(1999 1st edition, reading 2012 2nd edition) by Linda Tuhiwai Smith
Linda Tuhiwai Te Rina Smith(née Mead) is a professor of indigenous education at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. The daughter of Hirini Moko Mead, she affiliates to the Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Porou iwi
Smith is the author of Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (Zed Books, 1999 and 2012), a critical analysis of the role of Western scholarly research played in the process of colonization of indigenous cultures. This work is considered a major contribution to research methods in social justice research
patti lather: this book is a counter story to western ideas about the benefits of the pursuit of knowledge.. the book is designed primarily to develop indigenous peoples as researchers..
laurie anne whitt: decolonization, she reminds us, cannot be limited to deconstructing the dominant story and revealing underlying texts, for none of that helps people improve their current conditions or prevents them from dying..
it (this book) is also concerned w the institution of research, its claims, its values and practices, and its relationships to power. it has ‘talked back to’ and ‘talked up to’ research as an institution of knowledge that is embedded in a global system of imperialism and power.. t
i wrote decolonizing methodologies primarily to disrupt relationships between researchers (mostly non indigenous) and researched (indigenous).. between a colonizing institution of knowledge and a colonized peoples whose own knowledge was subjugated.. i wrote as someone who was engaged in research, who had struggle thru the standard, academic research prep, who had studied ‘research methods’, taken compulsory stats, and who had questioned the relevance, politics, ethicality and practice of research.. i understood research as a set of ideas, practices, and privileges that were embedded in imperial expansionism and colonization and institutionalized in academic disciplines, schools, curricula, unis and power..
perhaps the most quoted sentence in the book is: ‘the word itself, ‘research’ is probably one of the dirtiest words in the indigenous world’s vocab’..t
i still hear.. ‘research is a process that exploits indigenous peoples, their culture, their knowledge and their resources..
in my experience many approaches to research remain insulated against the challenges of either indigenous research or stronger ethical protocols, and continue to see indigenous peoples ,their values/practices as political hindrances that get in the way of good research
in 1999 the term ‘indigenous’ was also contentious and ‘dirty’ in some contexts.. i wrote from a position of being indigenous in an english speaking world..
which seemed complicated enough, but the process of translation into other languages and contexts has been instructive.. it has revealed the layers of complexity, nuances of language and everyday acts of being indigenous that make the indigenous story a profoundly rich global story of human experience..
the intellectual project of decolonizing has to set out ways to proceed thru a colonizing world. it needs a radical compassion that reaches out, that seeks collab, and that is open to possibilities that can only be imagined as other things fall into place.. decolonizing methodologies is not a method for revolution in a political sense but provokes some revolutionary thinkings about the roles that knowledge, knowledge production, knowledge hierarchies and knowledge institutions play in decolonization and social transformation
from the vantage point of the colonized, a position from which i write, and choose to privilege, the term ‘research ‘ is inextricably linked to european imperialism and colonialism.. the word itself ‘research’ is probably one of the dirtiest words in the indigenous world’s vocabulary.. when mentioned in many indigenous contexts, it stirs up silence, it conjures up bad memories, it raises a smile that is knowing and distrustful.. it is so powerful that indigenous people even write poetry about research.. the ways in which scientific research is implicated in the worst excesses of colonialism remains a powerful remembered history for many of the world’ colonized peoples. it is a history that still offends the deepest sense of our humanity..just knowing that someone measure our ‘faculties’; by filling the skulls of our ancestors w millet seeds and compared the amount of millet seed to the capacity for mental thought offends our sense of who and what we are.
it galls us that wester researchers and intellectuals can assume to know all that is possible to know of us, on the basis of their brief encounters w some of us.. it appals us that the west can desire , extract and claim ownership of our ways of knowing, our imagery, the things we created and produced and then simultaneously reject the people who created a developed those ideas and seek to deny them further opps to be creators of their own culture/nations..
this collective memory of imperialism has been perpetuated thru the ways in which knowledge about indigenous peoples was collected, classified and the rep’d in various ways back to the west, and then, thru the eyes of the west, back to those who have been colonized..
