Contemporary indigenous oral tradition: a bicycle story for the people

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Oral Tradition is a concept that is often discussed in American Indian Studies (AIS). However, much of the writing and scholarship in AIS is constructed using a Western academic framework.

Oral Tradition is a concept that is often discussed in American Indian Studies (AIS). However, much of the writing and scholarship in AIS is constructed using a Western academic framework. With this in mind, I embarked on an approximate nine hundred mile loop that circled much of the ancestral lands of the Northern Paiute and Western Shoshone of Nevada. I passed through sixteen towns, stopping at ten reservations (Walker River Paiute Tribe, Yerington Paiute Tribe, Stuart Indian School, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Lovelock Paiute Tribe, Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone, Duck Valley, Yomba Shoshone, Fallon Paiute-Shoshone) and two colleges (University of Nevada, Reno and Great Basin College). At each location I engaged with community members, discussed prevalent themes in American Indian Studies, and in riding my bicycle, I was able to reconnect with the land. To guide my bicycle journey, I used a theoretical framework consisting of four components: history, story, Red Power, and the physical body. Using these concepts, the intent was to re-center the narrative of my experience around the Paiute-Shoshone community of Nevada as opposed to me as an individual actor. Ultimately, this thesis embodies theoretical scholarship in a pragmatic manner in an effort to provide an example of contemporary Indigenous Oral Tradition.