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Advancing praxis in community geography: Reflections from an Indigenous-settler food sovereignty research project

Authors: Kristen Lowitt*, Brandon University
Topics: Cultural Geography, Indigenous Peoples, Qualitative Research
Keywords: food sovereignty, community geography, research methodologies
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual Track 8
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Geography is a discipline deeply embedded within settler-colonialism and has played a major role in concealing Indigenous histories along with current rights claims, cultures, and practices. Community geography, grounded in engaged and socially relevant praxis, offers a different trajectory forward and possibilities for greater impact of both research and action.

In this article, we reflect on an engaged, action-oriented research project rooted in a partnership between two settler academics, two documentary filmmakers, and the Chief of Batchewana First Nation (BFN). In 2019, we embarked on a collaborative food sovereignty research project aiming to create a documentary film enabling BFN members to tell their own stories of historical and current fishing practices.

Using a co-constructed narrative, this article shares our experiences and reflections on advancing praxis in community geography through this food sovereignty research project combining participatory action research, Indigenous research methodologies, and documentary film. Our results highlight the importance of relational accountability and critical reflexivity as key supportive elements of an engaged research praxis that can cross disciplinary and cultural boundaries and attend to equalizing power relations. More specifically, we share our insights for the field of community geography as they relate to building Indigenous-settler relations, fostering community-academic collaboration, and achieving impact for social change through engaged research.

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