February 2018 Event: Shaping Influences of ‘A Capable Person’

Date: Thursday, February 8, 2018
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Location: Yellowknife City Hall Council Chambers

Join Dr. Angela James, Director, Indigenous Languages and Learning Secretariat with the Government of the Northwest Territories, for a presentation on a narrative research of NWT Elders’ Stories of Raising Children to Inform Aboriginal Education in the territory.


More about the presentation:
Storytelling, oral traditions, land-based legends and ancient cultural and spiritual teachings enliven the narratives of many NWT Aboriginal Elders, revealing northern story lights for those who choose to experience them, learn, and make meaning from them.

Dr. Angela James chose to follow twelve NWT Elders’ story lights, and took a two-year journey with them to learn about the phenomenon of ‘a capable person’ from their Indigenous perspective. Through a narrative research approach, she articulated her purpose to identify and examine the influences that guide the growth and development of ‘a capable person.’

By drawing from NWT Elders’ personal life-experiences narratives of raising children and relationality, four shaping influences emerged that allowed her to develop a re-interpreted lens from which to view contemporary Indigenous pedagogy and practices in order to inform Aboriginal education in the NWT.

Through reflective analysis and research ceremony, her conceptual framework arose, revealing the processes of raising children as similar to raising an Indigenous tipi. The four structures of the tipi made up the framework that sought to bring meaning to the overall shaping influences that guide the growth and development of ‘a capable person’ as:

  1. The Circle showing the founding influences;
  2. The Triangle (or tripod) raising the relational influences;
  3. The Spirals revealing the recurring influences; and
  4. The “Canvas” illustrating the outside influences.

Findings from this study were based on the narrative accounts of the NWT Aboriginal Elders, which were presented in two parts: through a story-based approach of restorying with Elders’ biographies and photographs, and through thematic development.

By interweaving the Elders’ stories with Angela’s own experiences as an Aboriginal educator and leader, and through the emergent story themes, this re-interpreted lens is presented, highlighting the need to reach and engage Aboriginal children, families and communities in contemporary schooling.

As such, this study shows that by paying attention to the grounding, relational, recurring and outside influences that guide the growth and development of ‘a capable person,’ these shaping influences can lead to a new approach to pedagogy and practice needed to create the conditions for transformation in this new century of Indigenizing education in the NWT.

Suggested Reading:
Available online through Simon Fraser University’s research repository.

Price: All individuals with an interest in public service are welcomed to attend. This event is free for members of IPAC, $20 for non-members payable at the time of registration.

Membership: Not an IPAC member? Become one today! Already a member? Please consider inviting a friend.

Social Media: We also invite our audience to join the conversation on Twitter. Follow us at @IPAC_NWT and use the hashtag #IPACNWT to join in the conversation!

Remote access: Want to dial in? No problem! Write to us at nwtipac@gmail.com by Tuesday, February 6 for conference call information.

Registration assistance: Please contact us if you need help with registration.

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