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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"Unsettling" the Bear River Massacre: A Transformative Learning and Action Project Utilizing Indigenous Worldviews and Ceremonial Elements
by Brown, Crete, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2013, 293; 3606920
Abstract (Summary)

Grounded in the transformative paradigm (p. 35), this study asked, “In what ways might a group of non-Natives be individually and socially transformed by encountering the Bear River Massacre from within Indigenous Worldviews?” The methodology incorporated Indigenous Worldviews and ceremonial processes (Wilson, 2008) into Queensland University’s Indigenous Australian Studies’ model (Mackinlay & Barney, 2010), interweaving transformative learning processes with Indigenous elements such as a traditional Shoshone sweat lodge, visiting a massacre site, and listening to a Shoshone elder. During ceremonially centered mini retreats data was collected via individual journals, group email and process notes, art-based expressions, videotaping, individual and group written evaluations and surveys, and follow up interviews. Findings established “perspective transformation” (King, 2009) in 80% of participants within the dimensions of better understanding the Bear River Massacre, the Shoshone people, the colonization process, and the loss of their own Indigenous roots. Follow-up interviews revealed that 87.5% of respondents believed that the integration of Indigenous elements into the project impacted their learning experience “a great deal.” 87.5% reported sustained behavioral x change in relation to the topic and 71% stated they wanted to get to know Native people and culture better. In addition, 43% stated they were interested in obtaining a public Presidential apology to Native people. Unconscious shadow transference material (Romanyshyn, 2007) emerged and was discussed from a depth psychology perspective. Limitations to this study include sample size and lack of funding. The theoretical development of ceremonial research potentially expands this method into other areas of inquiry.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kremer, Jurgen W., Jones, Constance A.
Commitee: Bastien, Betty J.
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Transformative Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 75/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Epistemology, Multicultural Education, Native American studies
Keywords: Bear River Massacre, Decolonization education, Indigenous peoples, Indigenous worldviews, Shoshone people, Transformative learning
Publication Number: 3606920
ISBN: 978-1-303-64256-2
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