Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Kathy Hibbert

Second Advisor

Dr. Cornelia Hoogland


This thesis explores, through autoethnography, how converging and often

conflicting personal roles come together to affect mental and emotional health, particularly for those who hold membership in multiple social categories traditionally viewed as disadvantaged (hooks, 1989; Brookes, 1992; Crowley Jack, 1991; Jacobs, 2005; Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1995). The researcher used three different forms of narrative writing to elicit personal stories demonstrating how culture and gender interact in everyday life.

Once the data was collected, the stories were then analyzed for key excerpts that reflected the four identities: scholar, teacher, mother, Anishinaabekwe. Data was reduced using Chang’s autoethnographic analysis frameworks of identifying and categorizing relationships with others, as well as triangulating these findings by comparing the data against stories from other autobiographical accounts from both academic and mainstream published works (Chang, 2008). Findings that emerged from this analysis revealed a passionate inner ethic towards issues of social justice and equity that was complicated by the feeling of straddling the line between the “haves” and “have nots”. This resulted in self-imposed guilt and a sense of disenfranchisement when identities were not fully claimed due to false frameworks of comparing oneself to others.



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