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Date of Award

Spring 5-3-2023

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no restriction)

Work Type

Dissertation in Practice

Degree Name

Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD)


Educational Leadership


UWT-Muckleshoot Cohort Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Dr. Robin Minthorn

Second Advisor

Dr. Michelle Montgomery

Third Advisor

Dr. Laura Rendon


Settler colonialism and colonized methodologies have created systems and power dynamics that continue to allow the holders of power and decision makers to deem what is ethical and what is appropriate as it concerns research of others, but in particular, Indigenous peoples. The voices that are given the most visibility in research are those who conduct and produce research through the paradigm of Western education and with standards of Western research. Settler colonialism has warped the purpose and the responsibility of educators. This study created space for understanding about our collective responsibility in teaching, learning and education for the community and students. We serve as a vehicle for disrupting Western paradigms and Western research standards. This research showed that art can also be a means of research and can help us, as educators, community members and leaders, reconnect to the sacred and emotional experiences of ourselves, our communities and visions for the future. Art and Indigenous artwork specifically, has the power to transcend colonial limits of what it means to learn and to share stories. The research questions produced a space for connection and reconciliation through a community art show that centered voices and experiences of community members that are usually excluded from storytelling platforms and gallery spaces. Artwork centered culture keeper/artist perceptions of what decolonized education and knowledge is, looks like and feels like. The research in this study created space for understanding of how settler colonialism oppresses education and learning, and how it creates an illusion of the severing of emotional connection to place. This research also explored liberatory education and specifically, how we reimagine what it means to learn and how we put emotion back into learning and education. Finally, this research explored how the complex concept of reconciliation can exist in the context of knowledge, education and learning.