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.