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Decolonizing Identity: From Indian girl to Skwxwú7mesh Matriarch

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Over the last twenty years, Indigenous scholars have articulated approaches to decolonization and cultural resurgence while making recommendations for strengthening Indigenous cultural sovereignty. This MA project groups the proposals of twelve Indigenous scholars into eight themes and responds with a call to increase accessibility to Indigenous knowledge for Indigenous Peoples. The argument is written as an autoethnographic paper which traces my emancipatory research journey from a colonized, constructed Indian girl to a decolonizing, reconstructed Skwxwú7mesh matriarch. The research-creation component is a creative publication, called Playing Postcolonial: a decolonizing activity book for the woke and the weary, which applies Squamish matriarchal approaches and epistemologies to the gamification of decolonization. The featured activity is a Sínulhkay (double-headed serpent) and Ladders board game, which redesigns a classic game into a rhetorical tool for deconstructing normalized contemporary enactments of supremacy while simultaneously promoting chénchenstway—the Squamish verb meaning to uphold one another.
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