Niigani Miinigowiziiwin (we give these gifts to the future)
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This dissertation is the ni di-bah-ji-mo-win (my personal story) of being an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibway woman) doctoral student, studying conventional systems thinking, complexity and transitions to sustainability discourse at a Canadian university. I problematize the traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) paradigm in transformations to sustainability discourse and explore the foundations of an Indigenous standpoint theory (relational systems thinking) to transcend the binary mental model that limits conventional approaches to decolonization of Western theory. Relational systems thinking has spirituality at its core, it is naa-wi aki (middle ground). It offers protocols and processes for biin-di-go-daa-di-win (To enter one another’s lodge). Respecting Anishinabe i-zhi-chi-gay-win zhigo kayn-dah-so-win (Ways of doing and knowing) this research explores the pluralization of transformation discourse through Anishinabe bish-kayn-di-ji-gay-win (pedagogy). Offered protective space at the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience, I explore whether the standpoint theory of relational systems thinking is a pathbreaking innovation that supports the transition from systemic regimes of colonization to a systemic regime of Ojibway-Anishinaabe bish-kayn-di-ji-gay-win (pedagogy) at the niche or micro scale. What emerges is a realization that this work is land-based, language-and culture based and spiritual. The Spirits hear our distress and real systems change happens when we wake up the Spirits and they start to do their work. Yarning with Anishinaabe Knowledge Keepers, Language Speakers and Elders Eleanor Skead, Bert Landon, and Keith Boissoneau, I introduce readers to the beings/helpers I met on my journey, when I walked in the woods amongst the Ancestors. This dissertation recounts the living stories of my apprenticeship with complexity.
Cite this version of the work
Melanie Goodchild (2023). Niigani Miinigowiziiwin (we give these gifts to the future). UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/19698