Looking Back While Moving Forward: A Narrative Journey Toward Self
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Negotiating life as a First Nations woman is often done on the fringes of society. Along the margins, my learning has involved a constant interplay between the trauma of colonization and the perseverance of my people to survive and thrive within a social context marred with systemic oppression. Despite these many challenges, higher education has offered a path toward personal empowerment that has enabled me to discover a unique, culturally grounded understanding of what it means to be resilient within the context of tribal self-determination. In this chapter, divided into two parts, I offer a personal narrative of resilience that draws on my experiences as a Blackfoot woman along my journey toward achieving my Ph.D. in Educational Research. In doing so, I conceptualize resilience from a uniquely Blackfoot perspective that also holds a deeply human relevance. In the first part of the chapter, I describe my experiences as an Indigenous post-secondary student in order to offer a glimpse into the lifeworld of a typical Indigenous student. In the second part, I offer up reflections on the lessons learned along my journey as a way to highlight the multiplicity of experiences that women must negotiate within the context of the academy.
KeywordsSelf-determination Blackfoot resilience Indigenous students Indigenous women Trauma narratives Anti-colonial theory
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