Re-searching Metis identity: My Metis Family story

Re-searching Metis identity: My Metis Family story

University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon
April 2010
200 pages

Tara J. Turner

A Thesis Submitted to the College of Graduate Studies and Research in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Psychology University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

This research explores Metis identity through the use of a Metis family story. The participants of  this Metis family were my father and his two sisters and his two brothers. As children, they lost  both their parents at the same time in a car accident. After the death of their parents my participants all encountered the child welfare system, through adoption, orphanage, and foster care. Through adoption, the two youngest participants were separated from their siblings, and any knowledge of their Metis heritage, until they were adults. Individual interviews were conducted with each participant to gather their life stories. Two additional gatherings of the participants were completed in order to share individual and family stories. The second and final gathering was conducted as a talking circle. A culturally congruent qualitative research process was created with the use of stories, ceremonies, and the strengthening of family relationships. Analysis was completed with the use of Aboriginal storytelling guidelines. The themes examined through my family’s story include trauma, the child welfare system, and Metis identity. A significant piece of the research process was the creation of a “Metis psychological homeland” (Richardson, 2004, p. 56), a psychological space of both healing and affirming Aboriginal identity. This dissertation is an example of how research can be completed in a way that does not perpetuate the mistrust between Aboriginal people and researchers, and that works to improve this relationship.

Read the entire thesis here.

Tags: , ,