Aboriginal Storywork in the classroom

Not My Story: the title for this one has been in my drafts folder for well over a year as I struggled with the how and why of making space for Aboriginal stories in my classroom. Every time I sat down to write and organize lesson plans I got derailed: ‘These are not my stories.’ ‘Why does this matter to me?'”How do I make space for these stories in particular?”

This year I got to take part in UBC MET’s ETEC521 Indigeniety, Technology, Education and I think I finally have it straight in my head. The course work challenged my thinking; I said many times over the term that the reading was only a small fraction of the work that went into this term. The reading took hours, as masters course work does, but the thinking took days. Some days I dug into conversation with anyone willing to bat around ideas and some days I got pushback and a reminder that a soapbox is not a helpful platform.

I won’t rewrite here everything I put in the academic paper because the link to there work is in my Website. I spent 50 hours on the final project and feel good about what I will be taking into the classroom in the fall. The catalyst for inquiry is Danielle Daniel’s Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox. I would love your feedback and hope that it can be carried into other classrooms, too. The student side of the project is an ever evolving project, so if you have stories you feel I could include to make the site even better I would love to hear from you!

3 thoughts on “Aboriginal Storywork in the classroom”

  1. Are these stories any less our stories than others we read and share? Why do we treat them differently? Surely stories of humanity are ours to share and have lessons to learn.
    I’ll have to spend more time digging into the “feeling like a fox” post. Thanks for the link.

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    1. Absolutely! The conclusion reached at the end of my course work is that Aboriginal stories MUST be shared in the classroom. That being said, teachers must be cautious about which stories and how the stories are told. I had the opportunity to read many WONDERFUL stories that I will definitely share. I highly recommend Jo-Ann Archibald’s “Indigenous Storywork” if you’re thinking about these questions, too.

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      1. That’s wonderful. The caution about what we read and how we share the stories, relates to all stories too. It’s just that we are more familiar with some than others and it seems like the decision doesn’t have to be made. More discussions such as you are leading and engaging in, will help overcome that issue.

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