Exploring My Memoir as a Centering Place Movement toward the Nature of Indigenous Education: Dream, Vision, Spirit and Ceremony
AuthorGraves, Victoria Marie
AdvisorCombs, Mary C.
Cajete, Gregory A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis qualitative self-study written as a memoir located in the Indigenous paradigm ― signals a reference of challenge to a western worldview. As Ary, Jacobs, Sorensen, & Walker, (2014) put it, “A key difference that has been difficult to understand from a Western perspective that values individual knowledge is the indigenous paradigm that knowledge is relational and shared with all creation” (p. 506). Tewa scholar Gregory A. Cajete’s (1994) personally designed and creative Pathway as “structure and process” of two Indigenous education models employed as methods and foundational characteristics of Indigenous education will aid to the discussion of the concepts Ary et al, mentions above, that is, that knowledge is relational and shared with all creation. Moreover, my overarching theoretical consideration positions relationships with the natural world through Indigenous environmental ecological notions of “natural community” and “natural democracy,” most effectively pioneered by Cajete’s (1994) creative design and research. As a site of exploration, Cajete’s (1994) book Look to the Mountain: An Ecology of Indigenous Education will be referred to when discussing the two models (1) The Connected Rings of Indigenous Visioning: The Vision, and (2) The Indigenous Stages of Developmental Learning: Finding the Center Completedness that includes interconnected features that complement the drive and flow of the memoir. Also, the interpretation of the memoir narrative takes into consideration the circular interconnected style of Cajete’s models with an emphasis on the nature of “intuitive logic and way of analysis” (p. 116) represented in Opaskwayak Cree scholar Shawn Wilson’s (2008) book Research Is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods. Wilson’s approach finds complementarity as it allows for an uninterrupted flow of lived personal and cultural learning experiences, i.e., intuitive and logic through an Indigenous self-study. My memoir explores areas of my life that are pivotal from early developmental to elder years of memorable learning experience(s) that are grounded in the spirit of natural community and natural democracy. I agree with the approach taken by western scholars Ary et al about the difference in western and Indigenous perspectives. Thus, to complexify this difficulty, my memoir explores the movement toward Indigenous education. This work is also metaphorical. I believe when writing a memoir, particularly one with a narrative flow from a differing worldview, some of the translations may become lost. Thus, to help broaden the scope of the translation for the benefit of both worldviews, and to assist with this cyclical style of presentation of data pertinent to differing worldviews, I welcome the creative literary tool of metaphor throughout the memoir, as well as imagery to help with visualizing the movement of Indigenous education elements.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture