nitahcâhk otâcimowin: My Grandmother Stories Follow Me


  • Kristina Kopp University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work
  • Leona Makokis
  • Ralph Bodor


nêhiyaw-âpihtawikosisân, Métis, Identity, Ceremony, Healing


This story describes my journey as a nêhiyaw-âpihtawikosisân (Cree-Métis) woman reclaiming my identity and spirit through the use of nêhiyaw (Cree) storytelling, ceremony, language, and teachings within my social work education. My âcimowina (personal story) is structured to mirror a circular storytelling approach within the context of a written format. I begin with situating myself relationally to acknowledge my ancestors, family, and community and this relational practice serves as both an introduction and conclusion to the story. I share how I came to know, understand, and embrace my Métis identity by reflecting on Métis history and experiences of colonization, the stories of my Métis ancestors, the resulting intergenerational impacts, and how I reclaimed my identity through returning to ceremony and reconnecting to spirit. The âcimowina of my journey shares many lessons learned for understanding Indigenous identity and healing, transformative education, and Indigenous social work practice.


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