Research Is Ceremony

Indigenous Research Methods

by Shawn Wilson  

This book describes a research paradigm shared by Indigenous scholars in Canada and Australia, and demonstrates how this paradigm can be put into practice.

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  • September 2008
  • ISBN: 9781552662816
  • 144 pages
  • $28.00
  • For sale worldwide
  • EPUB May 2020
  • ISBN: 9781773633282
  • $27.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • PDF May 2020
  • ISBN: 9781773633299
  • $27.99
  • For sale worldwide

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About the book

Indigenous researchers are knowledge seekers who work to progress Indigenous ways of being, knowing and doing in a modern and constantly evolving context. This book describes a research paradigm shared by Indigenous scholars in Canada and Australia, and demonstrates how this paradigm can be put into practice. Relationships don’t just shape Indigenous reality, they are our reality. Indigenous researchers develop relationships with ideas in order to achieve enlightenment in the ceremony that is Indigenous research. Indigenous research is the ceremony of maintaining accountability to these relationships. For researchers to be accountable to all our relations, we must make careful choices in our selection of topics, methods of data collection, forms of analysis and finally in the way we present information.

Indigenous Resistance & Decolonization Research & Theory Social Work


Shawn Wilson

I am Opaskwayak Cree from northern Manitoba. My personal roles include being father to three boys, being a son, uncle, husband, teacher, student, world traveller, knowledge keeper and knowledge seeker. In my professional roles as community psychologist, researcher and educated Cree, I’ve spent much of my life straddling the Indigenous and mainstream worlds. Most of my time these days is spent teaching other Indigenous knowledge seekers (and my kids) how to accomplish this balancing act while still keeping both feet on the ground. In addition to being a full-time dad, I also work part-time for the Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health in Lismore, NSW Australia, building research capacity with primary health care workers.

Travelling and meeting people from other nations and cultures has been a big part of my life, as has my work with traditional Healers, Elders and Knowledge Keepers. In my previous book Gwitch’in Native Elders: Not Just Knowledge but a Way of Looking at the World, I began to document some ideas about just what an Elder is and how they can be supported. I am currently working on documenting my parents’ life stories. Next year my family and I will be undertaking an overland journey around the world to visit with Indigenous Healers; video-documenting their stories, with the goal of building international connections to country and identity. (Not sure yet how we’ll manage the over-water parts!) In addition to further articulating Indigenous philosophies and research paradigms, my research focuses on the inter-related concepts of identity, health and healing, culture and wellbeing.


  • Foreword and Conclusion
  • Getting Started
  • On the Research Journey
  • Can a Ceremony Include a Literature Review?
  • The Elements of an Indigenous Research Paradigm
  • Relationality
  • Relational Accountability
  • Articulating an Indigenous Research Paradigm
  • Conclusions


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