THIS REVISION IS A CUT & PAST OF THE TWO EARLIER PAGES… “INTRODUCTION” & “OVERVIEW”. SO FAR THIS IS JUST CUT & PAST WITH NO POLISH.
Indigenous Storywork as discussed here stems from the work of Q’um Q’um Xiiem, Dr. Jo-ann Archibald, Professor Emeritus, UBC Faculty of Education.
The purpose of the website is to help educators, parents and grandparents think creatively about ways of introducing their “students” to Indigenous culture. The website focuses on Indigenous Storywork for all levels of education.
What follows on this page is a brief introduction to Indigenous Storywork and an introduction to your storyteller and guide, Q’um Q’um Xiiem, Dr Jo-ann Archibald.
DEFINE INDIG STORYWORK
Jo-ann uses the term Indigenous Storywork to mean the studying of traditional practices of story telling and the adaption of these practices in current day education. Among Coast Salish peoples the term workis used to indicate that an activity is culturally important. For example in at the start of a ceremonial gathering the speaker might begin by saying, “Dear friends, we have important work to do today.”
The intention in using the term Storywork is to emphasize that Indigenous story telling is taken seriously and is an important part of the culture.
MEET THE STORYTELLER
Greetings. It is an Indigenous cultural practice to start all visits with an acknowledgment of the peoples of the territory being visited. I do that now by acknowledging and thanking the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Peoples, upon whose traditional and unceded lands, I have worked for many years.
My Indigenous name, Q’um Q’um Xiiem, (Strong Clear Water) was given to me by Elder Shane Pointe of Musqueam. I grew up in Stó:lō territory, at Soowahlie First Nation near Cultus Lake, BC, and was fortunate to learn about Stó:lō culture and ways of knowing from Elders and community members. Stó:lō means River so our identity as Indigenous people is deeply connected to the water systems and their resources. I also have St’at’imc ancestry from X’xalip First Nation at Lillooet, BC.
My career as an educator has spanned a 45-year period, from 1972-2017, first as an elementary school teacher, then school district Indian Education Coordinator, and finally university professor. In these roles, teaching and using Indigenous knowledge, especially Indigenous stories, have held a core place in my educational practice. Working with learners of all ages from early childhood to graduate studies has been most rewarding for me (link to cv).
In various educational systems, I often found that Indigenous perspectives about Indigenous history, knowledge systems, cultures, and stories were either omitted, sorely lacking, or mis-represented. In response, I worked with many others at local, provincial, national, and now international sites to develop curricula (link to curricular egs), to prepare future teachers and educational leaders (link to NITEP and EDST), and to engage in ethical research with Indigenous Elders, storytellers, and educators about Indigenous traditional and life experience stories (link to Indigenous storywork book).
HANDS BACK HANDS FORWARD
The intention of the website can be summarized by a teaching of the late Musqueam elder, Vince Slogan, Hands back… Hands forward, reaching back to learn from those that have gone before us and then reaching forward to pass on the teachings to those that are coming after us.
In the context of Indigenous Storywork Hands back… Hands forwardhas involved working with elders to understand the nature and purpose of Indigenous story telling, and then working to bring these lessons into current day education, both in the classroom and in the home. As both a retired classroom educator and an enthusiastic grandparent Jo-ann welcomes conversations with all those that want to learn more about and contribute to Indigenous Storywork.
What is Indigenous Storywork? How can it be used in eduction? What resources are available?
Storywork has been of interest to three groups: grandparents, K-to-12 classroom teachers and post-secondary educators. As indicated by the links to the right this website is structured with these groups in mind. But first let’s start with a story. LADY LOUSE