Leadership under domination: Angelique Tardivel, Navigating Indigenous Leadership in a Settler Colonial World: Ron and Patricia John ‘Come Home’ to Stó:lõ Politics, MA dissertation, University of Saskatchewan, 2019


Abstract: This thesis explores the evolution of Stó:lõ Leadership in the Fraser Valley from the seventies to the nineties, with a focus on Chawathil First Nation (located near Hope, BC). Through a combination of archival and oral history research, I attempt to close the gap in the literature about the post second world war generation of Stó:lõ leaders by analyzing the leadership styles and choices of two leaders from Chawathil First Nation, Patricia and Ron John. While the previous generation of Stó:lõ veterans is well studied, little has been written on Patricia and Ron’s generation, despite their experiencing significant historical events such as the civil rights movements, contemporary assimilation attempts, globalization, the rise of digital technologies, and the Constitution Express. To identify the leadership characteristics of their generation and understand their decision-making process, I analyze Patricia and Ron’s life stories through the lenses of post-colonial theory, ethnohistory, and community-engaged research. The results of this analysis suggest that this generation’s hybridity and continuation of earlier leadership practices, such as the role of task-master of early Stó:lõ leaders (si:yam), enabled them to successfully navigate both the western and the Stó:lõ worlds. From this study a model of Stó:lõ decision-making process emerges in the shape of a Stó:lõ loom, holding key Stó:lõ leadership principles and providing meaning and context to Pat and Ron’s decisions as band manager and Chief of Chawathil First Nation.

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