Where My edhéhke Take Me In Reimagining Curriculum: A Narrative Inquiry into the Experiences of Dene Learning From/With the Land

  • Author / Creator
    Lafferty, Anita S.
  • nahendeh gozhih gohgha nezu, Land is healing for all. This teaching has been the pivotal component of my (re) searching into Land experiences. As a young girl, my experiences of learning from and with the Land were significant. Today these teachings have helped shape my sense of belonging and identity as a ts’élî-iskwew in relation to the Land.
    As a former high school teacher, taking students on the Land generated a sense of ingenuity and wonder as they learned from and engaged with new learning landscapes. In this research, I attended closely to my relationship with the Land in order to reconceptualize curriculum in classroom spaces. I revisit my school and Land experiences in order to inquire into the curriculum making process brought forth from learning from and with the Land, more specifically the milieu of curriculum commonplaces (Schwab, 1969).
    Framed by my understanding of curriculum making (Clandinin & Connelly, 1992; 2000), I wondered about the stories of the Land from Dene perspectives. This study was designed with the purpose of inquiring into the experiences of Dene learning from and with Land as a way to negotiate the lived experiences of being and doing with the Land as a form of curriculum making (Clandinin & Connelly, 1992; 2000). Using narrative inquiry as a phenomenon and methodology (Clandinin and Connelly, 1992; 2000), I drew on the storied Land experiences of a Dene knowledge keeper and post-secondary students, including my own, paying particular attention to Land and school experiences. I also engaged throughout this narrative inquiry with poetic expression as a way for readers to connect. Weaving in and out of stories poetically, I provided multiple forms of interpretation and expression of participant experiences. As I came to know my Dene participants in the midst of a global pandemic, I captured a deepened “understanding of cultural [Dene], institutional, and social narratives shaping [both on the Land and] school stories” (Clandinin, 2013, p. 77).
    By attending to dimensions of temporality, sociality, and place (Clandinin & Connelly, 1992; 2000) within narrative inquiry, stories of healing, intergenerational wisdom, and matriarchal knowledge unfolded revealing our interconnected relationship with the Land. I listened attentively to the stories of identity and explored my relationship with the Land as a way to guide the stories forward. I came alongside Dene as they shared stories of learning on the Land from a Dene paradigm , listening for the Dene Laws as they emerged in our stories of being and doing with the Land. It was the stories of deep-rooted Dene histories, moccasins, and Land experiences that brought us together as a way of healing in a time of uncertainty.
    My doctoral study builds on the evolution of Land-based learning informed by Indigenous curriculum perspectives as a way forward for educators to consider in curriculum making (Clandinin & Connelly 1992; 2000). I share how the Land is a place for curriculum making (Clandinin & Connelly, 1992; 2000) creating possibilities for future Land curriculum.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2022
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Library with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.