Research is Ceremony

In onze zoektocht naar onderzoeksmethoden of wijzen van denken die verbindend kunnen zijn om vraagstukken integraal en holistisch te benaderen, lijkt de inheemse benadering handvatten te bevatten. Tenminste gaan inheemse onderzoekers uit van de diepere kennis van de complexiteit, de fysieke samenhang der dingen en de interacties van het land, waar zij ook van zijn. Een fascinerend boek door Swan Wilson, Opaskwayak Cree van Noord Manitoba.

“Indigenous researchers are knowledge seekers who work to progress Indigenous ways of being, knowing and doing in a modern and constantly evolving context.

This book by Swan Wilson and published by Fernwood Publishing describes a research paradigm shared by Indigenous scholars in Canada and Australia, and demonstrates how this paradigm can be put into practice.

Relationships don’t just shape Indigenous reality, they are our reality. Indigenous researchers develop relationships with ideas in order to achieve enlightenment in the ceremony that is Indigenous research. Indigenous research is the ceremony of maintaining accountability to these relationships.

Wilson: “What does it mean to be an indigenous researcher? It is the connection with the country that makes the difference. We are in relation with the land, where we are from, persons of the land, the sea and the sky. In our quest for indigenous knowledge we build from here and ask the research questions. Understanding interactions and  theories of physics and complexity are fundamental in indigenous thinking.”

For researchers to be accountable to all our relations, we must make careful choices in our selection of topics, methods of data collection, forms of analysis and finally in the way we present information. I’m an Opaskwayak Cree from northern Manitoba currently living in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales, Australia. I’m also a father of three boys, a researcher, son, uncle, teacher, world traveller, knowledge keeper and knowledge seeker. As an educated Indian, I’ve spent much of my life straddling the Indigenous and academic worlds. Most of my time these days is spent teaching other Indigenous knowledge seekers (and my kids) how to accomplish this balancing act while still keeping both feet on the ground.”

Please find more information at American Indigenous Research Association.

A Road through a Forest

Jack Kruf

There are not so many articles which highlight and elaborate so well the impact of ‘a road trough a forest’ and the damage done to the ecosystems, their biodiversity and resilience. Scale (of an area) biodiversity and resilience are always narrowly related. Most of us forget or are not aware. You simply cannot cut nature into smaller areal pieces and separate them by roads of housing without an immense loss. Nature needs scale to flourish. And in this logic and principals there is no place for human roads.

The article shows how legal and governmental systems – it is the politics that drives the direction – can interact and where inconsistencies can be detected related to earlier promises and protection agreements. It is a compact description how these developments can lead to expected great loss of wild life. We’ve seen many many examples of this way of working before. Nature most of the time needs to make place for human development.

A road through a forest is here not a good plan. The essence – in our view – is that good public governance needs an holistic approach in strategy, implementation and enforcement, with mainly longer term thinking, simply because nature is connected with time. In this article  the short term commercial and political gains or wins are disconnected from the high public values of the ecosystems involved.

Brazilian road proposal threatens famed biodiversity hotspot

How indigenous knowledge can help the world

Nemonte Nenquimo has spent years fending off miners, loggers and oil companies intent on developing the Amazon rainforest.

The leader of Ecuador’s indigenous Waorani people, she famously fronted a 2019 lawsuit that banned resource extraction on 500,000 acres of her ancestral lands — a court win that gave hope to indigenous communities around the world.

But Nenquimo, a 2020 United Nations Champion of the Earth, isn’t only hoping to save the Waorani. By protecting the Amazon, an important store of greenhouse gases, she’s hoping to save the planet. Read more