THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LAND IN THE EDUCATION AND HEALTH OF ANISHINAABE YOUTH FROM PIC RIVER FIRST NATION,
Abstract: This study shares the experiences of twenty-one Anishinabek youth from Pic River First Nation, Ontario, Canada in relation to how the Land is significant for their education and good health. This thesis is meant as a small part of my family’s role in protecting the Land; my upbringing and connections to my Anishinabek community have influenced my desire to learn about traditional education and its role in supporting Anishinabek learners. Understanding the significance of the Land for Anishinabek youth and what they see as its connection to their education and health is important. These findings support the position that we should continue to keep the Land the way it is so our future generations can experience this too. This research study contributes to the need to hear from Indigenous youth. The stories shared here reflect how Pic River youth situate themselves and thrive from the Land, community and family in Pic River. Though there is research on Indigenous ways of knowing, and how Indigenous youth learn, there are fewer studies on how Land is significant for the youth, how the Land makes them feel, and how this contributes to their education and good health. In my findings, I heard that “the Land is everything.” Miigwetch in sharing this journey with me.Thesis publication
An article on Indigenous Mothering. Lived Experience of Anishinabe Mothering
Abstract: Using an arts-based inquiry has been a liberating experience for me in exploring my lived experience as an Anishinaabe mother. Mar-rying arts-based inquiry with indigenous autoethnography has had a centering effect on my research. This arts-based autoethnography has opened my heart to meanings that I had not considered. I had never perceived research to be a process where photos and my own story could capture my feelings and contribute to understanding the complexity of mothers as teachers among First Nations people. Using photography was a process of inquiry through my heartfelt passion, where words may have failed me. Wilson (2008) reiterates the im-portance of “checking your heart,” which he writes is a “critical ele-ment in the [Indigenous] research process” (p. 60). He believes that by bringing no harmful intention or feelings to the work we can work from a place of the heart like a ceremony. For me this work has helped me understand myself on another level, which has contributed to my growth as a researcher and a mother. I hope this visual essay will en-courage other First Nation mothers to explore their relationships with their children and the complexities amongst our families. What is it that we collectively perceive to be our role as mother? What is our collective lived experience? Do they relate? What are our lived expe-riences of Anishinaabe Mothers in cities? What about birthing, how do we retain a cultural connection to this sacred life event? Why is this important? These are a few of the many questions that an arts-based Indigenous autoethnography could explore. I share my exploration.