Listening with šǝqačib: Writing Support and Community Listening

Joe Concannon, Boo Balkan Foster


This essay examines writing partnerships in 2016 and 2017 that invited community nonprofit volunteers and employees into šǝqačib, which is a Seattle youth (middle school and high school) Native cultural literacy classroom community. As a white settler employed by the nonprofit during the events described, I emphasize the wisdom of šǝqačib students who reflect on the collaboration. Drawing on Rachel Jackson’s work on community listening, I find that šǝqačib students demonstrate the importance of cultivating listening practices when community literacy practitioners enter identity-safe scholarly communities such as šǝqačib. I urge academic and literacy supporters in similar contexts to center Native and Native youth voices in their own terms.

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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.