Wild Woman & Trickster Teachings: Navigating the Academy

Dr. Robina Thomas

Through the use of traditional stories and teachings, I will share my personal experience navigating the academy. Amongst other things, I will discuss how carrying a traditional name deepens my responsibility to Indigenous students – past, present and future. Exploring tenure and promotion I will show how this process is replete with what Misheuah (2003) calls “mind pain” – the intellectual agony of trying to ‘fit in.’ Despite the struggles to navigate the academy, I will discuss the need to develop warrior scholarship, which we can use to create space for our ways of knowing and being. I will address Alfred’s (2005) challenge that ask us to use the teachings of the “old spirit” and, …create something new for ourselves and think through the reality of the present to design an appropriate strategy, use fresh tactics, and acquire new skills (p.12) as a way to find our rightful in the academy.