edward said refers to this process as a western discourse about the other which is supported by institutions, vocab, scholarship, imagery, doctrines, even colonial bureaucracies/styles.. according to said.. the scholarly construction is supported by a corp institutions which makes statements about it (the orient) authorizing views of it, describing it, bey teaching about it, settling it, ruling over it..
many indigenous communities and orgs have developed policies about research.. talking more widely about indigenous research
not sure what the point is of research – and all the talk of labeling selves.. who is/isn’t indigenous et al
research is one of the ways in which the underlying code of imperialism and colonialism is both regulated and realized.. – knowingness of the colonizer and a recovery of ourselves.. an analysis of colonialism
great.. but perhaps (right or wrong) we’ve done that enough already.. and now that we have the means.. we just need to let go of all that.. and reset.. reset all 8b ish of us.. so that none of this is an issue.. we can’t battle/research it away..
the first part of the book explores topics around the theme of imperialism, research and knowledge..
let go.. imagine all the energy we’ll have.. to just live
the second part of the book examines the diff approaches and methodologies that are being developed to ensure that research w indigenous peoples can be more respectful, ethical, sympathetic and useful
useful for what..?
1 – imperialism, history, writing and theory
imperialism was the system of control which secured the markets and capital investments. colonialism facilitated this expansion by ensuring that there was european control, which necessarily meant securing and subjugating the indigenous populations
(section called – on being human)
the principle of ‘humanity’ was one way in which the implicit or hidden rules could be shaped. to consider indigenous peoples as not fully human, or not human at all, enabled distance to be maintained and justified various policies of either extermination of domestication..
the struggle to assert/claim humanity has been a consistent thread of anti colonial discourse on colonialism and oppression.. this struggle for humanity has generally been framed w/in the wider discourse of humanism, the appeal to human ‘rights’ the notion of a universal human subject, and the connections between being human and being capable of creating history, knowledge and society
the focus on asserting humanity has to be seen w/in the anti colonial analysis of imperialism and what were seen as imperialism’s dehumanizing imperatives, which were structure into the language, econ, social relations and cultural life of colonial societies..
from 19th cent on .. processes of dehumanization often hidden behind justification for imperialism and colonialism, which were clothed w/in an ideology of humanism and liberalism and the assertion of moral claims that related to aa concept of civilized ‘man’..
problems have arisen, however, w/in efforts to struggle for humanity by overthrowing the ideologies relating to our supposed lack of humanity
colonized peoples have been compelled to define what it means to be human because there is a deep understanding of what it has meant to be considered not fully human, to be savage..
the difficulties of such a process, however, have been bound inextricably to constructions of colonial relations around the binary of colonizer and colonized..
fanon argues further that ‘colonization which sets out to change the order of the world is, obviously, a programme of complete disorder’.. this introduces another important principle embedded in imperialism, that of order..
carhart harris entropy law et al – hard won order
the principle of order provides the underlying connection between such things as : the nature of imperial social relations; the activities of western science; the establishment of trade; the appropriation of sovereignty; the establishment of law.. nandy refers to these principles as the ‘code/grammar’ of imperialism.. a deep structure which regulates and legitimates imperial practices
the fact that indigenous societies had own systems of order was dismissed.. not civilized enough to have systems.. not literate, their languages and modes of thought were inadequate..
writing has been viewed as the mark of a superior civilization and other societies have been judged by this view..
western academy claims theory as thoroughly western, which has constructed all the rules by which the indigenous world has been theorized, indigenous voices have been overwhelmingly silenced..
frantz fanon’s call for the indigenous intellectual and artist to create a new literature. to work in the cause of constructing a national cultural after liberation, still stands as a challenge..
what we need is ie: idio-jargon to be universal language.. meaning.. whatever is already in you.. meaning.. thinking you have to train for language in order to be heard.. is a huge red flag.. any language (even if indigenous construct something.. is colonialism itself)
what it feels like, to be present while your history is erased before your eyes, dismissed as irrelevant, ignored or rendered as the lunatic ravings of drunken old people..
