questions cause me to experience a great respect and awe fo r you Granny -a survivor. 260 Appendix D Oral t r a d i t i o n and the Five Orientations to the Curriculum The Five Orientations to the Curriculum 1. Development of Cognitive Processes 2. Academic Rationalism 3. Personal Relevance 4. Social Adaptation and Social Reconstruction 5. Curriculum as Technology. (Eisner, 1979, p. 51) 

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