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[above : Author Introduction Video]

Dr. Norman Dale is a 2014 graduate of the Ph.D. Program in Leadership & Change at Antioch University

Above: Dr. Norman Dale with his Dissertation Committee at his Dissertation Defense, Yellow Springs, Ohio, July 30, 2014.

L to R: Dr. Philomena Essed, Committee Chair, Dr. Norman Dale, Dr. Carolyn Kenny Committee Member.

Inset: Dr. Lorenzo Veracini, Committee Member

Not shown: Dr. Gabriele Schwab, External Reader


Autoethnography, Native Americans, Settlers, Settler Colonialism, Decolonization, British Columbia, First Nations, Reconciliation, Native-Non-Native Relations, Canada, Natural Resource Management

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Public and scholarly analysis of the troubled relations of Natives and non-Natives (settlers) has been predominantly directed to the former, long-framed as “the Indian Problem.” This dissertation takes the different stance of focusing on the mind-sets of settlers and their society in perpetuating the trans-historical trauma and injustice resulting from foundational acts of dispossession.The approach is autoethnographic:after considering the settler world in which I grew up, critical episodes and developments in my career working with British Columbian First Nations are described and analyzed.This includes working with Kwakwaka’wakw, Haida, Wuikinuxv, Nuxalk and Lheidli T’enneh Nations over a 25-year period.I also look closely at my friendship with a Gitxsan artist, which painfully surfaced our differences and the dangerous colonial practice of settlers’ telling indigenous life stories.Critical themes and learning drawn from this account indicate both some pitfalls and opportunities for empathic settlers to decolonize their minds and actions and thereby contribute to the broader decolonization story of the settler state of Canada.The electronic version of this Dissertation is at Ohiolink ETD Center, and AURA A video introduction by the author accompanies this document


Left :Dr. Norman Dale on Haida Gwaii Right: Logo for Dr. Dale's firm, Rapport Consensus Planning

Norman lives and works in British Columbia, Canada.He is a marine ecologist a professional mediator and facilitator, a university lecturer in UNBC’s Natural Resource and Environmental Management Program, and a consultant to First Nations and others committed to reconciliation and relationship building.He has worked rural communities in British Columbia on coastal zone management issues, treaty negotiations, and, generally in community capacity building.He spent several years each working with the with Kwakwaka’wakw, Haida, Wuikinuxv, Nuxalk and Lheidli T’enneh First Nations on the coast and Northern Interior of BC.

Norman holds a B.Sc and M.Sc in marine biology and ecology earned from Dalhousie University in the early 1970s.In 1983, He completed doctoral requirements other than dissertation at M.I.T.’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning where he worked closely with the late Donald Schön and with Lawrence Susskind.Subsequently he taught full-time at the University of British Columbia (1983-1986) and has continued to give short workshops and semester long courses about conflict, consensus-building and the environment.

His one-person company is called Rapport Consensus Planning ( and is currently based in Prince George, BC, in the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh.

Author_Introduction_Norman_Dale_Dissertation.mp4 (8369 kB)
Author Introduction MP4 Video