what we need is a reset. at this point.. delving into history.. just perpetuates the system.. as we keep on proving.. over and over and over ..
literacy, as one ie, was used as a criterion for assessing the development of a society and its progress to a stage where history can be said to being.. their literacy (china, japan) did not count as a record of legit knowledge..
hegel usually regarded as the ‘founding father’ of history in the sense outline here.. hegel conceived of the fully human subject as someone capable of ‘creating his own history’.. .. as robert young argues, ‘the entire hegelian machinery simply lays down the operation of a system already in place, already operating in everyday life’.. many predicated on a sense of otherness.. views that invite a comparison.. history was the story of people who were regarded as fully human.. others who were not regarded as human (that is, capable of self actualization) were prehistoric.. (was) a system of social ordering.. t
a further set of important ideas embedded in the modernist view of history relates to the origins (causes) and nature of social change.. there was a general belief that not only could individuals remake themselves but so could societies.. history in this view began w the emergence of the rational individual and the modern industrialized society.. however, there is something more to this idea in terms of how history came to be conceptualized as a method. the connection to the industrial state is significant because it highlights what was regarded as being worthy of history.. the people and groups who ‘made ‘history were the people who developed the underpinnings of the state – the economists, scientists, bureaucrats and philosophers.. that they were all men of a certain class and race was ‘natural’ because they were regarded (naturally ) as fully rational, self actualizing human beings capable therefore of creating social change, that is history. the day to day lives of ‘ordinary’ people and of women did not become a concern of history until much more recently..
(section called: contested histories)
many of these systems have since been reclassified as oral traditions rather than histories..
under colonialism indigenous peoples have struggle against a western view of history and yet been complicit w that view. we have often allowed our ‘histories’ to be told and have then become outsiders as we heard them being retold. schooling is directly implicated in this process.. thru the curriculum and its underlying theory of knowledge, early schools redefined the world and where indigenous peoples were positioned w/in the world..
other symbols of loyalty , such as the flag.. were also an integral part of the imperial curriculum.. our orientation to the world was already being redefined as we were bing excluded systematically from the writing of the history of our own lands..
not really struggles over ‘facts’ and ‘truth’ .. the rules by which these struggles take place are never clear (other than that we as the indigenous community know whey are going to be stacked against us)’ and we are not the final arbiters of what really counts as truth
it is because of these issues that i ask the question, ‘is history in its modernist construction important or not important for indigenous peoples?’ for many people who are presently engaged in research on indigenous land claims the answer would appear to be self evident.. we assume that when ‘the truth comes out’ it will prove that what happened was wrong or illegal and that therefore the system will set things right.. we believe that history is also about justice, that understanding history will enlighten our decisions about the future.. wrong..
moten abolition law et al
history is mostly about power.. in this sense history is not important for indigenous peoples because a thousand accounts of the ‘truth’ will not alter the ‘fact’ that indigenous peoples are still marginal and do not possess the power to transform history into justice
why then has revisiting history been a significant part of decolonization?.. our colonial experience traps us in the project to modernity.. it means that there is unfinished business, that we are still be colonized (and know it) and that we are sill searching for justice..
coming to know the past has been part of the critical pedagogy of decolonization.. the pedagogical implication of this access to alt knowledges is that they can form the basis of alt ways of doing things.. transforming our colonized views of our own history however, requires us to revisit, site by site, our history under western eyes.. the need to tell our stories remains the powerful imperative of a powerful from of resistance
we can do better.. and we have to.. we have to peel back before we all became whales in sea world
one of the ironies.. issues of indigenous language have to be debated in the language of the colonizers..
toni morrison: imagination can be a way of sharing the world. .. struggling to find the language to do this and then struggling to interpret and perform w/in that shared imagination
research is linked in all disciplines of theory.. indigenous peoples have been, in many ways, oppressed by theory..
theory allows us to deal w contradictions and uncertainties.. .. struggling to make sense of our own world while also attempting to transform what counts as important in the world of the powerful..
our attempts to escape the penetration and surveillance of the gaze whilst simultaneously reordering and reconstituting ourselves as indigenous human beings in a state of ongoing crisis..t
this is why we need a means/way that includes everyone.. even the inspectors of the inspectors.. et al
cherrie moraga: ‘i lack imagination you say, no. i lack language. the language to clarify my resistance to the literate’
no human should have to clarify.. esp clarify resistance..
