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Indigenous Research Methodologies and Ethics

Introduction to Indigenous Research Methodologies

According to Shawn Hunt's (2001) article, What is an Indigenous Methodology?, Indigenous Research Methodologies means " looking at relational accountability or being accountable to all my relations" (p.177) and:

One major difference between the dominant paradigms and an Indigenous paradigm is that the dominant paradigms build on the fundamental belief that knowledge is an individual entity: the researcher is an individual in search of knowledge, knowledge is something that is gained, and therefore knowledge may be owned by an individual. An Indigenous paradigm comes from the fundamental belief that knowledge is relational. Knowledge is shared with all of creation. It is not just interpersonal relationships, not just with the research subjects I may be working with, but it is a relationship with all of creation. It is with the cosmos, it is with the animals, with the plants, with the earth that we share this knowledge. It goes beyond the idea of individual knowledge to the concept of relational knowledge. (p.176-177).

What Can Indigenous Research Methodologies Look Like?


  • Storytelling
  • Case Studies
  • Narrative Medicine
  • Photovoice 
  • Personal Reflection
  • Participatory Action Research
  • Visiting the community
  • Art 
  • and many more!

Finding Materials with CBU's Library

A few keywords that can be useful for your searches are:

Indigenous Aboriginal "First Nation" Inuit Métis
"Indigenous Peoples of North America" Native Indian Name of Nation or Community (e.g. Potlotek) Indigenous place names (e.g. Mi'kma'ki)


"research methodology" "research protocols"
"participatory research"

"cultural protocols"

"research ethics" "Traditional Knowledge"
  • Use quotation marks when searching phrases (e.g. "Traditional Knowledge")
  • Use a question mark to search for words with the same stem (e.g. Methods? retrieves Method, Methods, Methodology, Methological, etc.)
  • While using the CBU library and other search engines, the dominant structure for organizing information is from a western perspective. For this reason you may need to use outdated (sometimes offensive) terminology to find resources; do not hesitate to contact me for assistance navigating this.