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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Algonquin Ekwânamo matrix project : "a place to interface", for elders, indigenous scientists/non-indigenous scientists, indigenous knowledge systems and western science systems Robinson, Jocelyne Virginia


This research is consistent with literature that states there are inequities relating to the under-representation of Indigenous students in the subjects of math, science and technology in education as compared to Non-Indigenous people in Canada. The analysis of nine in-depth interviews and the process of documentary explores two questions that this thesis aims to address: From the perspectives and dialogues of three Elders, three Indigenous scientists, and three Non-Indigenous scientists who have contemplated the ways to address the tensions between Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Western Science Systems: What are the educational possibilities, challenges, and benefits of having these systems interface? How can art, technology and dialogue be mediums for exploring the interface between these systems so that Indigenous learners may be motivated to participate in both knowledge systems? An interplay between three theoretical, methodological frameworks of Indigenous Storywork (Archibald, 2008a, 2008b), Irwin in A/r/tography (Irwin & Springgay, 2008), Implicate Order (Bohm, 2007) and through the development of a fourth theoretical, methodological framework the Algonquin Ekwânamo Matrix Project shape this research. Four themes emerged from this analysis: [1] Language and Story as Tools for Critical Thinking [2] Culture and Ecological Mindfulness in Kinships with Nature and All Living Entities [3] Identity and Relevance in Education as Seeing Ourselves in Academia [4] Presence and Wholistic Learning From the Heart. Four A’s Strategies emerged from the in-depth interviews in relation to the four themes that may incite new ways for building complementary relationships in science education: The first is Activating Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Knowledge Encounters Through Dialogue; second is Aligning Indigenous Knowledge Interfaces Through Dialogical Strategies; third is Applying Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science Interfacing Through Co-created Strategies in Bohmian Dialogue and First Nations Circles; and fourth is Anticipating Innovative Knowledge Enhancements through decentralized think tank groups that align with Indigenous culturally competent ways for accessing well being. This research study helped develop the Algonquin Ekwânamo Matrix Project’s theoretical and methodological framework that foreground the need to address the global ecological crisis through meaningful dialogue, respectful relationships and a new science paradigm that reflects wholistically art, science, diverse philosophies and perspectives.

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