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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Embodying Indigenous Coast Salish education : travelling with Xé:ls the sister, mapping Katzie/q’iċəy’ stories and pedagogies Charnley, Kerrie


My doctoral work examines intergenerational relationships between Katzie people, their stories and memories connected to the land and waters of their territory, their understandings, and their contexts. I explore and explain ways the waters and the land are integral to the literacy and pedagogy of Katzie people, and fundamental to Katzie people’s identity, wellbeing, and existence. I weave a Coast Salish story blanket through an oral narrative style of writing; through a pedagogical model of a Coast Salish spindle whorl; through my reconsideration of the Coast Salish Xe:xals story so that it includes the feminine sister Xé:ls’ story; through participants’ stories, and through auto-ethnography and memoir. Research grew out of the five protocols of Coast Salish people that I learned through my upbringing: starting with the local; acknowledging and expressing gratitude for place and people; getting an education; listening to one’s elders; and, loving one another. Research processes included interviewing 11 participants and mapping their stories onto meaningful places in Katzie traditional territories. Some of these interviews were conducted at meaningful places within the territory. The process drew on the collective memories of Katzie community members to bring forward intergenerational wisdom and practices specific to Katzie as sited in places such as Pitt Lake; the teachings from these stories compose a land- and water-based pedagogy grounded in the relationship between territorial places and Katzie people. Findings from this study include four story themes, and recommendations, from participants’ interviews, 10 methodological principles, and six pedagogical practices that guide an understanding of Katzie literacy and pedagogy. This study addresses the gap in Canadian scholarship, education, and specifically in Indigenous literacies. Coast Salish experiences of education, stories, pedagogies and realities have been limited to the long time dedicated work of a few Coast Salish scholars. Further, this study answers the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action to bring Indigenous people’s world view, experiences, historical and contemporary realities, voices and leadership into the fabric of Canadian education. Listening to the real life voices and stories of Katzie people is a first step toward reconciliation and restitution in the local education systems.

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