Bridging Parallel Rows: Epistemic Difference and Relational Accountability in Cross-Cultural Research

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International Indigenous Policy Journal, Vol: 6, Issue: 2

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Latulippe, Nicole
International Indigenous Policy Journal
Indigenous research; mixed methodology; Two Row Wampum Treaty; fisheries; Human Geography; Nature and Society Relations; Other Geography
article description
To what extent are non-Indigenous researchers invited to engage the knowledges of Indigenous peoples? For those working within a western paradigm, what is an ethical approach to traditional knowledge (TK) research? While these questions are not openly addressed in the burgeoning literature on TK, scholarship on Indigenous research methodologies provides guidance. Reflexive self-study - what Margaret Kovach calls researcher preparation - subtends an ethical approach. It makes relational, contextual, and mutually beneficial research possible. In my work on contested fisheries knowledge and decision-making systems in Ontario, Canada, a treaty perspective orients my mixed methodological approach. It reflects my relationships to Indigenous lands, peoples, and histories, and enables an ethical space of engagement through which relational accountability and respect for epistemic difference can be realized.