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Indigenous Philosophies and Critical Education

A Reader- Foreword by Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw


Edited By George J. Sefa Dei

An important academic goal is to understand ongoing contestations in knowledge in the search to engage everyday social practice and experiences, as well as the social barriers and approaches to peaceful human coexistence. This reader pulls together ideas concerning Indigenous epistemologies (e.g., worldviews, paradigms, standpoints, and philosophies) as they manifest themselves in the mental lives of persons both from and outside the orbit of the usual Euro-American culture. The book engages Indigenous knowledges as far more than a «contest of the marginals», thereby challenging the way oppositional knowledges are positioned, particularly in the Western academy. Subsequently, this book is a call to recognize and acknowledge Indigenous knowledges as legitimate knowings in their own right, and not necessarily in competition with other sources or forms of knowledge. The project offers an opportunity for the critical thinker to continue on a de-colonial/anti-colonial intellectual journey in ways informed by Indigenous theorizing.


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16. Learning Life Lessons from Indigenous Storytelling with Tom Mccallum Judy Iseke & Brennus BMJK 245


Indigenous Elders are the educators of our children, youth, adults, and communities, and storytellersand historians of our communities. Their stories and histories, shared through Indigenous peda- gogies, educate communities and aid in sustaining our cultures. The contributions of Métis Elders help Métis communities understand the contributions of Métis peoples, past and present, to our provinces and Nations. Métis Elders’ knowledge helps us understand Indigenous pedagogies in Indigenous education and the ways these can inform the education of children, youth, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. We explore the storytelling of Tom McCallum, White Standing Buffalo, a Métis Elder who explains the power of stories shared in communities. Through his stories we come to better under- stand Indigenous pedagogies and practices in storytelling. Tom’s first story is in two sections enti- tled Falling through the Ice and the Sun Dance Tree and its continuation in Sun Dance Story about the Meaning of Life. These explain Tom’s youthful experience and how it sets a pattern for his learn- ing the meaning of his life. His subsequent two stories, Humorous Horse Story and Dancing Dog Story share understandings about community storytelling and the role humor plays in teaching lessons. We begin by introducing the authors, and the epistemological underpinnings that inform the research method and approach.1 We discuss meanings of Tom McCallum’s storytelling and learn how Indigenous pedagogies use stories as an approach to share understandings. Through interpreting Tom’s stories, we learn valuable lessons about the role of storytelling...

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