2 – research thru imperial eyes
many critiques of research have centred around the theory of knowledge known as empiricism and the scientific paradigm of positivism derived from empiricism. positivism takes a position that applies views about how the natural world can be examined and understood to the social world of human beings and human societies. understanding is viewed as being akin to measuring.. as the ways we try to understand the world are reduced to issues of measurement, the focus of understanding becomes more concerned w procedural problems..t
of math and men.. et al
the challenge then for understanding the social world becomes one of developing operating definitions of phenomena which are reliable and valid.
stuart hall suggests that the concept of the west functions in ways which 1\ allow to categorize 2\ condense via rep 3\ standard of comparison 4\ criteria for eval/rank.. thees are the procedures by which indigenous peoples and their societies were coded into the western system of knowledge
ideas about these (4ish) things help determine what counts as real
david theo goldberg argues that one of consequences of wester experiences under imperialism is that western ways of viewing, talking about and interacting w the world at large are intricately embedded in racialized discourse.. notions of difference are discussed in greek philosophy, for ie, as ways of rationalizing the essential characteristics and obligations of slaves..
stamped from beginning .. et al
these institutions were underpinned by econ systems, notions of property and wealth, and were increasingly legitimated in the west thru judeo christian beliefs..
henri lefebvre argues that the notion of space has been ‘appropriated by math’ which has claimed an ideological position of dominance over what space means.. maths has constructed a language which attempts to define w absolute exactness the parameters, dimensions, qualities and possibilities of space.. this language of space influences the way the west thinks about the world beyond earth.. they ways in which society is viewed.. the ways in which gender roles were defined.. and the ways in which the social world of people could be determined (marketplace) .. compartmentalized, space can be better defined and measured..
representations of ‘native life’ as being devoid of work habits, and of native people being lazy, indolent, w low attention spans, is part of a colonial discourse that continues to this day.. there were various explanations advanced for such indolence: a hot climate; darker skin..
the connection between time and ‘work’ became more important after the arrival of missionaries and the development of more systematic colonization.. the belief that ‘natives’ did not value work or have a sense of time provided ideological justification for exclusionary practices which reach across such areas as education, land development and employment
ideas about progress are grounded w/in ideas and orientations towards time and space..
we need 8b people with their own time/space in order to reset us
research ‘thru imperial eyes’ descries an approach which assumes that western ideas about the most fundamental things are the only ideas possible to hold, certainly the only rational ideas, and the only ideas which can make sense of the world.. and innate superiority and overabundance of desire to bring progress into the lives of indigenous peoples..
3 – colonizing knowledges
merata mita: ‘we have a history of people putting maori under a microscope in the same way a scientist looks at an insect. the ones doing the looking are giving themselves the power to define.’
some indigenous peoples were ranked above others in terms of such things as the belief that they were ‘nearly human’ ‘almost human’ or ‘ sub human’.. this often depended on whether it was thought that the peoples concerned possessed a ‘soul’ and could therefore be ‘offered’ salvation and whether or not they were educable and could be offered schooling.. these systems for organizing, classifying and storing new knowledge, and for theorizing the meanings of such discoveries, constituted research.. also about power and domination
underpinning all of what is taught at unis is the belief in the concept of science as the all embracing method for gaining an understanding of the world..
as a standard of judgement, according to laffey, the world ‘civilized’ became more defined w the help of freud.. this way of thinking was elaborated further into psychological justification for the distinctions between the civilized and the uncivilized..
a whole past is ‘created’ and then given the authority of truth..
these forms of discipline (ie: boarding schools) were supported by paternalistic and racist policies and legislation; they were accepted by white communities as necessary conditions which had to be met if indigenous people wanted to become citizens (of their own lands).. they were designed to destroy every last remnant of alternative ways of knowing/living, to obliterate collective identities and memories and to impose a new order..
