Jeannette Armstrong, an assistant professor in indigenous studies at UBC's Okanagan campus, has been appointed a Canada Research Chair.
Armstrong will be Canada Research Chair in Okanagan indigenous philosophy. With the appointment comes a $100,000 grant over five years to research, document, categorize and analyze Okanagan Syilx oral-language literature.
The oral stories of the Syilx Okanagan contain a wealth of indigenous knowledge.
Armstrong aims to address barriers to research within this indigenous community by surveying, analyzing and categorizing Syilx captikwl (mythology) and smamay (legends) from a variety of published and unpublished collections.
Armstrong is analyzing Syilx traditional knowledge to obtain information about Syilx society, as well as ecological and sustainability practices, and to link Syilx story knowledge to such areas as governance, land use and health.
Her analysis is being conducted in the Nsyilxcen Okanagan language and includes approvals by fluent language speakers for accuracy of translations.
Armstrong's research will make the indigenous knowledge of the Syilx Okanagan accessible for the first time.