Indigenous Storywork Workshop (August 2022)

Let’s Become Story Ready: Decolonizing and Indigenizing European and Migration Studies through Indigenous Storywork

Double-Headed Serpent Post by Brent Sparrow Jr., Musqueam

Image credit: “sʔi:ɬqəy̓ qeqən (Double-Headed Serpent Post)” Brent Sparrow Jr., Musqueam (UBC Flickr)

In accordance with the University of British Columbia’s Indigenous Strategic Plan (ISP) and #62 of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action, this four-day workshop challenges Eurocentric understandings of storytelling in higher education. By proposing the incorporation of Indigenous Storywork as a methodology into European and migration studies, this collaboration endeavours to make space for Indigenous scholars, artists, activists, and pedagogues in fields that struggle to imagine themselves as having a role to play in the work of Truth and Reconciliation. The workshop is grounded in Jo-ann Archibald’s seven ethical principles of Indigenous Storywork: reciprocity, relevance, respect, responsibility, reverence, interrelatedness, and synergy. It will bring together a diverse group of Indigenous and settler participants for dialogue and provide the opportunity for them to share their story-centred work between August 29 and September 1, 2022. Participants will engage in talking circles that focus on different but connecting themes: story-centred knowledge sharing, people-centred Storywork, land-centred Storywork, and the application of Indigenous Storywork methodologies. At the heart of the workshop is the goal to facilitate sustainable relationships between participants and lay the foundation for future collaborative projects that integrate Indigenous Storywork as a methodology in European and migration studies. 

Workshop Program

Opening Session – Indigenous Storywork: Then, Now, & In the Future

Q’um Q’um Xiiem – Jo-ann Archibald will share her perspectives, experiences, and reflections about Indigenous Storywork (ISW), starting with its genealogy and briefly discussing how the seven principles of respect, responsibility, reverence, reciprocity, holism, inter-relatedness, and synergy have guided methodology and pedagogy. Since the 2008 publication of Indigenous Storywork: Educating the Heart, Mind, Body, and Spirit, she and many storyworkers have used ISW in various geographical, cultural, educational, research, and (inter)disciplinary contexts. Q’um Q’um Xiiem will share some examples of the varied uses of Indigenous Storywork: then and now. At times, through story, Indigenous storied characters will join in this presentation to add their perspectives, to raise critical questions, and to invite futurist ideas for Indigenous Storywork from those in attendance.

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Markus Hallensleben and Elizabeth Nijdam (co-applicant) have received a SSHRC Connection Grant for a Workshop on Decolonizing and Indigenizing European and Migration Studies through Indigenous Storywork Methodologies. Collaborators are Maria Jose Athie Martinez (EDCP), Dorothee Leesing (CENES) and David Gaertner (FNIS), co-sponsored by UBC CES, CMS, CENES, Australian National University (Maureen Gallagher), Humboldt University, Berlin (Regina Römhild), and the University of Potsdam (Anja Schwarz and Nicole Waller).

This workshop will take place from August 29 to September 1, 2022, at the UBC Liu Institute of Global Studies and the Department of CENES. Participation will be by invitation only. Results will be made publicly available.

Read more about our workshop participants

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of this project from the SSHRC, the Waterloo Centre for German Studies, the UBC Dept. of CENES Ziegler Lecture Series, the Centre for European Studies and the Centre for Migration Studies. A big thank-you to Kaira Fenix for supporting the Website.