Clark, Natalie Gwen - Cu7 me7 q’wele’wu-kt. "Come on, let's go berry-picking". Revival of Secwepemc wellness approache...

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This thesis has been submitted to the Library for purposes of graduation, but needs to be audited for technical details related to publication in order to be approved for inclusion in the Library collection.
Spring 2018
Degree type: 
Special Arrangements
? by Home Dept & Faculty of Senior Supervisor
Senior supervisor: 
Olena Hankivsky
Thesis title: 
Cu7 me7 q’wele’wu-kt. "Come on, let's go berry-picking". Revival of Secwepemc wellness approaches for healing child and youth experiences of violence
Given Names: 
Natalie Gwen
This dissertation is part of an intergenerational genealogy of Secwepemc and Indigenous feminist resistance to colonial violence and, more importantly, of the repudiation of state-sanctioned approaches through the construct of “trauma” and instead the avowal and resurgence of Secwepemc laws, practices, and processes. This thesis shares stories from my research with 11 multigenerational Secwepemc and Indigenous healers working with Secwepemc and Indigenous children and youth in Secwepemculecw, the land of the Secwepemc people. Through the methodological framework of Steseptekwle-Secwepemc storytelling, together with the theoretical framework of Red Intersectionality, these stories illuminate the ongoing resistance to colonial power, but also demonstrate the ways in which we are reinstating our Secwepemc child wellbeing and healing praxis through everyday acts of decolonial love, relationship and kinship. Along with the stories of the healers interviewed, this research co-constructs a birch bark basket of decolonial knowing rooted in Secwepemc teachings and practices. This basket also holds the theoretical framework of Red Intersectionality (Clark, 2012; Clark, 2016), an Indigenous feminist and holistic model that follows in the tireless tradition of Indigenous and Black feminist theorizing of love, rage, desire, resistance, and creative regeneration as the foundation from which to challenge violence against Indigenous children and youth. In doing so together, the stories reveal and amplify Indigenous agency while refusing the colonial gaze, which assumes and demands Indigenous people are in need of help or saving. Ultimately this dissertation functions to crack open the interstitial spaces of the colonial arteries of violence and the broken narratives of risk, and instead reveals the deeper practices of witnessing each other and our children in this work.
Secwepemc child and youth healing; Red Intersectionality; Indigenous feminism; Indigenous witnessing; trauma; violence
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