Elder Brother as Theoretical Framework


Excerpt from the Author, Page 135:

“This chapter explores how I utilized traditional stories of Elder Brother to explain the connection between Indigenous cultural knowledge and the interactions of contemporary members of Cowessess First Nation. The basis of this chapter is the notion that historically, traditional stories governed peoples’ interactions. In my work, I applied traditional stories from Cowessess First Nation, a community located in the southeastern portion of the province of Saskatchewan, comprised primarily of Plains Cree, Saulteaux (Plains Ojibwe), Assiniboine, and Métis, as a way to explain the way in which contemporary kinship practices continue to guide interactions of Cowessess people. American anthropologist Alanson Skinner collected the Elder Brother stories I used as the basis for my study when he visited Cowessess in 1913; they were published in American Folklore in 1914. The contention here is that the Elder Brother stories are the basis for the kinship practices of contemporary people from Cowessess First Nation. Working toward that understanding begins with an examination of how stories worked in traditional societies.” (135).

Publication Information

Innes, Robert Alexander. “Elder Brother as Theoretical Framework,” in Sources and Methods in Indigenous Studies. Eds. J. O’Brien & C. Andersen. New York: Routledge, 2017. 135-142.


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