Wilson (2008). The Elements of an Indigenous Research Paradigm. (Research is ceremony: Indigenous research methods.)

Wilson, S. (2008). The Elements of an Indigenous Research Paradigm. In Research is ceremony: Indigenous research methods (pp. 62–79). Black Point, NS: Fernwood Publishing.

[“On a Journey with My Friends” (p 62) …]

“I need to apologize for this lack of introductions. If I were following the proper Indigenous protocols, I would have done this already. I guess that in switching back and forth between worlds (Indigenous and dominant) I sometimes forget where I am.” (p 62)

“… how can I be held accountable to the relationships I have with these people if I don’t name them? How can they be held accountable to their own teachers if their words and relationships are deprived of names?” (p 63)

[“Introducing an Indigenous Research Paradigm” (p 69) …]

“_Something that has become apparent to me is that for Indigenous people, research is a ceremony._ … You could say that the specific rituals that make up the ceremony are designed to get the participants into a state of mind that will allow for the extraordinary to take place.” (p 69)

“Relationality seems to sum up the whole Indigenous research paradigm to me. Just as the components of the paradigm are related, the components themselves all have to do with relationships. The ontology and epistemology are based upon a process of rela- [page break] tionships that form a mutual reality. The axiology and methodology are based upon maintaining accountability to these relationships. There, that sums up the whole book in one paragraph! An Indigenous research paradigm is relational and maintains relational accountability.” (p 70-71)

[“Elements of an Indigenous Research Paradigm” (p 71) …]

[“Indigenous Ontology and Epistemology” (p 73) …]

“… rather than truth being something that is ‘out there’ or external, reality is in the relationship that one has with the truth. Thus an object or thing is not as important as one’s relationships to it.” (p 73)

“The underlying meaning behind words in Cree gives a clue to Indigenous ontology. You might say that the language uses many more verbs than nouns. Objects themselves are not named; rather what they might be used for is described.” (p 73)

[Extra commas in original, noted here by me. –oki …]

“That the English language requires but one word to describe something (a noun or pronoun), [sic] but many words to describe its use, [sic] reveals that the underlying importance is placed on the singular object or reality, rather than on the multiple realities or upon one’s relationships.” (p 73)

“There is no word for ‘grandmother’ in Cree — it is either ‘_my_ grandmother’ or ‘_your_ grandmother,’ _kookoom_.” (p 73)

“The concepts or ideas are not as important as the relationships that went into forming them.” (p 74)

“Knowledge and peoples will cease to be objectified when researchers fulfill their role in the research relationship through their methodology.” (p 74)

“Sometime through the night, a dream/vision came to me.” (p 75)

“As I sit and write about an Indigenous ontology and epistemology, I am able to gain fresh insight into the vision that was given to me that night.” (p 75)

[“Indigenous Axiology and Methodology” (p 77) …]

“The researcher is therefore a part of his or her research and inseparable from the subject of that research (J. Wilson, 2000).” (p 77)

“How can I relate respectfully to the other participants involved in this research so that together we can form a stronger relationship with the idea that we will share?” (p 77)

“What am I contributing or giving back to the relationship? Is the sharing, growth and learning that is taking place reciprocal?” (p 77)

Selected References

  • Wilson, J. (2000). King trapper of the North: An ethnographic life history of a traditional
    Aboriginal sporting king. Unpublished masters thesis. Edmonton: University of Alberta.
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