UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Co-Creation of a culturally-relevant approach to examining movement through story and storytelling in Indigenous communities Anderson, Kathryn


Background: Within motor learning, there is limited literature from the perspective of Indigenous peoples. Culturally relevant ways to realize the capacity for learning through story are important areas of research within Indigenous communities. Connecting story to movement may expand Indigenous knowledge in the area of motor behaviour, and may also be a culturally safe approach. Purpose: To examine story and storytelling in movement-related learning through a community-based and Indigenous-led research effort using culturally relevant approaches. Methods: Three sharing circles were conducted with Indigenous community members (n=5). In the first sharing circle, participants discussed topics related to sharing story through movement. In the second sharing circle, participants focused their conversation on expression and the storyteller story-listener relationship. In the third sharing circle, participants verified the synthesis and interpretation of the data. Sharing circle data were analyzed using a modified approach to Braun and Clarke’s (2006) thematic analysis methodology. Results: Data analysis identified a four component cyclical process that included movement to tell stories, storytelling, stories about movement, and storytelling strategies. Five movement learning themes emerged for Storytelling Strategies, including: expression, retention through movement, feedback, retention through reflection/relationship, and story and movement. Teachings, lived experience, Creation, and Ancestors were also identified as integral to the process. From these findings a Storytelling and Movement model was proposed. Discussion: The findings demonstrate a unique process for movement learning that is based on story and storytelling. The storyteller moves to tell a story, and through the story, the story-listener learns about movement. Five storytelling strategies emerged that dynamically interact with this process. The importance of the relationship between the storyteller and the story-listener was emphasized, as well as age, lived experiences, and community culture and traditions. Conclusion: The Storytelling and Movement Model represents an approach that includes both story and storytelling traditions for learning movement. The model includes elements that are shared between Western and Indigenous traditions as well as ideas specific to Indigenous knowledge systems. The proposed model is unique to the literature and provides an opportunity to further examine Indigenous Ways of Knowing through the storytelling tradition in motor learning.

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