4 – research adventures on indigenous lands
the more formal these system became (for collecting data) the more authoritative and influential they were..t
what may have begun as early fanciful ill informed opinions or explanation of indigenous life and customs quickly entered the language and became ways of representing and relating to indigenous peoples.. in the case of religious missionaries the viewpoints expressed were designed as much to justify further financial support form their central base as to justify any ideological motivations..
there is a direct relationship between the expansion of knowledge, the expansion of trade and the expansion of empire.. that relationship continues, although in the reframed discourse of globalization it is referred to as the relationship between the expansion of tech/info.. expansion of econ opps and the expansion of ‘the market’..
from indigenous perspectives territories, peoples and their possessions were stolen, not traded..
bell hooks on trading the other as eating the other.. a commodification of otherness.. trading the other is big business. for indigenous peoples trading ourselves is not on the agenda
framing ‘the problem’, mapping it, describing it .. trying to get rid of it.. laying blame for it.. teaching it.. researching it.. over and over.. how many occasions, polite dinner parties and academic conference would be beret of conversation if ‘the indigenous problem’ had not been so problematized?
concern about ‘the indigenous problem’ began as an explicitly militaristic or policing concern.. the problem was articulated in terms of ‘putting down rebellions’ or getting rid of recalcitrant rebels..
the systematic undermining of the legitimacy of indigenous leaders was part of the wider strategy for colonization.. this strategy has not gone away.. even when leaders used passive resistance and simply withdrew from any participation in white society their actions were regarded as provocative and likely to encourage rebellious thinking..
once indigenous peoples had been rounded up and put on reserves the ‘indigenous problem’ became embedded as a policy discourse which reached out across all aspects of govts’ attempt to control the natives.. both friends and those hostile to indigenous peoples .. conceptualized the issues of colonization .. in terms of a problem of the natives.. the native were, to blame for not accepting the terms of their colonization.. in time social policies – for ie in health and ed – were also viewed as remedies for the ‘indigenous problem’..
by 1960s this approach – laying blame on colonized themselves.. had been theorized repeatedly.. the ‘indigenous problem’ had by then also become an academic discourse in which research played a crucial role..
many researchers, even those w the best of intentions, frame their research in ways that assume that the locus of a particular research problem lies w the indigenous individual or community rather than w other social or structural issues..
grammatis broken law et al
often their research simply affirms their own beliefs.. ie: poor health/ed focus on community as sole source of problem.. missing bigger pic
whole verbiage of ‘academic under/over achievement’ is stuck in broken system mentality
not only told their fault.. but that they themselves have no solutions to their own problems.. this view is exacerbated by media and political rhetoric.. this environ provides an absolutely no win position and sets up conditions for nurturing deep resentment and radical resistance
in research context the terms ‘research’ and ‘problem’ are also closely linked.. the word research is believed to mean, quite literally, the continued construction of indigenous peoples as the problem..
5 – notes from down under
it is said that people now live in a world which is fragmented w multiple and shifting identities, and that the oppressed and the colonized are so deeply implicated in their own oppressions that they are no more nor less authentic than anyone else
naming the world as ‘post colonial’ is form indigenous perspectives, to name colonialism as finished business.. decolonization, once viewed as the formal process of handing over the instruments of govt, is now recognized as long term process involving the bureaucratic, cultural, linguistic and psychological divesting of colonial power..
a new gen of indigenous elites also walk across the landscape w their cell phones, briefcases and assets.. in developing countries these elites still protect the interests of the big western power blocs.. many such leaders, though totally corrupted and evil, are kept in power by the very states which espouse democracy and human rights.. other indigenous leaders have become separated from their own indigenous value system and have been swept up into the games and machinations of a world they only partly understand.. divide and rule still operates as a basic strategy for dealing w indigenous peoples.. still operates because unfortunately it sell works..
