Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Robert J. Nash


The articles of this dissertation combine to make an autobiographical written study, a Scholarly Personal Narrative of life writing. The work culminates with a research study by way of a Talking Circle among a group of scholarly elders who gathered to share guidance for Indigenous scholars navigating colonial structures in our sites of knowledge production. Utilizing a Mixed-Methods approach, this sharing was transcribed, coded, and examined via Western thematic analysis. Through stories, casting an international light, analyses reveal a work of written guidance not only for Indigenous scholars, but also for education stakeholders, for those claiming diversity, equity, and inclusion, and for sites of knowledge production globally.

The author walks alongside the memories in her mind. Through becoming a mother, she discovers a path of healing located in the philosophy her grandmother taught her as a child: Hina Hanta, a path of stories that tell who we are. Hina Hanta is her paradigm and Talking Circles hearken back to ancient times when stories were shared through Indigenous ways of being, since time immemorial (Wilson, 2008). Sharing circles, Talking Circles, are about providing experiences based on ancient ceremonial practices.



Number of Pages

233 p.