Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Melissa Sherfinski

Committee Co-Chair

Sharon Hayes

Committee Member

Christine Schimmel

Committee Member

Samuel Stack


Autoethnography was used to investigate lived experiences of self to connect the individual to the cultural (Ellis et al., 2011). My life's recollections were gathered together in a metaphorical personal medicine bag. The use of memory work and storytelling/histories helped to "reframe the old understandings of history and memory" (Clare & Johnson, 2000, p. 210). The conceptual framework was situated within an autoethnographic approach that included three components. The first component was Indigenous ideas, which included memory as a process of decolonization, telling stories past-present-future, and oral traditions/histories. The second included feminist ideas about memory with descriptions of memory work theory. The framework's third component was the process of culturally competent academic advising. Narratives were used to empower and resist othering as explained by Fine (1994) in Working the Hyphens. The use of autoethnography provided space within the research process for issues of multiple identities in marginalized spaces. My findings helped to answer how complex, shifting, and sometimes fluid intersections of my identities influenced the formation of decolonizing advisory relations in my role of academic advisor. Autoethnographic memory work facilitated a deeper understanding of the roles of my identities in these relations. Opportunities to thoughtfully engage with social concepts were revealed through autoethnography, Indigeneity, and memory work. This scholarly spiritual expedition filled the metaphorical medicine bag to exhibit fragmented thoughts, ideas, experiences, and memories that informed my role as an advisor. My medicine bag now carries the woven threads that inform Indigenous, feminist, and culturally competent approaches to academic advising.