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UBC Theses and Dissertations

wakká:raien – i have a story : mixed-blood Indigenous women, identity, and urban spaces Schuitemaker, Nahannee-fé Rita


This study explores the stories of three mixed-blood Indigenous women in relation to how they navigate their identity and connection to land in urban spaces. The women are between the ages of 19 and 30 and live on the traditional and ancestral territories of the Coast Salish people, also known as Vancouver, Canada. The women engage with Photovoice, a grassroots methodology that employs photography and storytelling, to share aspects of their life and their experiences as mixed-blood Indigenous women. Through this research study, I aim to create an opportunity for the women to share and to be heard. Through their personal narratives, I will help shed light on the realities of female Indigenous identities with the intention of disrupting whitestream discourses and perceptions of indigeneity within urban settings. I employ an epistemology entitled “Three Directions”, as well as draw on Indigenous Feminism with the aim of honouring the women’s voices. The sharing that transpired within this research speaks to the ongoing struggle for mixed-blood Indigenous women to fully embrace their roots due to the impacts of colonization and assimilationist policies, but it also speaks to their own resiliency in finding supports within the urban community and in drawing strength from the land.

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