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Activating the Heart

Storytelling, Knowledge Sharing, and Relationship

Edited by Julia Christensen, Christopher Cox, and Lisa Szabo-Jones
Subjects Language Arts & Disciplines, Creative Writing, Indigenous Studies
Series Indigenous Studies Hide Details
Paperback : 9781771122191, 226 pages, June 2018
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781771122214, 226 pages, June 2018

Table of contents

List of Illustrations


Introduction / Julia Christensen, Christopher Cox, and Lisa Szabo-Jones

Section One: Storytelling to Understand

Chapter One

Finding My Way: Emotions and Ethics in Community-Based Action Research with Indigenous Communities / Leonie Sandercock

Chapter Two

Notes from the Underbridge / Christine Stewart and Jacquie Leggatt

Chapter Three

Re-valuing Code-Switching: Lessons from Kaska Narrative Performances / Patrick Moore

Section Two: Storytelling to Share

Chapter Four

Art, Heart, and Health: Experiences from Northern British Columbia / Kendra Mitchell-Foster and Sarah de Leeuw

Chapter Five

“Grandson, / this is meat”: Hunting Metonymy in François Mandeville’s This Is What They Say / Jasmine Spencer

Section Three: Storytelling to Create

Chapter Six

sleepless in Somba K’e / Rita Wong

Chapter Seven

Old Rawhide Died / Bren Kolson

Chapter Eight

Métis Storytelling across Time and Space: Situating the Personal and Academic Self between Homelands / Zoe Todd


Conclusion / Julia Christensen, Christopher Cox, and Lisa Szabo-Jones


About the Contributors



Activating the Heart is an exploration of storytelling as a tool for knowledge production and sharing to build new connections between people and their histories, environments, and cultural geographies. The collection pays particular attention to the significance of storytelling in Indigenous knowledge frameworks and extends into other ways of knowing in works where scholars have embraced narrative and story as a part of their research approach.

In the first section, Storytelling to Understand, authors draw on both theoretical and empirical work to examine storytelling as a way of knowing. In the second section, Storytelling to Share, authors demonstrate the power of stories to share knowledge and convey significant lessons, as well as to engage different audiences in knowledge exchange. The third section, Storytelling to Create, contains three poems and a short story that engage with storytelling as a means to produce or create knowledge, particularly through explorations of relationship to place.

The result is an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural dialogue that yields important insights in terms of qualitative research methods, language and literacy, policy-making, human–environment relationships, and healing. This book is intended for scholars, artists, activists, policymakers, and practitioners who are interested in storytelling as a method for teaching, cross-cultural understanding, community engagement, and knowledge exchange.