all of us.. not us.. whales in sea world et al
section title: 12 ways to be researched (colonized)
aroha mead: ‘misappropriation of indigenous knowledge’ is escalating and is particularly virulent in key areas of research such as the environmental sciences and medicine.. language/targets may have changed/shifted.. and indigenous groups may be better informed.. but imperialism still exists
1\ genealogy an did stolen, patented copied.. the ‘vampire’ project of the human genome diversity project (hugo) is the largest and best known attempt to map the genetic diversity of isolated and threatened indigenous communities.. not the only project in town however.. ie: us govt.. et al .. for indigenous peoples the dehumanizing of the thefts so that it is classifies as ‘scientific’ knowledge is part of a process which has a long history.. aroha mead suggest that the scientific community goes to great lengths to ‘dehumanize the human ness of genes’ thru the process of copying and reproducing synthetic varieties..
2\ having the umbilical cord blood of aborted babies ‘farmed’.. the afterbirth used to be buried in the land.. now that blood from cord and afterbirth have been show n to be useful for treating certain sorts of diseases.. there has been a request from some med professionals in new zealand to ‘farm’ (their word) the cord blood from aborted foetuses..
3\ having your cultural institutions/rituals patented by non-indigenous or indigenous.. one reason was.. indians were not ‘performing it correctly’..
4\ scientific and political reconstruction of a previously extinct indigenous people.. human genome diversity project.. science can replicate genetic structure of peoples ho no loner exist.. politics can ensure newly created indigenous people are socially constructed as well.. recreated as experimental pure populations to be farmed/exploited much like lab rats..
5\ dying and then coming back to life as a flock of sheep or variety of tomatoes.. science and genetic engineering to change/create new species..
6\ commodifying indigenous spirituality.. ie: claim to be inhabited by indigenous spirit guides.. et al
7\ creating virtual culture as authentic culture.. dehumanization of the other countries
8\ feeding consumption, tb of the marketplace.. consumptions and possessing more an more ‘things’ become more important for many young people than value systems of own communities.. consumption masks econ and political inequalities.. and numbs people into believing they are autonomous ‘choosers’ in neutral marketplace
9\ creating sovereign reservations for the elite
10\ denial of global citizenship
11\ exercising terror in the 21st cent..women, children, elderly .. most at risk from wars between drug cartels.. from paranoia of dictators, from traffic in human beings.. exploitation of terror as a tool to silence and kill, to traffic in people and drugs, to exploit children and women has seemed boundless.. terror is an old device that has been retooled w tech an da viciousness that is grounded in a lack of humanity and any believe in the human ness of humanity
12\ let them eat cake.. can barley feed selves.. what we fail to see is that developed world cannot feed itself either.. food is produced somewhere else.. under conditions we do not with to know.. we eat out of season because we can.. we consume w all its additives.. little sympathy for the poor as the rich have their refrigerators filled w food that seems to last forever.. the poor can eat the cake that must be purchased from the rich.. food dependency, food impoverishment and the monoculture of food products all contribute to a world that is starving.
indigenous peoples have to prove that what was used for centuries to heal an illness was something which was ‘discovered’ and then had a value added to that discovery thru some sort of scientific process..
even if the grounds of the debate have shifted, the clash between science and indigenous knowledge remains constructed around the interests of science..
indigenous peoples have philosophies which connect humans to the environ and to each other, and which generate principles for living a life which is sustainable, respectful and possible..
in quite small but effective projects many of these indigenous alts have been incorporated: restorative justice healing circles; health suing holistic interventions; govt consultation models; hospital using native healers, indigenous pedagogical styles in classroom
ugh.. won’t work if we don’t first get ourselves out of ie: the classroom, in sea world, et al
to accept a gift and to reciprocate give dignity to the receiver..
