We Are Still the Aniishnaabe Nation: Embracing Culture and Identity in Batchewana First Nation

Authors

  • Gayle Broad Algoma University College
  • Stephanie Boyer Batchewana First Nation
  • Cynthia Chataway York University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.22230/cjc.2006v31n1a1627

Keywords:

Social effects of culture, Identity formation, Cultural participation, cultural practices, Aboriginal culture, social capital, Social inclusion

Abstract

Abstract: This case study was conducted by researchers engaged in “Understanding the Strengths of Indigenous Communities,” a research project involving five participating First Nations (see http://www.usic.ca). This particular study describes the centrality of cultural activities and beliefs in strengthening the community of the Batchewana First Nation. Deploying an innovative form of methodology, which stresses community participation in the development of the research process for the purposes of decolonization, the article explores how this community approaches culture from a holistic worldview. The findings suggest that cultural renewal is self-reinforcing and cumulative, and plays a key role in overcoming collective trauma, but that these benefits can be jeopardized through a lack of resources. Résumé : Cette étude, intitulée “Understanding the Strengths of Indigenous Communities,” a été menée par des recherchistes associés à un projet regroupant cinq nations autochtones. Elle décrit le rôle primordial des activités culturelles et des croyances dans le mécanisme de consolidation de la communauté Batchewana First Nation. Utilisant une méthodologie innovatrice qui attire l’attention sur la participation communautaire dans l’élaboration d’un processus de recherche ayant comme but la décolonisation, ce communiqué explore les points de vue holistiques utilisés par cette communauté. Les résultats suggèrent que le renouveau culturel est autodéterminant et cumulatif et qu’il joue un rôle clé dans la confrontation du traumatisme collectif, mais que ces bienfaits peuvent êtres mis en danger par un manque de ressources.

Author Biographies

Gayle Broad, Algoma University College

Gayle Broad is an Assistant Professor in the Community Economic and Social Development program at Algoma University College. She is the current Research Supervisor in Batchewana First Nation. Her areas of expertise include Community Economic and Social Development, Sociology and Social Welfare, Law and Politics, Public Legal Education, Violence Against Women, Poverty Issues, and Participatory Action Research. She holds a Ph.D from the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol.

Stephanie Boyer, Batchewana First Nation

Stephanie Boyer (Batchewana First Nation Community Researcher) is a graduate from Algoma University College. She has a BA in Law and Justice and Psychology. She is a member of Batchewana First Nation and a lifetime resident of Rankin Reserve.

Cynthia Chataway, York University

Cynthia Chataway is Assistant Professor, Psychology, at York University. Her research interests include the theory and practice of conflict resolution and Indigenous self-determination. Her current research pertains to (1) the process and maintenance of systemic strength in Indigenous communities, (2) the clash of cultures that occurs when alternative dispute resolution methods are introduced, and (3) the impact of two practices: Interactive Problem-solving Workshops and Participatory Action Research. She holds a Ph.D from Harvard University and completed her BA/BEd. at Queen’s University.

Published

2006-03-30