Storying and Re-storying Indigenous Content, Perspectives, and Histories in an Elementary Arts Based Curricular Experience


  • Karen Ragoonaden UBC
  • Margaret Macintyre Latta UBC
  • Kelly Hanson UBC
  • Rhonda Draper Teacher, École Glenmore School, SD 23960 Glenmore Rd, Kelowna, BC V1Y 4P1
  • Jordan Coble Cultural and Operations AdministratorSncewips Heritage Museum, 1979 Old Okanagan Highway Westbank, BC V4T 3E2



As part of a larger study focusing on the interdependence of creative and critical curricula, this research examines how an arts experience in an elementary school was re-storied, with the guidance of local and place-based First Nation community members, as an exploration of decolonizing curriculum. A school-based musical theatre experience titled Re-Storying Canadian History, which intended to address concerns about Canada’s 150th anniversary, served as a critical and creative medium for increasing awareness of the existing plurality of First Nation identities, cultures, and languages. Framed as a case study, the experiential narratives of elementary school students and their educators provided a space, a time, and a place to initiate and to discuss decolonization processes in elementary school curricula. Three interpretive devices, storying and re-storying, broadening, and burrowing engaged educators and their students in reconnecting teaching and learning with Indigenous content, perspectives, and histories. 

Key words: Storying and Re-Storying, Decolonization, Arts Based Research, Creative and Critical Curriculum, Truth and Reconciliation Commission

S'insérant dans le cadre d’une plus grande étude portant sur l’interdépendance de la criticalité et de la créativité des programmes d’études, cette recherche examine la réitération d’une expérience artistique dans une école élémentaire sous la direction de membres de la communauté locale des Premières Nations comme une étude de la décolonisation du curriculum. L’école a présenté une production de théâtre musical intitulée Re-Storying Canadian History (Reprise de l’histoire du Canada) dont le but était d’aborder des préoccupations quant au 150e anniversaire du Canada. La présentation a servi d’instrument critique et créatif pour mieux faire prendre conscience de la pluralité des identités, des cultures et des langues des Premières nations. Présentés comme une étude de cas, les récits expérientiels des élèves de l’élémentaire et leurs enseignants offraient un espace, un moment et un lieu à l’initiation et à la discussion de processus de décolonisation dans les programmes d’études de l’élémentaire. Trois outils interprétatifs — la narration et la narration par réitération, l’élargissement et l’enfouissement —
ont guidé les élèves et leurs enseignants alors qu’ils retissaient les liens entre l’enseignement et l’apprentissage et les récits, le contenu et les perspectives autochtones. 

Mots clés : narration et narration par itération, décolonisation, recherche basée sur les arts, curriculum créatif et curriculum de base, Commission de vérité et réconciliation

Author Biographies

Karen Ragoonaden, UBC

Karen Ragoonaden is a Professor of Teaching in the Okanagan School of Education, Faculty of Education, the University of British Columbia, Canada. Her academic publications and research span the breadth of scholarship of teaching and learning with a focus on Contemplative Practices, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Diversity Education.

Margaret Macintyre Latta, UBC

Margaret Macintyre Latta is a Professor and Director of the Okanagan School of Education, Faculty of Education, the University of British Columbia. Her books, Curricular Conversations: Play is the (Missing) Thing (2013), Teaching the Arts to Engage ELLs (2011), and The Possibilities of Play in the Classroom: On the Power of Aesthetic Experience in Teaching, Learning, and Researching (2001), document and reveal the aesthetics of human understanding as integral within learning of all kinds. Additional scholarship can be found in well-known journals in the field of education.

Kelly Hanson, UBC

Kelly Hanson has spent two decades working as a Public Middle School Teacher in British Columbia and Ontario. She currently works as an Instructional Leader in Kelowna and is a doctoral candidate at the University of British Columbia. Kelly’s PhD research explores intersections between Indigenizing curriculum theory, teacher education and the lives of teachers


Rhonda Draper, Teacher, École Glenmore School, SD 23960 Glenmore Rd, Kelowna, BC V1Y 4P1

Rhonda Draper is an Educator in School District 23 Central Okanagan.

Jordan Coble, Cultural and Operations AdministratorSncewips Heritage Museum, 1979 Old Okanagan Highway Westbank, BC V4T 3E2

Jordan Coble is dedicated to working for his community through the creation of awareness and appreciation through collaboration and authenticity. Jordan ensures the voice of the Okanagan/Syilx people is acknowledged and understood as valuable to all in relation to past, present and future generations. Today, Jordan operates the Sncəwips Heritage Museum, which has received numerous awards and undergone many successful projects. Jordan takes pride in ensuring the Museum’s foundation is based on the best interests of the community and its members by providing a safe and comfortable space for positive experiences for all visitors.