6 – the indigenous peoples’ project: setting a new agenda
while previous chapters have attempted to explain why indigenous peoples have an abhorrence and distrust of research, the following chapters shift the focus towards the developments that have occurred in the field of research that have been conceptualized and carried out by indigenous people working as researchers in indigenous communities..
indigenous people’s project – 500 yrs major priority: survival
this chapter will discuss two aspects of the indigenous peoples’ project: the social movement of indigenous peoples which occurred form the 1960s and the development of an agenda or platform of action which has influence indigenous research activities
agenda for indigenous research
the agenda connects local, regional and global efforts which are moving towards the ideal of a self determining indigenous world.. decolonization, healing, transformation and mobilization as process.. not sequential
the term ‘respect’ is consistently used by indigenous peoples to underscore the significance of our relationships and humanity.. thru respect the place of everyone and everything in the universe is kept in balance and harmony.. respect is a reciprocal
ugh.. reciprocal ness.. obligation ness.. poisonous.. let go..
7 – articulating an indigenous research agenda
8 – 25 indigenous projects
claiming; testimonies; story telling; celebrating survival – survivance; remembering; indigenous and indigenist processes; intervening; revitalizing and regenerating; connecting; reading; writing and theory making; representing; gendering; envisioning; reframing; restoring; returning; democratizing and indigenist governance; networking; naming; protecting; creating; negotiating; discovering the beauty of our knowledge; sharing..
9 – responding to the imperatives of an indigenous agenda: a cast study of maori
10 – towards developing indigenous methodologies: kaupapa maori research
have indigenous themselves be researchers.. and aim is to benefit those being researched
saw this in ed.. problem is.. ie: benefiting whales in sea world.. we have to go deeper and walk away from the systemic whole
11 – choosing the margins: the role of research in indigenous struggles for social justice
survival, humanity, worldview and language, imagination and spirits, our very place int he world depends on our capacity to act for ourselves, to speak for ourselves, to engage in the world and the actions of our colonizers, to face them head on
today we can go deeper than that.. we can.. all of us.. let go of all the time/energy spent on defense/’struggle’.. and focus on living.. being.. imagine that
qualitative researchers are trained to ‘see things’
like a 5 yrs old.. ie: not yet scrambled..
what we need is to try living a nother way.. one that doesn’t scramble our indigenous/unscrambled ness in the first place
research begins as a social, intellectual and imaginative activity. it has become disciplined and institutionalize w certain approaches empowered over others and accorded a legitimacy, but it begins w human curiosity an da desire to solve problem. it is at its core an activity of hope
yeah.. i think the desire to solve problems is a dangerous add in..
as i have stated previously, i would not claim that, on its own, imagination is a critical tool or contain w/in it a political project that is connected inherently to emancipation..
12 – getting the story right, telling the story well: indigenous activism/research
aligning the agenda for research and activism
(things like): in academic environ they are assessed by their peer thru such criteria as publication in international refereed journals of high standing..
we have to let go of knowledge ing
where research and activism come together.. research exists w/in a system of power. what this means for indigenous researchers as well as indigenous activists and their communities is that indigenous work has to ‘talk back to’ or ‘talk up to’ powers.. there are no neutral spaces for the kind of work required to ensure that traditional indigenous knowledge flourishes.. that it remains connected intimately to indigenous people as a way of thinking, knowing and being.. that isis sustained and actually grows over future generations.. the title of this chapter is ambiguous for a reason: getting the story right and telling the story well are tasks that indigenous activist and researcher must both perform..
let go.. that’s and endless uphill treadmill.. that’s a defensive strategy..
in an ideal world there are some issues that activists and researchers would not ever have to address
in an ideal world (one which is possible today) activists and researchers would/could be/become irrelevant
conclusion – a personal journey
my more recent personal research focuses on the agency and potential of indigenous communities to draw on their cultural strengths and understanding to fundamentally transform themselves, determine their own futures, and contribute their unique knowledge frameworks to solving their own problems and those of wider society..
current indicators of well being across these highly developed counties suggest that aboriginal peoples will never achieve a state of well being w/in the next two generations w/o some form of radical transformation at the family and community level
yeah.. has to be all of us.. everyone in sync..
as indigenous people we have our own research needs and priorities. our questions are important. research helps us to answer them
i’m thinking.. we all need detox first.. i’m thinking we’re often asking the wrong questions.. not listening deep enough.. to daily curiosity .. (instead we’re trying to solve problems) ..i think that would change everything.. curiosity over decision making/problem-solving