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Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, and Contexts [Hardcover]

Margaret Elizabeth Kovach
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 15 2010

What are Indigenous research methodologies, and how do they unfold? Indigenous methodologies flow from tribal knowledge, and while they are allied with several western qualitative approaches, they remain distinct. These are the focal considerations of Margaret Kovach's study,which offers guidance to those conducting research in the academy using Indigenous methodologies.

Kovach includes topics such as Indigenous epistemologies, decolonizing theory, story as method, situating self and culture, Indigenous methods, protocol, meaning-making, and ethics. In exploring these elements, the book interweaves perspectives from six Indigenous researchers who share their stories, and also includes excerpts from the author's own journey into Indigenous methodologies. Indigenous Methodologies is an innovative and important contribution to the emergent discourse on Indigenous research approaches and will be of use to graduate students, professors, and community-based researchers of all backgrounds - both within the academy and beyond.

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‘This engaging book should be read by all Indigenous students pursuing advance university degrees and everyone who conducts or reviews research in Indigenous communities? Kovach’s work helps point us toward the new, mutually respectful forms of dialogue, research, theory, and action that we need to create to support Indigenous research.’ (T.J. Ferguson, Journal of Anthropological Research: vol67:2011 )


'Indigenous Methodologies is an excellent contribution to the emerging literature through its focus on the links between epistemology and research methodology ... Written with both passion and reason, Indigenous Methodologies will resonate with researchers, students, and faculty working in this area.' (David Newhouse, Indigenous Studies, Trent University )

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction and narrative Dec 5 2012
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This is my first book on Indigenous methodologies and I really enjoyed it. Kovach articulates what a lot of researched think and feel is the direction of Indigenous research and has really given words to the situation. Though it can be a little dense at times, it creates a really great story and so I would suggest not trying to read it in a rush. This book is a must read for not only academics but for those trying to understand the place of outside knowledges in the academic institution.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult Read Sept. 29 2013
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Indigenous Methodologies is a difficult read. There are some long sentences and paragraphs. Hard to get through. Very useful in research work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Oct. 13 2014
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Good book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading For Researchers Oct. 4 2012
By Stephen Bloom - Published on
This is an important book. It takes the struggle of Indigenous peoples into the halls of higher educational research.

The Euro-centric educational apparatus in North America is part of the continuing colonial structure constructed to eliminate or marginalize the Indigenous population. For hundreds of years, all Indigenous people in North America have been coerced to learn and earn within the language and culture of the conquerors. However, even within this overwhelming dominance, most Indigenous peoples have been able to preserve and celebrate their own worldviews. Many died in this struggle.

The standards of research and the methodologies of data gathering, analysis, peer review and reporting, forged by the Euro-centric worldview are part of the apparatus of control and dominance. Indigenous ways of knowing the world were ignored while Euro-centric research strategies were used to desecrate sacred places, loot graves, steal indigenous property, falsify the nature and extent of the Indigenous population, and to mock indigenous social behaviours and governance models, to name just a few of the practice outcomes.

Indigenous peoples have suffered at all levels of the educational system. Their histories, cultures and beliefs have been distorted and mocked for years and years and years. Many were forcefully removed as children to attend schools far away from home and most were dis-honoured there. Today, in most cases, there is a lack of Indigenous perspectives and worldview in much of the curriculum, classroom practices and assessment methods in the educational system.

For decades Indigenous scholars have been marginalized within the higher education system and coerced into deploying Euro-centric research methods and reporting models if they wished to advance.

There has been a continuing revolt against this dominance. Indigenous scholars are creating an environment that supports and honours the study of Aboriginal ways of knowing and distinctive Indigenous strategies in research. This book helps empower Indigenous faculty and staff to use Indigenous ways of knowing and doing and Indigenous values and knowledge systems to guide their research.

Kovach elucidates the epistemological and ontological foundations of Indigenous research strategies and their coherence, protocols and processes. The point is to incorporate these methods into the teaching and learning and research models across academe and beyond.
5.0 out of 5 stars Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, and Contexts Margaret Elizabeth Kovach March 10 2013
By paulette blanchard - Published on
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This is a MUST have for working with Indigenous Peoples doing research or just working together with groups of people with different world views from your own.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indigenous Methodologies support a greater "knowing". Sept. 21 2012
By Francesca Mason Boring - Published on
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Indigenous Methodologies : Characteristics, Conversations, and Contexts is an indispensible tool for those who are seeking broader views, more effective and inclusive perception in the area of research, but even more than that, in life.
Kovach writes" Ethical protocols in research go hand in hand with cultural protocols...overall protocol is about respect"(p.127).
Family, Human & Natural Systems Constellation has been developing for a number of years, touched by the Indigenous teachings and fields of the Zulu people in Africa with whom Bert Hellinger lived and worked. The method utilizes the `knowing field' and works effectively in the midst of what cannot easily be described. Seeing a broader view applied in so many instances in Western disciplines that have hit a wall, we are all looking for less constricted, more relevant paradigms and tools. The conversations contained in Indigenous Methodologies provide those tools and incorporate indigenous wisdom, rather than isolating it.
Ms. Kovach understands context and her inclusion of the sacred as relevant has touched my heart and her observations expand the mind.
Francesca Mason Boring, Shoshone, Author, Connecting to Our Ancestral Past: Healing through Family Constellation, Ceremony & Ritual
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