This thesis explores how conversation and storytelling can contribute to the process of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the Alberni Valley of British Columbia. Collaborating with Alberni Valley United Church, this participatory ethnography details the planning and hosting of a conversation on reconciliation between members of the congregation and others from the community, including members of the Huu-ay-aht First Nation. Through personal storytelling, participants described their experience of Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations in the valley and the impact of these experiences on their understanding of reconciliation. Using a Collective Story Harvest process, participants reflected together on what they learned from the stories. By weaving together insights from the storytelling with theoretical reflections on truth, relationships, decolonization, and the moral imagination, this thesis considers how hearing another’s story and allowing it to disrupt the dominant colonial narrative can lead to a transformed understanding and the possibility of transformed relations.
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Thesis advisor: Travers, Ann
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