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Bimaadziwin (the good life) : sharing the living teachings of the people of Sagamok Anishnawbek : implications for education Toulouse, Pamela Rose

Abstract

This research is a presentation of the living teachings of the people of Sagamok First Nation; an Anishinabek (Ojibwe, Odawa and Pottawatomi) community located midway on the northern shores of Lake Huron in the province of Ontario. It is a conceptual exploration into the lived notion of bimaadziwin (primary translation is the goodlife) as defined by this community. This account is not only socio-historical, but is philosophical as well, offering an intimate journey into the lives of a People that have survived, struggled with and resisted the colonial process. Their living voices and lived stories embody the hope, dreams and examples of the reality of a People deriving from a strong culture, tradition and language. The experiences, philosophies and worldview of the People of Sagamok are presented textually (words, interviews, poetry) and symbolically (material documents, archival work, photos) in order to show the beauty and tensions of a community in reconstruction. This research is Ojibwe research, an insider's deliberate attempt to understand the nature of her home. This research is also an investigation of the 'his/story' of Anishinabek education, as embedded in a larger structure of imperialist domination and the future of Anishinabek education, as moving towards the recovery and honouring of 'our knowledge'. This body of work exemplifies emerging research methodologies that are reflexive and respectful of First Nation's protocols, shedding the boundaries of investigative practices beyond the colonial gaze.

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