Piikanaikiiks : a literary analysis of Blackfoot oral stories and the traditional roles of women in leadership

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Eli, Shelly Kay
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of English
This thesis is a combination of life writing and literary analysis of select oral stories regarding the leadership role of the woman in Blackfoot culture. I discuss the leadership qualities of The Holy Woman, The Woman Chief/Warrior and The Blackfoot Woman Storyteller and the importance of these identities for contemporary Piikani Women. I explain traditional Blackfoot women’s roles by describing the connection between traditional women’s roles, oral stories, ceremonies, Blackfoot language, and the land. A literary analysis and a comparison of the oral stories found in Percy Bullchild’s The Sun Came Down: The History of The World as My Blackfeet Elders Told It, Beverley Hungry Wolf’s The Ways of My Grandmothers, and Clark Wissler and D C Duvall’s Mythology of The Blackfoot Indians will demonstrate archetypal women in leadership roles, and will show the origins of these traditional roles. The argument for this thesis is to encourage Piikani women to return to traditional Blackfoot roles for the purpose of establishing traditional Blackfoot leadership to balance power between women and men; create healthy communities; and empower future generations of Piikani Women leaders.
oral stories , Blackfoot culture , role of women , leadership roles , Piikani women , Ampskapi Piikani -- Fiction -- Research , Ampskapi Piikani -- Folklore -- Research , Ampskapi Piikani -- Social life and customs -- Research , Ampskapi Piikani -- Rites and ceremonies -- Research , Kainai -- Fiction -- Research , Kainai -- Folklore -- Research , Kainai -- Social life and customs -- Research , Kainai -- Rites and ceremonies -- Research , Indigenous women -- Fiction -- Research , Indigenous women -- Folklore -- Research , Indigenous women -- Social life and customs -- Research , Indigenous women -- Rites and ceremonies -- Research , Leadership in women -- Research -- Canada , Dissertations, Academic