Featured Speaker: Sheilah Nicholas — Itaaqatsimkiway naa’u’nantoynaya: (Re)Storying, Restoring Our Cultural Cognitive, Linguistic and Spiritual Landscapes

sealaska

Indigenous oral narratives are an important source for, and component of Indigenous knowledge systems (Archibald, 2008).  As an Indigenous/Hopi learner, educator, language educator and scholar-researcher, I take a reflective and reflexive look at my journey in coming to know, being and becoming (Cajete, 2014) through life experience and education encapsulated in the Hopi concepts:  to “look at oneself,” naami yori, and follow with “to look within oneself,” naamiq yori.  Storying my life history and lived experiences articulates a process of critical consciousness-raising (Smith, 2003) to restore the Hopi cultural cognitive, linguistic and spiritual landscapes traditionally implicitly taught and learned in the context of family and community, thus (re)storying.  Mine has been a journey of continuous pursuit to teach responsibly, with responsibility and reciprocity, and toward spiritual fulfillment, well-being and ultimately survival.  It offers insight into how Indigenous/Native educators have come home to ourselves through the work that we do.  Today, we are all traversing a cultural landscape of imbalance and uncertainty; however, the circumstance we are confronting provides us with a shared and binding “language of experience” and a mechanism for our collective and transformative efforts to “educate the heart, mind, body and soul” (Archibald, 2008) so that we can effectively position our youth we mentor today to carry and go forward with our legacy.