Walking backwards into the future with our stories: The Stó:lō is a river of knowledge, Haq’eméylem is a river of stories

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Thesis type
(Dissertation) Ph.D.
Date created
Storytelling is the original form of education for the indigenous families along the Fraser River. These stories have informed ecological, linguistic and cultural knowledge for thousands of years. This story begins in the time of the oldest inhabitants of the Fraser Valley along the Stó:lō where the river and the indigenous people share the same name: Stó:lō, People of the River. It is a narrative of evolutionary change and transformation that is personal as well as regional to the Fraser Valley. Indigenous narratives are guideposts for drawing strength when human actions fail in efforts to have all parts of the natural and living world abide in harmony. Correct protocol for coexisting with the river involved adherence to purposeful use of cedar, salmon and the written language. This narrative begins in time immemorial—a time when stories had a spiritual power to inform a way of life built on respect for all living systems within and along the river. The boundaries of relationship between humans and the environment were tightly interwoven in oral histories. The story of change and transformation at Xá:ytem, Hatzic Rock, B.C. is told as a teaching story that has influenced the Stó:lō landscape of the past.The tension for correcting or “setting things right” within the river system is relevant and important in appreciating aboriginal pedagogy today. The inclusion of indigenous voice is pivotal to empowering a diverse education curriculum now and into the future.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: MacKinnon, Allan
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