A tribal journey : canoes, traditions, and cultural continuity
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SubjectKw'umut Lelum Child and Family Services (B.C.); Coast Salish Indians; Coming of age; Rites and ceremonies; Canoes and canoeing; Culture; British Columbia; Interviews (Research methodology); Ethnography (Research methodology)
In addressing the necessity of cultural transmission from one generation to the next, this ethnographic study examines ways that Indigenous canoe journeys enable communication of ancestral teachings and traditions, particularly to Kw‟umut Lelum youth. The objective is to identify how experiences and interactions within Indigenous canoe journeys, specifically Tribal Journeys, can connect youth to traditions, environments, Elders, other individuals, and each other. Drawing on interviews with adults and participant observation, I consider relational themes of self and identity to explore the cultural impact on the young people as they participate in Tribal Journeys 2010 and symbolic ceremonies within it. Through qualitative inquiry and inductive reasoning, this interpretive epistemological approach includes concepts specific to the Indigenous research paradigm and uses a performative narrative to present results. Kw‟umut Lelum Child and Family Services is a society committed to the well-being of Indigenous children residing within nine Coast Salish communities on Vancouver Island. The agency focuses on family, community, and sacredness of culture as guided by the Snuw‟uy‟ulh model, which uses the teachings of the present to unite the past and future. Tribal Journeys is a significant cultural event that upholds the Snuw‟uy‟ulh principles while facilitating the communication of ancestral teachings and traditions. Keywords: Indigenous, canoe, youth, culture, tradition, Coast Salish, narrative, perform
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