A Methodology for Indigenous issues and the peoples of Australia, Aoteraroa-New Zealand, US & Canada
2.Why an Indigenous Methodology?
Legacy of colonialism/imperialism
Western authorship often understood as normative (scientific, objective, empirical)
Privileging of knowledge types & sources
Indigenous researchers & Indigenous agency
Focus on people not on objects of enquiry - foreground respect & reciprocity
Contemporary forms of colonialism (neo-colonialism)
Where is the West? – what is the West?
Drawing upon definitions used by African sociologist Barnor Hesse in his post-colonial analysis of Atlantic slavery, the West signifies not a geographical location, but a hierarchically driven politically, culturally and economically based project given to colonialism (2002: 161).
Without entering into the debates about when post-colonialism was/is, and which geographical locations are (potentially) post-colonial post-colonialism can be seen as a more or less distinct set of reading practices… understood as preoccupied principally with the analysis of cultural forms which mediate, challenge or reflect upon the relations of domination and subordination- economic, cultural and political, between (and often within) nations, races or cultures which characteristically have their roots in the history of modern European colonialism and Imperialism, and which equally characteristically continue to be apparent in the present era of neo-colonialism (Moore-Gilbert 1997:12).
5.Post-colonial & Indigenous
Post-colonial discourse is a response to colonial contact and a re-reading of colonial Euro-centric representations – ‘The Empire Writes Back’
Post-colonialism encourages self-reflective researcher highlighting cultural positioning
Post-colonialism notes the slipperiness of language and the fuzziness of boundaries between constructed categories
Indigenous methodologies often go beyond re-interpreting history, to consider the futures of those who were/are researched highlighting respectful and reciprocal relationships
6.Aboriginal Australian academic Lester Irabbina-Rigby (2003)
“Respectful and Culturally Safe Research Practices”
Contemporary Indigenous researchers disrupt Eurocentric hegemony through the use of methodologies that “protect [Indigenous] identities and cultures from misrepresentation, misappropriation, distortion, vulgarization, and deculturalization” (2003: 26).
Indigenous researchers are more likely to be the only ones “aware and respectful of other traditions” (2003: 34).
Ignores that Eurocentric research may be replaced by its equal and opposite number in employing an overtly pro-Indigenous stance.
7.Maori scholar Linda Tuhawai Smith’s (1999)
The deconstruction of dominant and normative understandings of the past to reveal colonial and imperial undertexts does little to assist the contemporary plight of colonised peoples.
Calls for research protocols to be established that guarantee Indigenous peoples are treated ethically in research.
Indigenous peoples and their problems must not be looked at in isolation from wider society, and their right to protect established and created knowledge and tradition should receive proper recognition in appropriation discourse.
8.Questions to ask
Whose research is this?
Who owns it?
Whose interest does it serve?
Who will benefit from it?
Who has designed its questions & framed its scope?
Who will carry it out/
Who will write it up?
How will the results be disseminated?
Consider survival, recovery & development (p10)
10.Bishop & Glynn (1999) in Porsanger http://uit.no/getfile.php?PageId=977&FileId=188
Initiation of a research project
Evaluation of accountability
Representation in object-subject research relationships
The legitimation that relates to authenticity & epistemological background of a research project
Evaluation of benefits
12.Laara Fitznor (2003), a bi-cultural Cree educator
As Indigenous identity often relates to oral history and storying, she asserts that there is room for both traditional referential discourse and the written record of oral accounts within academia.
Grounds her argument about the significance of naming to Indigenous peoples.
13.Choctaw historian Devon Mihesuah (1998)
Argues for a widespread gathering of oral history to ensure that this potentially “rich store of information” is not lost for future generations (1998: 2),
But she asserts that not only is a Native voice not necessarily a guarantee of accuracy, but that there is no single North American Indian voice.
14.Euro-Australian philosopher Carolyn D’Cruz (2001)
Who should speak for whom? Authenticity is a highly contentious issue not only when non-Aboriginals speak for Aboriginals, but when Aboriginals speak for each other.
Draws on post-structuralist French philosopher Michel Foucault’s Archaeology of Knowledge (1969). Rather than foregrounding who has the right to speak, the place where the speaking takes place becomes the central focus; discursive sites have given “rules and procedures that condition the space made available” & negates “an authentic identity for all circumstances and contexts” (p 2,9).
D’Cruz, C. 2001. ‘Does it matter whose speaking? Authenticity & Identity in Discourses of Aboriginality in Australia’. http://220.127.116.11/jouvert/v5i3/cdcr.htm (last accessed 05/09/08)
Fitznor, L. 2003. ‘The Power of Indigenous Knowledge: Navigating the Naming of Indigenous Groups & Identities amidst the Legacy of European Colonial Definitions in Canada’. In, Goduka, N.I., & Kunnie, J.E. (eds). Indigenous Peoples Wisdom & Power: Affirming Our Legacy. Hampshire: Ashgate: 40-56.
Hesse, B. 2002. ‘Forgotten Like a Bad Dream: Atlantic Slavery & the Ethics of Postcolonial Memory’. In, Goldberg, D.T. & Quayson, A. (eds). Relocating Postcolonialism. Oxford: Blackwell: 143-173.
Irabbina-Rigney, L. 2003. ‘Indigenist Research, First Nations People in Australia, & Colonized Peoples’. In, Goduka, N.I., & Kunnie, J.E. (eds). Indigenous Peoples Wisdom & Power: Affirming Our Legacy. Hampshire: Ashgate: 25-38.
Mihesuah, D.A. 1998. Natives & Academics: Researching & Writing about American Indians. London: University of Nebraska Press:
Moore-Gilbert, B. 1997. Postcolonial Theory: Contexts, Practices, Politics, London: Verso.
Porsanger, J. Undated’ An essay about Indigenous Methodology’. See link from: http://uit.no/humfak/3518/24 (last accessed 05/09/08)
Smith, L.T. 1999. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research & Indigenous Peoples. Otago: Zen Books (C 8).
Grimes, R.L. 1996. ‘This May be a Feud, but It Is Not a War: An Electronic, Interdisciplinary Dialogue on Teaching Native Religions’. American Indian Quarterly 20 (3): 433-450.
Strega, S. 2005. ‘The View from the Poststructural Margins: Epistemology & Methodology Reconsidered’. In, Brown, L. & Strega, S. (eds.). Research as Resistance: Critical, Indigenous, & Anti-oppressive Approaches. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press: 199-236.
Stillitoe, P. 2002. ‘Globalizing indigenous knowledge’. In, Sillitoes, P., Bicker, A. & Pottier, J. (eds.). Participating in Development: Approaches to Indigenous Knowledge. London: Routledge: 108-138.
Yellow Bird, M. 1999. ‘What We Want To Be Called’. American Indian Quarterly 23 (2): 1-21.