Making connections with Secwepemc family through storytelling: A journey in transformative rebuilding

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Abstract Based on qualitative research in the author's own First Nations community in the Interior of British Columbia, this thesis investigates how the Secwepemc of St'uxtews maintained their sense of family during the 1950's and 1960's in the face of the onslaught of Indian Residential Schooling. Community members told their memories of family life before, during, and after Residential School, and reflected on those impacts. Organized as poetic narratives, these stories provide substantive information about Secwepemc collective experiences rarely discussed among family and community members. A further component of this work is the transformative rebuilding of social relationships through storytelling, and the positive impact of qualitative research on the revitalization of storytelling in a First Nations community. The performance text of the stories can be used to create mutual understanding between the participants of an interview, as well as among diverse audiences within and beyond the First Nations community.

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Department of Sociology and Anthropology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)