We are more than missing and murdered: the healing power of re-writing, re-claiming and re-presenting
Master of Education
SubjectStorytelling pedagogy for Indigenous education
Indigenous women, patriarchy & colonialism
MetadataShow full item record
This study explores remembrances (life stories) of Jane Bernard as shared by her daughter (my Nokomis) to her granddaughter (the researcher). I investigate how intergenerational learning through letter writing for remembrance within a family contributes to understanding and honouring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) more broadly. The focus on the life stories of Jane Bernard, one among MMIWG and a community member of Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (Gull Bay First Nation) of Lake Nipigon, inspires storytelling as a pedagogical method of Indigenous education about MMIWG. Using storytelling, letter writing, and conversation as the method, data were gathered through inter-generational written letters and the stories and conversations that followed. These methods evoked remembrances and life stories of MMIWG that are more than statistical representations and must be understood in wider contexts. Those contexts include the importance of Indigenous women’s influences, leadership, mothering roles, and relevant political and historical issues, as well. The stories shared by my Nokomis illuminate findings of the spiritual and ceremonial significance of land and the importance of honouring as a form of life-long learning that empowers, heals, and functions as education for decolonizing. In addition, I intersperse findings with background literature and illustrations to provide a cohesive picture of how honouring the life experiences and oral narratives of My Nokomis and Jane can humanize MMIWG and honour their legacy, as more than murdered and missing. The study concludes that my Nokomis’ stories of Jane as a MMIWG are inseparable from place (Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek). The study recommends storytelling pedagogy for Indigenous education, and for research on a broader scale in relation to Ojibwe women from Northwestern Ontario, specifically MMIWG.