What happens to Native Girl

WHAT IS STORYTELLING – David M. Boje, Ph.D. – September 27, 2014

  • Storytelling = Grand Narrative connected by Antenarratives to Living Story Webs

What is Living Story Web?

  • Kaylynn TwoTrees (Lakota) says, ‘Living Story’ has a PLACE, a TIME, and a MIND of its own (and 7 directions)

What is a Grand Narrative?  

  • Jean-Francois Lyotard says it a gesture of generalizing, universalizing; Mikhail Bakhtin says its always single logic pretending to be the ONLY logic; Aristotle says it’s always a WHOLE, with Beginning-Middle-End. E.G. Manifest Destiny

What is Antenarrative? – makes links between Living Story Webs and monologic Grand Narratives



My work on STORYTELLING, in particular, LIVING STORY WEB is rooted in Native Amercian Scholars works:

  • Donald Fixico’s (The American Indian Mind in a Linear World) ways to get out of linear-antenarratives, and cyclic-antenarratives of oppression, and find spiral- and rhizome-antenarratives (see Vizenor for examples).

Greg Sarris (Keeping Slug Woman Alive: A Holistic Approach to American Indian Texts)

  • [Living] Stories have a time, a place, and an owner and adds storytelling “… can work to oppress or to liberate, to confuse or to enlighten” (pp. 4, 21-2)

Gerald Vizenor (Manifest Manners: Narrative on PostIndian Survivance)

  • [Living] Stories of ‘survivance of the surveillance and domination” and the Indian-simulations by the dominance of the white men, in the absence of the Real (p. 4). The “hermeneutics of survivance” The PostIndian is an ‘ironist’ in shadows of “trickster stories” overrun by [Grand Narrative] “vocabularies of dominance”, and the counter-move is [Living] Stories told in enlivened performances of their own experiences (p. 68). The “shimmer of survivance stories” the double of antiselves of dominance (p. 168) counter the blood quantum (p. 88).

Gerald Vizenor (Survivance: Narratives of Native Presence)

  • [Grand Narrative] “monologic discourse’;  creates “simulated Indians” but the “material” and the “visionary of “Native transmotion is an original natural union in the stories of emergence and migration … to an environment and to the spiritual and political significance of animals and other creations”  “transmotion is natural reason” (p. 70). [Living] Stories of “multivalence” in “community of mobility” and “histories” “survivance as a message within these stories” that is “antiessentialist” and “transmotion” in “creation stories, totemic visions, reincarnation, and sovenance… native motion and an active presence” (p. 122). In sum [Living] Story of transmotion, as a place, a time, a [de Certeau] tactic or strategy that “delimits a field” “in relationships of coexistence” with “intersections of mobile elements” (p. 224).

Vine Deloria, Jr. (Spirit & Reason: The Vine Deloria, Jr., Reader)

  • [Grand Narratives] à Race stereotypes in the USA: Indians fit somewhere under ‘Other’ and the ‘Vanishing’ Americans’ (p 249).  “Today the government seems intent on stressing the economic aspect of Indian life to the detriment of its educational component” (p. 145). “The white man does not understand America. He is too far removed from its formative processes. The roots of the tree of his life have not yet grasped the rock and soil” (citing Chief Luther Standing Bear of the Sioux, p. 288).

Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples)

  • [Grand Narrative] “Imperialism frames the indigenous experience” It is the vision of modernity, the expression of colonialism, a project that still hurts and destroys. Several of her 25 Indigenous Projects for Indigenous Research are about ‘story telling.’  [Living] Story is 1. Making Assertions, 2. Testimonies of oral evidence [aka Survivance], 3. Story is ‘powerful’ about ‘a place’ and a time of memory, told “with rage and dignity and sorrow” (p. 144) 4. Celebrating Survival [aka Survivance], 5. Remembering, 6. Indigenizing, 7. Intervening, 8. Revitalizing, 15. Reframing, 16. Restoring, 17. Returning…

Gregory Cajete (Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence)

  • ‘The Spiritual Ecology of Native Science’ is “a process for learning about life and the nature of the ‘spirit that moves us,’ ‘the living energy that moves in each of us, through us, and around us’ ‘the spirit in all living things’ (p. 261).

Paulo Freire à Augusto Boal (Theatre of the Oppressed)

  • Image Theatre - telling [Living] Story in silent motions, speaking back to power in silence]
  • Invisible Theatre – Putting Backstage Off-stage side-by-side with the Front-Stage to show Power how domination and exploitation works
  • Forum Theatre – Ways the Oppressed can gain skills, tactics, strategies that counter-Oppression

See http://peaceaware.com for Study Guides on Grand Narrative, Living Story, and Antenarrative ways of connection

Greg Sarris Keeping Slug Woman Alive: A Holistic Approach to American Indian Texts

“One student then told of a teacher who sat a Native girl in the corner with a coloring pad and crayons while other students worked on computers. (These Saddle Lake Cree students refer to themselves, and to American Indian people in general as Natives.) When this student, then, a teaching assistant, asked why the Native girl was in the corner, the teacher replied, ‘Oh, she’s not really interested. She’s from out in the bush, you know. She never says much. She’s more creative.’
More hands shot up. We moved from one story to the next. Frustrated, I attempted to ground the discussion, at least momentarily, by returning to the story of the Native girl. I thought perhaps we could ask some questions about her circumstances in that classroom, perhaps ponder her future as a student.
‘What is going to happen to that girl?’ I asked. ‘She’ll drop out.’ ‘Let’s tell her story,’ I suggested, now knowing what to expect. ‘Let’s take it from the time she is put in the corner to the time she drops out.’
The hands went down. Silence
‘Let’s just make it up, each person tell a part of her story. I’ll start.’ I keep talking now just to fill the void I had created. ‘She will begin to get confused and hate her parents for sending her to school,’ I said, ‘to a place where she feels different.’
Eventually, a tentative voice: ‘She’ll feel lonely and frustrated, like she has no one to understand here.’
Another student followed… (p. 159):

YOUR TURN: What will happen next? Take turns, and Each person fill in their blank:

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