Kaandossiwin, 2nd ed.

How We Come to Know: Indigenous Re-Search Methodologies

By Kathleen E.  Absolon (Minogiizhigokwe)  

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Indigenous methodologies have been silenced and obscured by the Western scientific means of knowledge production. In a challenge to this colonialist rejection of Indigenous knowledge, Anishinaabe re-searcher Kathleen Absolon describes how Indigenous re-searchers re-theorize and re-create methodologies. Indigenous knowledge resurgence is being informed by taking a second look at how re-search is grounded. Absolon consciously adds an emphasis on re with a hyphen as a process of recovery of Kaandossiwin and Indigenous re-search. Understanding Indigenous methodologies as guided by Indigenous paradigms, worldviews, principles, processes and contexts, Absolon argues that they are wholistic, relational, inter-relational and interdependent with Indigenous philosophies, beliefs and ways of life. In exploring the ways Indigenous re-searchers use Indigenous methodologies within mainstream academia, Kaandossiwin renders these methods visible and helps to guard other ways of knowing from colonial repression. This second edition features the author’s reflections on her decade of re-search and teaching experience since the last edition, celebrating the most common student questions, concerns, and revelations.

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  • Part One: Preparation For The Search
  • 1) An Introduction to Preparing for Re-Search: Having Tea & Bannock
  • Re-storying and restoring location
  • Restoring self: Locating My Self
  • Decolonizing and Indigenizing My Re-search
  • Language and Terminology
  • Chapter Outlines
  • 2) Indigenous Re-Search: Past, Present and Future
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Cultural History and Research
  • Oral Traditions and Narrative
  • Indigenous Knowledge Resurgence: Shifting Landscapes
  • Trailblazers: Re-searchers and their Searches
  • 3) Colonial Research Trauma My Own Search: A Journey of Making Meaning
  • 4) The Search Trail and Pathway
  • Part Two: Wholistic Re-Search Methodologies
  • 5) Wholistic Worldviews and Methodologies
  • 6) The Roots: Paradigms, Worldviews and Principles
  • Paradigms and Worldviews
  • Principles
  • 7) The Flower Centre: Self as Central
  • Self
  • Location
  • Situate Self in the Search
  • Memory
  • Motive and Purpose
  • Search for Congruency
  • 8) The Leaves: The Methodological Journey
  • An Organic Process
  • Travelling
  • Transformation
  • Healing
  • 9) The Stem: Backbone and Supports  
  • Critical Consciousness
  • The Role of Critically Conscious Indigenous Scholars
  • Indigenous Searchers’ Strengths and Supports
  • 10) The Petals: Diverse Methodologies
  • Spirit: Protocols, Ceremony and Honour
  • Heart: Relationships, Reciprocity and Community
  • Mind: Respecting Indigenous Knowledge
  • Body: Doing, Working and Creating
  • 11) The Enviro-Academic Context
  • Fences and Gatekeepers
  • Allied Theories
  • The Committee
  • Writing Oral Traditions and Other Ironies
  • Thorny Prickly Challenges
  • 12) Indigenist Re-Search Projects and Methodologies: The Last 10 Years
  • 13) Leaving Good Footprints and Winding Down


  • Kathleen E.  Absolon (Minogiizhigokwe)

    Professor, Wilfrid Laurier

    Kathleen Absolon is Anishinaabe kwe from Flying Post First Nation Treaty 9. Her relationships to the land, ancestors, Nation, community, and family deeply informs her re-search. She is a Full Professor in the Indigenous Field of Study, Faculty of Social Work and the Director of the Centre for Indigegogy at Wilfrid Laurier University.

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