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What is a community's desire? A critical look at participatory research projects with indigenous communities

Nakamura, Naohiro (2014) What is a community's desire? A critical look at participatory research projects with indigenous communities. Social and Cultural Geography, NA . pp. 1-18. ISSN 1464-9365

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Participatory approaches have become a critical and somewhat normalised methodology in geography for working in a positive and constructive way with Indigenous communities. Nevertheless, recent literature has seldom examined the sustainability of participatory projects or looked critically at their ongoing impacts. Since the early 2000s, Nibutani, an Ainu community in Hokkaido, Japan, has developed several participatory projects led by a non-Indigenous professional. The projects have involved community members working to revitalise and promote local Ainu culture. Over the last decade, some positive outcomes from the projects have been observed; for example, the younger generation has had opportunities to engage intensively in learning local Indigenous knowledge and skills. The projects have also helped some participants to develop a stronger sense of ethnic identity and gain empowerment. Still, the power transfer from the talented non-Indigenous leader to community members has been limited and Nibutani has yet to realise a sustainable project structure. Also, community members have multiple perspectives in regard to the direction of participatory projects and their impact. I discuss these issues in Nibutani's participatory projects based on my observations and interviews and suggest that Indigenous geographies need to undertake follow-up evaluations of participatory projects.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Published online only
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
Depositing User: Naohiro Nakamura
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2014 23:28
Last Modified: 11 May 2016 23:25

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