According to Greene (2005), “history is written by the victor – meaning that the voices of the defeated are often muted in the historical record, overwritten by the perspectives of the more powerful” (p. 1). However, winter counts (waniyetu wówapi), traditional pictographic calendars on animal hide, challenge this historical recount through their simple symbolic representation that captures history from the perspective of Indigenous communities. This paper proposes the re-visioning of winter counts in achieving their traditional roles of facilitating Elder and community discussions, preserving and passing on history (Burke, 2007a), assisting the “People” to know and understand their history (Scott, 2006), and acting as a “medium of moral and social instruction” (Risch, 2000). Our contention is that re-visioning of winter counts as a sound Indigenous methodology is decolonizing.
- © 2016 International Institute for Qualitative Research, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign