Indigenist and Decolonizing Memory Work Research Method


  • Gail Baikie


Indigenist; decolonizing; critical reflection; Inuit


Indigenous researchers innovate and forge their own methodological paths within the realm of academic research. I developed an Indigenist and Decolonizing Memory Work method when I was unable to find a pre-existing approach for investigating phenomenon in-between Indigenous and Euro-western worldviews. This method is informed by the Euro-western methods of autoethnography, memory work, and collective biography. Furthermore, the Indigenous story work method along with other Indigenous research principles and practices are central features. In particular, I recognize and acknowledge that any Indigenous research project is situated from and within an Indigenist standpoint, in this case my own Labrador Inuit worldview.  However, there is consistency with other Indigenous principles and together these influence the research process. It also was imperative that the methodology account for the colonizing features of both academic research and the fact that Indigenous research participants have been influenced in varying degrees by dominant Euro-western discourses.  To account for this reality, a central feature of this method is the Decolonizing Critical Reflection (DCR) approach that replaces the typical interview and is intended to elicit decolonized data, or memories that research participants analyze themselves using Indigenizing and decolonizing theory and perspectives. The DCR approach is explained and described.


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