Exploring relationships, experiences and ways of knowing in an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural program of research

Authors: Sarah Rotz*, Queens University, Heather Castleden, Queens University , Diana Lewis , Western University, Hannah Tait Neufeld, University of Guelph, Emily Root, Cape Breton University
Topics: Qualitative Research, Indigenous Peoples, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: relationship-building processes, co-governance, Indigenous ways of knowing, institutional ethnography, research ethics, community-based research,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Chairman's Boardroom, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This research draws from Indigenous scholarship and action calling for Indigenous resurgence and self-determination, which must be understood in the context of relationship-building (McGregor 2012; Simpson 2011; Wildcat et al. 2014). This project examines A SHARED Future—a CIHR funded research program exploring co-governance within the framework of Indigenous ways of knowing. The study explores how everyday language and practices between project researchers, practitioners and community become bounded by institutional ideologies, regulations and practices (Kovach 2009). It is clear that research funding institutions generate governance processes that often leave participants compromised as researchers and/or community members. Much of the relational tension between participants is found in the disjunction between practices and priorities happening “on the ground” in Indigenous communities and scholars who are locked into institutional discourses and processes (e.g. timelines, research needs, research and knowledge definitions, metrics of success, tenure requirements, and peer acceptance). This study examines how relationships and ways of knowing are emerging within the SHARED Future research program (between research institutions, their agents, and those ‘approved’ to conduct the research) and how they are organized. In doing so, we explore 1) how the conditions of the everyday work of project development and co-management get organized in relation to institutional privilege, regulations, strategies, discourses and processes, and 2) how, and from where Indigenous ways of knowing are being taken up within institutions/systems of governance. Critical attention is given to ideology and hegemony as well as how language and discourse may reproduce codes of domination in co-governance research contexts.

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