This dissertation is part of an intergenerational genealogy of Secwepemc and Indigenous feminist resistance to colonial violence and, more importantly, of the repudiation of state-sanctioned approaches through the construct of “trauma” and instead the avowal and resurgence of Secwepemc laws, practices, and processes. This thesis shares stories from my research with 11 multigenerational Secwepemc and Indigenous healers working with Secwepemc and Indigenous children and youth in Secwepemculecw, the land of the Secwepemc people. Through the methodological framework of Steseptekwle-Secwepemc storytelling, together with the theoretical framework of Red Intersectionality, these stories illuminate the ongoing resistance to colonial power, but also demonstrate the ways in which we are reinstating our Secwepemc child wellbeing and healing praxis through everyday acts of decolonial love, relationship and kinship. Along with the stories of the healers interviewed, this research co-constructs a birch bark basket of decolonial knowing rooted in Secwepemc teachings and practices. This basket also holds the theoretical framework of Red Intersectionality (Clark, 2012; Clark, 2016), an Indigenous feminist and holistic model that follows in the tireless tradition of Indigenous and Black feminist theorizing of love, rage, desire, resistance, and creative regeneration as the foundation from which to challenge violence against Indigenous children and youth. In doing so together, the stories reveal and amplify Indigenous agency while refusing the colonial gaze, which assumes and demands Indigenous people are in need of help or saving. Ultimately this dissertation functions to crack open the interstitial spaces of the colonial arteries of violence and the broken narratives of risk, and instead reveals the deeper practices of witnessing each other and our children in this work.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Hankivsky, Olena