Indigenous Experiences of Reconnecting with Culture and Community

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Indigenous culture and community is interconnected to Indigenous relationality and essential to understanding an Indigenous worldview. Nevertheless, a history of colonialism marked by enduring acts of cultural dislocation, such as the trauma of residential schools, the Sixties Scoop, the Millennium Scoop, and various acts of legislation and relocation, has led to many Indigenous individuals being raised without connection to their Indigenous cultures or communities. This thesis utilizes an Indigenous Storywork methodology in conjunction with Research as Ceremony, Desire-based research, and a conversational approach to address a central question: How do Indigenous individuals raised without integrated connection to their cultures and communities experience reconnecting with their Indigenous cultures and communities? In relational collaboration with three storytellers who were separated from their Indigenous cultures and communities during their upbringing, this thesis places their stories of reconnection into relationship with each other and three additional publicly shared stories of Indigenous reconnection journeys. This relational approach yields profound insights into the unique experience of reconnection with four overarching themes: Displacement, Confusion, Longing, and Reconnection. These themes intricately detail the multifaceted experiences, obstacles, and strengths encountered on Indigenous reconnection journeys, providing the opportunity to listen, learn, and understand. This research carries potential implications for future research and practice concerning journey-informed work with Indigenous Peoples who have experienced separation from their cultures and communities, deepening understanding of the intricate relationalities and dynamics they may be navigating along their journeys of reconnection.
Indigenous, Indigenous Storywork, Relationality, Culture, Community, Cultural Dislocation, Counselling Psychology, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Friedland, A. J. (2023). Indigenous experiences of reconnecting with culture and community (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from