Shapeshifting Power: Indigenous Teachings of Trickster Consciousness and Relational Accountability for Building Communities of Care
Difficult dialogues are necessary work in order for communities to form coalitions, yet often these dialogues pose challenges for engaging in long-term work for social justice and systemic change. Power dynamics, microaggressions, and discomfort unlearning power and privilege can make long-term collaboration difficult. It is for this reason I discuss thinking of coalitions as communities of care and offer practical strategies for collaborating differently for sustainable action. Using Indigenous epistemology and methodology, Indigenous feminist and Indigequeer scholarship, as well as Indigenous land-based pedagogy and storytelling, I offer interventions using trickster teachings or trickster consciousness which I describe as comprised of a) humor and play to navigate discomfort, b) embracing multiplicity and the unknown, and c) embracing relationality as a site of meaning-making in critical and difficult dialogues. These foundations are rooted in Indigenous epistemology, center land/other-than-human-relationality, and employ Indigenous methodological and political frameworks of refusal by naming dialogic practices in organizations and higher education as Indigenous practices. As a Cree-Métis (Michel First Nation) author, I urge that dialogic practices seeking to employ trickster consciousness or other Indigenous frameworks not only cite Indigenous scholarship and intellectualism, but also radically shift hiring, acceptance, and/or inclusion practices to ensure Indigenous peoples are present and direct beneficiaries of the work in institutions and organizations.
Scully, Ionah M. Elaine
"Shapeshifting Power: Indigenous Teachings of Trickster Consciousness and Relational Accountability for Building Communities of Care,"
The Seneca Falls Dialogues Journal: Vol. 4, Article 6.
Available at: https://fisherpub.sjf.edu/sfd/vol4/iss1/6
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