Indigenous Research Methods

While researchers will select from the various methodologies offered in this methodological toolbox, or among methodologies sourced elsewhere, a cross-cutting consideration for all researchers involved with Arramat are how research methods can be accountable to Indigenous peoples.

The Indigenous research methodologies (IRM) described on this page provide important considerations regarding the processes by which Indigenous knowledges are generated. These methodologies work across disciplines. For instance, some draw on western theories and methodologies to critique and work against colonial power structures that marginalize or erase Indigenous peoples. Others draw on Indigenous ontologies and methodologies to invigorate Indigenous knowledge systems.

Additional Readings on Indigenous Research Methodologies

  • Alfred, T. (October 4, 2018). Reflections on Gandhi, the Great Law of Peace and Indigenous Resurgence (MK Gandhi Annual Lecture, Mahatma Ghandhi Peace Council & Carleton University).
  • Alfred, T. (February 2, 2021). The meaning of territory in indigenous cultures.
  • Andersen, C. & O’Brien, J. M. (2016). Introduction – Indigenous Studies: An appeal for methodological promiscuity. In C. Andersen & J. M. O’Brien (Eds.), Sources and methods in Indigenous Studies (pp. 1–12). Routledge.
  • Coulthard, G. S. (2014). Red skin, white masks: Rejecting the colonial politics of recognition. University of Minnesota Press.
  • Drawson, A. S., Toombs, E., & Mushquash, C. J. (2017). Indigenous research methods: A systematic review. The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 8(2).
  • Gwich’in Tribal Council. (2004). Traditional Knowledge Policy. Working with Gwich’in traditional knowledge in the Gwich’in Settlement Region. Gwich’in Tribal Council.
  • Harding, S. (October 27, 2015). Objectivity and diversity: Tensions for feminist postcolonial research. Feminist and queer approaches to technoscience, 2013-2014 Colloquium Series, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto.
  • Innes, R. (2010). Introduction: Native Studies and Native cultural preservation, revitalization, and persistence. American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 34(2): 1–9.
  • Kovach, M. (2009). Indigenous methodologies: Characteristics, conversations, and contexts. University of Toronto Press.
  • Schnarch, B., First Nations Centre, & National Aboriginal Health Organization. (2004). Ownership, control, access and possession (OCAP) or self-determination applied to research. A critical analysis of contemporary First Nations research and some options for First Nations communities. Journal of Aboriginal Health, 1(1), 80-95.
  • Simpson, L. (2014). Land as pedagogy: Nishnaabeg intelligence and rebellious transformation. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 3(3), 1-25.
    Smith, L. T. (2012). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous Peoples, (2nd ed.). Zed Books Ltd.
  • Vaughan, M. B. (2016). He Lei Aloha ‘Aina. In, K.-A. R. Kapāʻanaokalāokeola Nākoa Oliveira & E. Kahunawaikaʻala Wright (Eds.), Kanaka oiwi methodologies: mo’olelo and metaphor (pp. 42-52). University of Hawaii Press.
  • Weber-Pillwax, C. (1999). Indigenous research methodology: Exploratory discussion of an elusive subject. Journal of Educational Thought, 33(1), 31-45.
  • Wilson, Shawn. (2008). Research is ceremony: Indigenous research methods. Fernwood Publishing.
  • Wilson, Stan. (2001). Self-as-relationship in indigenous research. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 25(2), 91-92.
  • Wray, K., Soukhaphon, A., Parlee, B., D’Souza, A., Freitas, C., Heredia, I., Martin, C., Oloriz, C., Proverbs, T., & Spicer, N. (2020). Aligning intentions with community: Graduate students reflect on collaborative methodologies with Indigenous research partners. Sustainability, 12, 7534.