Pimatisiwin

“Our Responsibility to Keep the Land Alive”: Voices of Northern Indigenous Researchers

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Abstract

This paper is based on experiences, views, and stories shared by the 22 participants who spoke at the Research the Indigenous Way workshop at the Northern Governance Policy Research Conference in November 2009. The paper does not address all the issues raised, but rather focuses specifically on how the workshop sheds new light on the nature of alternative Indigenous research that would support Indigenous governance. The sharing circle format of the workshop is considered as a model reflecting the research paradigm being talked about. This paradigm requires a critique of past northern “Indigenous” research that perpetuates colonial concepts of governance. Key messages from the groundbreaking work of the Traditional Knowledge Practitioners Group in 2008–2009 are combined with narratives from the workshop to provide a picture of current thinking about Indigenous research in the North, and practical considerations in applying this paradigm. Indigenous people have always been engaged in research processes as part of their ethical “responsibility to keep the land alive.”

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