The Story of Sherman’s Initial Research

I am not a very adventurous person, as I have always been taught in my family to think ten-times before taking actions. It is a way of ensuring quality of work, but at times, I feel that I should be a bit more impulsive to catch my opportunity while it is there. Perhaps I would try that in the next module of research.


I am not sure if this is appropriate but other than researches, I want to document some of my own reflections as I progress. This way, I will be able to follow my own story when I reach the final paper at the end of this term.


I wavered on my research interest because I feel loyalty towards writing another research paper focusing on my corporation, as my education is currently supported by my company right now. However, I feel the need this time to deviate from a corporate focused research and explore topic that I have a lot of passion for – the Power of Stories. Hopefully I will learn a lot and be able to bring back new experiences and knowledge to my team in the end. Since I was uncertain of my topic for a long while, my list of exploration is a bit shorter than I hope.


Exploration #1 – PBS Circle of Stories


The Circle of Stories contains various audio clips, artful collage, music and photographs which unveil Native American storytelling. There is a substantial list of resources on indigenous culture of America on this site. Currently, there are four storytellers sharing their stories on this site – Rosella Archdale, Hoskie Benally, Corbin Harney and Tchin. Each of them shares their biography and information about their tribes to their site visitors. The story audio clips and ability for visitors to connect with storytellers build a very warming and connecting experience for visitors.


Personal Connection:

This connection may be very useful later in my exploration when I seek for a deeper understanding. However, questions are not forming yet in my mind at this moment.


Exploration #2 – California Indian Storytelling Association


The California Indian Storytelling Association provides a storytelling forum for American indigenous people. The site is not focusing on any specific tribe. They support all tribes in California as well as members of other tribes who have relocated to California. According to the website, this association hosts an annual storytelling event that promotes and honor storytelling. The purpose and goal of the association communicates the importance of storytelling in indigenous culture.


Personal Connection:

Since my brother was born in California, this association grabbed my attention because of its location. Although he was born in California, we have never had the chance to explore the indigenous culture there. In a way, this is a mean of connecting to my brother’s birthplace. In regards to my final research, I think the purpose and goal communicated on this website capture the value of storytelling clearly, which includes honouring elders, passing on the storytelling tradition, respecting family and community…

Exploration #3 – Online Ghibli: Princess Mononoke


Online Ghibli: Princess Mononoke provides a review and a synopsis of the famous production of Studio Ghibli. This story shares the journey of a young man from the Ainu tribe seeking reason for destruction of the spiritual forest as human progress slowly eat away resources of nature.


Personal Connection:

Online Ghibli is not a place I would go to for academic research, but I have decided to include this as a part of my research weblog of websites. This is because while I was researching on storytelling, I came across the Ainu tribe and I recall hearing that in Princess Mononoke, which is one of my favourite productions from Studio Ghibli as it tells a tale of environment preservation through mystical beast and an enchanted storyline. From this review and synopsis I have found a modernized representation of storytelling that has the ability to create deep, life-long memory.


Exploration #4 – Human Rhythm and Divine Rhythm in Ainu Epics


Mace, F. (1998). Human rhythm and divine rhythm in Ainu epics. Diogenes46(1), 31.


This article explores epics passed down generations in the Ainu tribe. Many of the Ainu communities has disappeared due to assimilation into the Japanese society as modernization expands and engulfed traditions. Like that faced by many other indigenous cultures around the world, assimilation began with compulsory schooling for people of the Ainu tribe. Since schools are taught entirely in Japanese, many of the Ainu descendants today do not recognize their ancestral language. Sadly, not all stories of the Ainu tribe are preserved and hence part of their culture has become extinct.


Personal Connection:

After reading about the connection between Princess Mononoke and the Ainu tribe, I decided that I wanted to learn more about the tribe itself, so I explore in the UBC library catalogue to see if I could find anything. This article was interesting and I learned that stories is not always told in prose, which I have grown accustom to. Ainu epics seem to take on a more poetic form. This is perhaps why the story survives orally for generations. It is sad though to know that assimilation has detached a lot of descendent of the Ainu tribe from their ancestral language to the point that some of the stories are long lost. At this point I wonder if modern media would be able to keep stories that survive to date alive for centuries to come, and what type of powerful lessons can we draw from them.


Exploration #5 – Animating Indigenous Knowledges in Science Education


Metallic, J., & Seiler, G. (2009). Animating indigenous knowledges in science education. Canadian Journal of Native Education,32(1), 115-128,130. Retrieved from


Animating Indigenous Knowledges in Science Education explores how indigenous knowledge can be used to inform science education and science curricula and pedagogy. The article is written in a way that includes conversation amongst the researchers, which, in its own way, demonstrates a more personalized and humanistic way of presenting an academic paper. This article does not promote a preference for indigenous science or western science, but a continuum where the two types of science bridges and form a more holistic classroom that could benefit students of all backgrounds.


Personal Connection:

Having been in a student and a tutor with a heavy preference of science for many years, I have come to realize that what I once thought was a neutral and logical subject contains “Western” bias. It is not as all encompassing as I once thought that it was. Science often dismiss the spirituality and more human side of life, and since I have learned of this bias, I wonder how indigenous storytelling can be incorporated into a science classroom. I have a similar question about this in regards to a corporate classroom as well. Although this article is not entirely about storytelling, but it  demonstrated that the practice of animating indigenous knowledge can be beneficial to both indigenous and non-indigenous students in the classroom by making the subject more humanistic, which is what I want to accomplish from learning about the power of storytelling.




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