Document Type



Stories are fundamental to our experience of being human. They help us to make meaning from our lives, and to construct and understand our identities. Although we sometimes struggle to define story in words, we easily recognize when a story is present. This capstone does not present an ultimate definition of story, but rather a series of ideas and patterns that are most commonly found in story. In particular, it says that most stories contain protagonists who overcome a series of obstacles to achieve a final goal and find a meaning or moral behind a series of events. Through examining multiple ways of looking at the same life story, we find that the way our story is being told has a huge impact on the way we see ourselves and the way we interact with others. As we examine our own personal stories, we also look deeply at the messages and beliefs that are internalized and communicated through our words and our actions. Without the power to identify what those stories are, we are unable to choose who we will be. However, our personal stories do not exist in isolation, but interact with and intersect with all the stories and all the identities of those we interact with. Communities can be defined as a group of people who share a set of collective stories. As we begin to look at community narratives and how our own personal stories intersect and interact, we consider those whose stories have not been included, those who do not see their personal stories represented in the cultural narrative. Once we recognize those who have been left out, we can see stories as the powerful resource they are, we can invite others to tell their stories, and we can choose to hear those stories that haven’t always been heard.


personal narratives

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Environmental education; Storytelling; Identity; Coast Salish Indians; Protagonists (Persons)


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