Equalizing Relationships in Indigenous Tourism Research

A Reflexive Praxis Inspired by Food Sovereignty


  • Veronica Santafe Troncoso University of Calgary


researcher reflexivity, food sovereignty, Indigenous knowledge , Reflexive journaling, Indigenous tourism , Relational accountability , Kichwa Napo Runa, Ecuador


Although there has been increasing commitment towards equalizing the researcher-participant relationship in Indigenous tourism research, practices that transform this commitment into reality are still scarce. In this reflective paper, I argue that food sovereignty principles and a researcher’s reflexivity can improve this situation. To support this argument, I draw from my experience of working collaboratively with Kichwa Napo Runa people in Ecuador while exploring the impacts of tourism on their food sovereignty. I examine my reflexivity in two aspects of my work: 1) research journaling to develop awareness of how my values and relationships influence the research process and outcomes; and 2) using this journal's content to reflexively analyse how my research contributes to food sovereignty goals surrounding the development of social relations that are free of oppression and inequality. My journal's passages show that constant attention to reflexivity can equalize power relationships in research and promote an ethical space between researchers and participants. Overall, this paper contributes to critical Indigenous tourism research approaches and the growing literature on practices involving the implementation of food sovereignty in various fields and contexts.


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