The Transformation of Academic Knowledges: Understanding the Relationship between Decolonising and Indigenous Research Methodologies

  • Jason Chalmers University of Alberta
Keywords: research methodologies, decolonisation, place-based research, critical university studies, sociology of knowledge


There is conceptual confusion in academic scholarship regarding Indigenous research methodologies and decolonising research methodologies. Scholars view these paradigms as similar yet distinct, but very few seek to define that distinction. In this article, I explore the relationship between these approaches to academic research. Both paradigms emphasise the need to transform the academy because of its tendency to marginalise non-Western epistemologies. Transformation requires the interconnection and co-ordination of many paradigms including Indigenous, feminist, and antiracist approaches to research. I propose viewing Indigenous and decolonising research methodologies as a relationship, and suggest both are dynamic practices that do not exist outside of the people who use them. What they look like and how they relate to one another will depend upon who uses them, why they are used, and where they are practiced. 


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