Indigenous Students’ Storywork: Local-to-Global Transformative Learning and Growth


Storywork by 5 Indigenous Canadian post-secondary students/mentees highlights their transformative learning experiences through a local-to-global service learning field school. This program was funded by the Alberta Indigenous Mentorship in Health Innovation (AIM-HI) Network as a foundation for students to succeed in Indigenous health and community-based research. Mentees were a blend of undergraduate (n=4) and graduate (n=1) from different post-secondary institutions/programs and various Indigenous communities including Cree, Dene and Métis. Mentors included 2 Elders (Blackfoot and Hawaiian) and professors (1 nursing and 2 medicine) from Métis, Blackfoot and hanai Hawaiian families. With respect for Indigenous oral tradition, mentees share their transformative experiences through digital storytelling. With the metaphor of plants, mentees describe their individual and collective growth from seed, to blooming and taking root with their identity. Opening hearts and minds to traditional ways inspired a strong cultural connection for engaging in academic studies and relational learning with Indigenous communities. Mentees learned highly relevant skills to support self-awareness/knowledge development, caregiving/self-care, compassion/self-compassion and cultural growth through common humanity; these skills support their roles as resilient strong helpers, who are well-positioned to respectfully advance Indigenous Knowledges in research and promote health with Indigenous Peoples. With an evolving impact beyond the duration of the field school, mentees share their learning journey and calls to action as emerging Indigenous Health Researchers.

Author Information
Samantha Cardinal, Mount Royal University, Canada
Jacey P. Woycheshin, Mount Royal University, Canada
Jenna L. Galway, University of Alberta, Canada
Taylor R. Tsakoza, Mount Royal University, Canada
Nevada Ouellette, University of Calgary, Canada
Cheryl Barnabe, University of Calgary, Canada
Andrea Kennedy, Mount Royal University, Canada
Francine Dudoit Tagupa, Hawaiian Kupuna Honolulu, United States
Randy Bottle, Blackfoot Elder Kainaiwa First Nation, Canada
Anita Eagle Bear, Blackfoot Elder Kainaiwa First Nation, Canada

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2021
Stream: Learning Experiences

This paper is part of the IICEHawaii2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Cardinal S., Woycheshin J., Galway J., Tsakoza T., Ouellette N., Barnabe C., Kennedy A., Tagupa F., Bottle R., & Bear A. (2021) Indigenous Students’ Storywork: Local-to-Global Transformative Learning and Growth ISSN: 2189-1036 – The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Hawaii 2021 Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon