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INDG 403: Library Sources for Indigenous Research Methods

Resources to support INDG 403: Indigenous Research Methods projects.

Fall 2020 - INDG 403: Indigenous Research Methods

Patricia Geddes

Dana McFarland

Part One: What is Researchable?

  • Autoethnography on a topic related to the discipline of Indigenous Studies.
  • May be related to broader themes such as: Indigenous knowledge, decolonization, colonialism, history, learning in Indigenous Studies, culture and values, ceremony and protocol, governance, education, or...
  • Must combine both autobiographical narrative with academic research to reflect the dual-genre nature of autoethnography.


  • Daily survival tactics
  • Raising children with values: teaching children how to behave; how to treat women and girls. How you conduct yourself, including with certain families
  • Blood quantum and reconnection with culture in cases of adoption, applying for status (Bill C31),  thinking about implications and own wishes, in relation to late mother
  • Urban Indigenous lifestyle - connections to culture and landscape - how do these happen? Issues in going back into community and land and family
  • Reconnecting with culture, seeking it out
  • Building awareness of Nuu chah nulth culture, building representation in the IXS program, working on the basis of own reserve / community; what could be learned from the community to apply to off reserve learning and/or support for it?
  • non-Indigenous family of origin / story - connecting with Indigenous female empowerment, matrilineal systems of power/authority? Possible to reflect on own growth, decolonization from a feminist perspective, through experiences in IXS. Apply Indigenous feminist principles?
  • Reclaiming language and culture as an adult
  • Reflecting on experience in Indigenous studies program and how it contributes to understanding personal story
  • Reflect on history of colonial policies and implications for personal experience
  • Being an Indigenous woman and reclaiming representations


  • Self care when topics or aspects may be difficult - reflection, journaling may be helpful
  • Identity, what constitutes “Indigenous”, who decides, “legislated identity” (from the chat)
  • Reclaiming, asserting, reconnecting
  • Community dynamics
  • Representation
  • Ethics, do no harm / honesty - take care about where and how to explore difficult issues so that the information that is shared is not used in unintended ways by others.
  • E.g. Presentation is more public. Paper might contain more sensitive info.
  • Post secondary education; Indigenization
  • Surviving, survivance, “we’re still here”, thriving, cultural strength
  • Self determination
  • Relationships - in learning and pedagogy
  • Gifts, giving and making as praxis - in Indigenous and Japanese culture - reciprocity?


  • Interviews - for the scope and timeline of this project, it may be difficult to collect and work with interviews
  • Family and community sources e.g. family letters (may be contextualized with research in other sources)
  • Jumping off points: What do you need to say?


  • Autoethnography - bringing together / weaving the personal with context. MMIWG report for example, with published book that contains family info.
  • Rather than “comparing” Indigenous and other methodologies or perspectives, consider that you may be able to reflect and build understanding related to personal experiences through Indigenous together with other ways of knowing


  • Personal narrative
  • Contextualize own story and memories by reflecting with the use of published available sources
  • Inward gaze as a relative in family or marriage of choice. Explore using available info, but with ethical guidance and feedback from community and family about the work. Risk but also the reward.
  • Reflect on journey as Indigenous professional - selective, some professional risk due to drawing on reflections from current employment

Possible sources

Past readings that have resonated with you

Mentioned in class:

Absolon, Kathleen

Archibald, Jo-Ann

Devries, M. Missing Sarah

Freire, Paolo, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Lawrence, Bonita, “Real” Indians and Others: Mixed-Blood Urban Native Peoples...

Palmater, P. Beyond Blood (book)

Simpson, Leanne

Smith, Keith, Talking back to the Indian Act.

Tall Bear, Kim

Wilson, S. Research as Ceremony

The Gift: How the Creative Spirit Transforms the World


Spring 2020 - INDG 403: Indigenous Research Methods

Patricia Geddes

Dana McFarland

Considerations for placement of narrative (centered and as the introduction to the paper)

Experience can suggest themes and coincides with the research

Literature to support and bring together the themes. Narrative --> community response; media; agency/organization response

Themes: police response, community expertise, media response

Keywords: "police response time" ("first nation" OR aboriginal OR indigenous) missing

Synonyms: RCMP; "law enforcement"

Resources: MMIWG report; Calls to Justice; Maryanne Pearce dissertation


Themes: sci-fi; appropriation; Indigenous futurisms; settler belonging and futurisms; personal learning from positionality

Theories: anti-colonial; decolonization; colonization; settler colonial

Keywords: "settler belonging" ("science fiction" OR "speculative fiction")


Elders perspectives on male youth in community; current status, and needs/supports for healing and wellness - decolonizing communities

Background research: context, statistics, cases, approaches

Preliminary discussions that inform community program development


Language revitalization and importance of language through connections to identity.

Themes: intergenerational; family dynamics; community; Elders

Keywords: "language revitalization" family



Fall 2018 - FNAT 403: Indigenous Research Methods

Patricia Geddes

Dana McFarland

Concept Discussion: Writing About Yourself


- (re)claiming

- transformational narrative, reclaiming voice

- rite of passage

- artistic expression

- related to healing, cultural work, sport (basketball, soccer, canoe racing), education, ceremony, spirituality)

Intergenerational trauma

- residential schools

- resilience

Methods, sources, presentations

- interviews

- oral narratives (importance of providing context) - ownership, privacy, trust, protocol, positionality, voice, sensitivity, relationship)

- artistic works

- imaginative script

- policies

- lived experience

- anthropological works

- non-traditional writing in academic work

- format / medium - e.g. birch bark, using colour / font to signify voice



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