Kovach (2010). Creating Indigenous Research Frameworks. (Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, and Contexts.)

Kovach, M. (2010). Creating Indigenous Research Frameworks. In Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, and Contexts (pp. 39–54). University of Toronto Press.

[“Why Do Conceptual Frameworks Matter within Indigenous Inquiry?” (p 40) …]

“The word _conceptual_ privileges thought as the sole pathway to knowledge and places feeling, spirit, and experience as secondary. Furthermore, such frameworks within research are primarily set out using the written word, and the abstract quality of written language carries its own complexities in attempting to represent a worldview based on oral tradition.” (p 41)

“… interpreting research findings and presenting those findings inherently involves a power dynamic that can be revealed in order to minimize it, or left hidden to maintain existing power relations.” (p 42)

“When Indigenous researchers utilize Indigenous methods, there is always a tribal epistemic positioning in operation. However, this tends to be rendered invisible methodologically, and I believe that part of the problem lies within the conceptual framing.” (p 42)

“… three distinct aspects of Indigenous research: (a) the cultural knowledges that guide [page break] one’s research choices; (b) the methods used in searching; and (c) a way to interpret knowledge so as to give it back in a purposeful, helpful, and relevant manner.” (p 43-44)

[“A Nêhiýaw Methodology” (p 44) …]

“… I utilized a methodology based upon an Indigenous research framework centred on Plains Cree knowledge. The methodology built upon several key qualities of Plains Cree tradition, but it is also shared by other tribal groups as identified in the literature by Indigenous scholars. These key qualities include: (a) holistic epistemology, (b) story, (c) purpose, (d) the experiential, (e) tribal ethics, (f) tribal ways of gaining knowledge, and (g) an overall consideration of the colonial relationship.” (p 44)

“This methodology has several characteristics, as outlined in Figure 2.1. These characteristics include: (a) tribal epistemology, (b) decolonizing and ethical aim, (c) researcher preparations involving cultural protocols, (d) research preparation involving standard research design, (e) making meaning of knowledges gathered, and (f) giving back. The remainder of this chapter is a discussion of this design.” (p 45)

[“Centring Nêhiýaw Knowledge” (p 46) …]

“A consideration of using Nêhiýaw epistemology is a responsibility for protecting this knowledge. It can be difficult for Indigenous researchers to determine how much cultural knowledge to include in a textual format. … as a Cree researcher I have had access to documented accounts of Plains Cree culture by Cree Elders in a variety of published forms. As such, these Elders have allowed this knowledge to be shared in the public domain, and so it is appropriate to share.” (p 46)

“… I understand Plains Cree culture as being a non-fragmented, holistic approach to the world. Segregating values from ceremony or segregating either from place or language is done at one’s own peril.” (p 47)

[“Decolonizing Aims and Tribal Ethics” (p 47) …]

“In conceptualizing a tribal methodology, I have identified a theoretical positioning as having its basis in critical theory with a decolonizing aim in that there is a commitment to praxis and social justice for [page break] Indigenous people. As long as decolonization is a purpose of Indigenous education and research, critical theory will be an allied Western conceptual tool for creating change.” (p 47-48)

“Another way to keep good relations — _miýo-wîcêhtowin_ — within primary research is to ensure that research participants understand and accept how their teachings are represented. To that end, they must be given an opportunity to review their contributions and make changes wherever necessary.” (p 48)

[“Researcher Preparations” (p 49) …]

“From the oral teachings and writings of Indigenous peoples of different nations, the message seems consistent – all we can know for sure is our own experience.” (p 49)

“In considering purpose, the work of Eber Hampton (among others) prompts us to be clear about the motivations, both academic and personal, guiding our inquiry.” (p 50)

[“Research Preparations” (p 51) …]

[“Place?” Not culture? –oki …]

“I would not have been able to put Nêhiýaw epistemology at the core of my methodology in the same manner, for our Indigenous methodologies are bound to place.” (p 52)

Selected References

  • Hampton, E. (1995). Memory comes before knowledge: Research may improve if researchers remember their motives. Paper presented at the First Biannual Indigenous Scholars’ Conference, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 15–18.
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