DISSERTATION

The Indigenous Revolt in Education: Indigenous Feat - A Scholar's PAce

I completed and defended my dissertation in May 2021 at The University of Arizona in Tucson. My dissertation is based off the original documentary film I created entitled, Indigenous Feat - A Scholar's Pace (65-minutes).

Abstract

We are going to run a marathon, together. No matter your fitness level or ability, we will start and finish the race, together. NO ONE GETS LEFT BEHIND. Together, we are preparing, participating in, and completing a marathon, which is 26.2 miles in distance. Our marathon includes many stories from Indigenous people that transcend time, space, and place. As Indigenous storytelling is circular and fluid, so is the movement of this collective narrative. Since before the record of time, Indigenous people and communities have a deep connection to the tradition of running. Indigenous people were the first runners in the land we now know as the United States of America. Our narrative as Indigenous runners is threaded together in extraordinary ways. Privileging Indigenous-based frameworks of Tribal Critical Race Theory (TribalCrit) (Brayboy, 2005) and the spider web (Dozier, Enos, 2017), the purpose of this body of work is to understand how ten American Indians – students, staff, and faculty – conceptualize their collective and individual self-determination in higher education, and how they used running to navigate the academy (academic institutions). Rooted in Indigenous methodologies and ways of knowing, my approach to making meaning (Absolon, 2011) of stories honors Indigenous ways of knowing and incorporates original storytelling and filmmaking methods. Thus, creating new methods to make meaning of stories. Given this written body of work compliments my original 65-minute documentary film, Indigenous Feat – A Scholar’s Pace (Cheromiah, 2020), this dissertation is an example of creating a new modality for Indigenous and non-Indigenous-focused re-search . The findings revealed running has deep meanings to each runner individually and collectively. Five major themes and 13 sub-themes emerged, which include: Mile Marker A: Ceremony and the Running Tradition, Mile Marker B: Collective and Individual Self-Determination, Mile Marker C: Connection to the Land and Mother Earth, Mile Marker D: Health Benefits from an Indigenous Perspective, and Mile Marker E: Navigating the Academy – Running as Sovereignty. I invite you to join the ten Indigenous runners and me in this marathon to better understand our journeys as Indigenous people. Although this body of work captures a season of time for the ten runners and me, our journeys are ever-evolving beyond the space shared here. As Indigenous people, We cannot be stereotyped. We move at our own paces as runners and as scholars. We are here for the long run!

Film: Indigenous Feat - A Scholar's Pace (65-minutes)
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