For All My Relations - An Autobiographical Narrative Inquiry into the Lived Experiences of One Aboriginal Graduate Student

  • Author / Creator
    Cardinal, Trudy
  • Abstract

    “For All My Relations” is a narrative representation of an autobiographical narrative inquiry into my experiences as an Aboriginal graduate student negotiating the complexities of learning about, and engaging in, Indigenous research. The research puzzle centers on my wonders about the responsibilities of an Aboriginal graduate student choosing to engage in research with Aboriginal peoples in ethically responsible ways. The field texts for the inquiry are my writings over two years: final papers, response journals, assignments, and life writings. Using a narrative inquiry methodology, I identify tensions and bumping points in coming to understand Indigenous research, and in doing so, I have come to a deeper understanding of the impact of these moments on my identity as researcher in the making and on my sense of belonging. I also attend to the social and institutional narratives about Aboriginal people in which my storied experiences are nested. Issues of ethical obligations, relationship, and responsibility are central in my inquiry, and speak to the complexities of wrestling with the questions of “researcher’s right to tell” and “viewing people through a lens.” The findings of my inquiry add to the emerging literature of Indigenous research and narrative inquiry, and their connections. The findings also present insights into the experiences of an Aboriginal graduate, and the notion of identity and belonging. Most importantly, this narrative inquiry enabled me to work through my lived tensions, discomforts, and unease, and to restory my experiences; this process allowed me to grow more confident in my ability to continue to engage in Indigenous research in ethically and relationally responsible ways. My inquiry begins with my experiences of “not belonging” and “feeling less than,” and concludes, in the midst, with a counterstory to tell. Counterstories are “saving stories” for me and for all my relations, past, present, and future.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2010
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries 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.