Woman Warriors Newsletter

Decolonizing Research Part 5

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Decolonizing Virtual Space

Before I introduce our guest this week, I would like to share I have updated each interview to include timestamps in the Youtube video description. This technique allowed me to break the videos into chapters so the viewer can click on the times and go directly to the content. I have included the timestamps descriptions below, but you need to click on the video to be directed to Youtube and access this feature. Please help my Youtube channel reach a wider audience by subscribing to the Women Warriors channel, giving our video a thumbs up and leaving a comment below each video. I appreciate your support. I would also like to connect with my audience by featuring a monthly Q & A video. Please see the “Community Engagement and Connection” details below. 

My guest for this virtual coffee chat, Dr. Gabrielle Lindstrom and I have never met in person. Being online did not prevent us from engaging in deep conversation and forming a virtual connection. Dr. Lindstrom spoke with passion and conviction about the importance of Indigenous research in transforming our communities. I honour the emotional labour that Dr. Lindstrom shared in our discussion. Her wisdom and life experienced resonated with me, especially her connection to her traditional lands. Indigenous academics often need to choose between pursuing education and research at facilities in city centres or staying on-reserve/rural locations where our spiritual ties are to the land, community, and our ancestors. Indigenous academics often sacrifice their sense of (be)longing to their traditional lands, communities, and kinships in order to earn a living and contribute to Indigenous re-search.  

In last week’s newsletter, I discussed decolonizing virtual spaces by revitalizing the traditional place-names of the lands. My guest, Iskotoah’ka Billy Wadsworth shared the Blackfoot place-names of landmarks and sacred sites in his community. This week I suggest a key feature of making my guests feel culturally safe is by virtually featuring their lands and honouring their connection to their traditional territory. This week I had the honour of feeling the connection that Dr. Lindstrom has to her land and sharing some vulnerable moments. She stated, “When I go to my parents, I see Chief Mountain it grounds me and it reminds me of where I come from. It reminds me of my responsibilities. It’s part of my identity.” Several times during this conversation the theme of the land as integral to Indigenous peoples identity surfaces. Knowing where we come from, especially the traditional lands of our ancestors is medicine. As part of the decolonization process, Dr. Lindstrom encourages her students to investigate where they come from in order to understand themselves and acknowledge their responsibilities as visitors to this land. 

Next week’s virtual coffee chat features a Northern connection, Anita Lafferty. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Secondary Education. She is of Dene and Cree descent and a member of the Lı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation in Northwest Territories. Her doctoral research examines approaches of Indigenous curriculum perspectives that are grounded in Dene K’ee (ways of knowing) on the land. Before undertaking her doctoral studies, Anita was a high school teacher implementing successful practices for Indigenous youth. Her research interests include learning on the land, experiences of Indigenous youth, identity, healing, and matriarch knowledge.

S01E05 Decolonizing Research: Dr. Gabrielle Lindstrom on the Ethical Space of Engagement & Decolonization.

Dr. Lindstrom requested that I keep the photo of her Grandpa Mokakin, Pat Weasel Head in the thumbnail of the youtube video. I could not change the dimension to accommodate the full view of the photo so I am featuring it here.

Dr. Gabrielle Lindstrom on the Ethical Space of Engagement & Decolonization

Dr. Gabrielle Lindstrom (née Weasel Head) is an Educational Development Consultant in Indigenous ways of knowing in the Taylor Institute of Teaching and Learning with the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Her role involves providing leadership and consultative expertise to enhance teaching and learning across multiple levels at the University of Calgary with a specialization in Indigenous pedagogies. Her research interests include meaningful assessment, Indigenous homelessness policy reform, Indigenous health research, intercultural pedagogies, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL): intercultural parallels, Indigenous resilience, assessment reform in Child Welfare, anti-colonial theory and anti-oppression/anti-racist pedagogy.
0:00 Introduction 
0:14 Land acknowledgement centering land sovereignty.
1:32 Self-introduction: Dr. Lindstrom’s nation is the Blackfoot Confederacy and her tribe is Kainaiwa.
4:29 Centering the notion of self-determination and moving away from a Western pan-Indigenous approach to Indigenous peoples.
6:15 Photo of Chief Mountain and its significance to her identity.
7:11 The foundation of Indigenous health research – ethical relationships and integrity. 
10:05 How an assignment in her PhD program, an “Identity Text” on her Blackfoot language was a turning point in her identity.
12:08 The personal growth and goals of Indigenous research.
14:04 Shelley shares a quote from Dr. Leroy Little Bear and asked Dr. Lindstrom to comment.
15:16 Dr. Lindstrom discusses her Blackfoot language the potential of it to participate in relationships including the natural world and spiritual realm. 
18:22 Dr. Lindstrom’s research methodology, Ermine’s ethical space of engagement
22:03 The ethical space of engagement – not a surface level awareness training approach or using a Western diversity framework.
25:40 Dr. Lindstrom shared the power of the ethical space in her personal life.
26:36 How Dr. Lindstrom taught the ethical space to her students.
29:12 Dr. Lindstrom used her personal story as an entry point to learning about the impacts of colonization on Indigenous peoples.
31:08 Why every Canadian need to learn about their historical and land-based roots. 
32:42 Dr. Lindstrom’s motivation for writing and teaching from a Blackfoot perspective. Western society complicates very simple things like being a decent relative. 
35:30 Knowing where your knowledge belongs (Wilson).
35:55 Dr. Lindstrom’s advice for Indigenous students. 
This video shares insights on Blackfoot culture, language, and philosophies underpinning community-based research. The key decolonizing methodology discussed is Ermine’s ethical space of engagement. Dr. Lindstrom shared why surface level awareness training is not enough to engage people in naming and understanding the ideologies that have led to Indigenous people’s oppression and structural and institutional racism.   

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Ermine, W. (2007). The Ethical Space of Engagement. Indigenous Law Journal/Volume 6/Issue 1/2007. Retrieved from https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/ilj/article/view/27669/20400.

Community Engagement & Connection Video

I want to hear from you! I would like to encourage the Women Warriors newsletter audience to please send me questions or comments for a community engagement and connection youtube video. I will answer your questions or read your comments in a video to be featured on my channel on the week of March 8th.

If you have questions directed at my “Decolonizing Research” guests please put the name of the guest in the subject line of the email and I will contact them for answers.  

Here’s a list of potential topics that I am happy to discuss:
– The methodology of Indigenous digital storytelling and a list of resources.
– The logistics of doing a Youtube channel, and this interview series including a list of my software for editing, etc.
– The wisdom or lessons I’ve gained from hosting this interview series.
– Questions directed at my guests.
– Comments and input about viewer experience of this interview series. 

I am looking forward to your feedback and making relevant and timely content for my audience! Please email me with your questions or comments.
Email: Shelley@womenwarriors.club