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When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
Embodied Landscapes: A Creation-Research Indigenous Métissage (EL), is a self-study inquiry about identity and subjectivity fostered by the seed of my research journey of retrieving my Métis identity. It is a storying journey through entrenched notions of identity and identity politics in a Canadian colonial context. EL is a creation story that moves through the experiential forces of subjectivity by using a creation-based Indigenous métissage (IM Spiral). This inquiry approach is rooted in Indigenous epistemologies and creative and literary research practices of poetic inquiry, métissage and artmaking. I use my own photos, images, poems and stories for weaving, mixing, and layering artistic assemblages. EL values knowledge embedded in, and generated from experiences, memories, intuitions, dreams, visions and ancestral wisdom, and recognizes being, as in-motion and relational.
EL contains hyperlinks to a creative production-Embodied Landscapes: Digital Exhibit (ELDE). The two components are synthesized through a métissage of embodied personal and sociopolitical complexities, challenges, and expression. Through discussion, presentation, and engagement with the viewer/reader, EL and ELDE reveal an approach to inquiry, and living curriculum (Aoki, 2005) and pedagogy rooted in relationships and in ways of being, knowing, doing, and learning with/in creation itself.
ELDE encompasses theories and methods that invoke an interplay among theoretical, curricular, and pedagogical frameworks. The Spiral sets in motion my Self evolution through forward, backward, inward, and outward movements, around and through realms of experience. This evokes a multi-textural dialogue propelling my being as an historical subject, a community member, a researcher, an artist, a poet, a teacher, and a Métis woman. Subjective experiences, memories, and reflections of my research journey culminate with emerging pedagogical values and are discussed within the context of pedagogical significance.
This thesis addresses the contemporary Canadian controversy over Métis identity. It critically explores the role that subjectivity plays in identification, self-understanding, learning, and ways of being and living in the world. It offers a creation-research approach and a means of exploring self as a site of inquiry.