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Indigenous methodologies: suggestions for junior researchers

Nakamura, Naohiro (2010) Indigenous methodologies: suggestions for junior researchers. Geographical Research, 48 (1). pp. 97-103. ISSN 1745-5863

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Indigenous methodologies in geography have recently been developed to decolonise Western dominated paradigms. It has been argued that research which does not benefit Indigenous communities should not be conducted. However, Indigenous methodologies are not taught in many post-secondary institutions. Therefore, when they pursue Indigenous topics, many junior researchers are self-taught in these methodologies. However, these methodologies cannot be defined simply and they are too diverse to be learnt in a short period. In Japan, Indigenous peoples are not widely recognised and research on contemporary Indigenous issues is limited. The concept of Indigenous methodologies is rarely discussed. Because of this, Japanese researchers rarely identify their research as adopting an Indigenous methodology. Indigenous researchers are thereby discouraged from pursuing Indigenous methodologies. Furthermore, a methodology or a thesis statement used by researchers to reflect Indigenous perspectives often gets little support from Indigenous peoples. My master's research on the Ainu mirrored this situation. While Indigenous methodologies remain difficult to learn, junior researchers should not be discouraged from this form of engagement. Practical suggestions are therefore necessary to encourage their use and application. Based on my experience, I suggest that researchers approach Indigenous communities from a learning perspective. This would encourage open-mindedness and sensitivity. Researchers should also be prepared and willing to refine their research questions and to continue their literature searches after their fieldwork is completed. These strategies could limit misinterpretation and exploitation of Indigenous knowledges and peoples.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
Depositing User: Naohiro Nakamura
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2014 22:35
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2014 22:35

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