Embodied in Indigenous Research: How Indigeneity, Positionality, and Relationality Contribute to Research Approaches and Understanding


  • Diane Simon
  • Nicole Burns Wilfrid Laurier University https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6944-5097
  • Nikki Hunter-Porter Thompson Rivers University
  • Tina Lanceleve Thompson Rivers University
  • Noé Préfontaine McGill University
  • Jaiden Herkimer Toronto Metropolitan University
  • Samantha Roan Trent University
  • Josie Auger Athabasca University
  • Anita Benoit University of Toronto, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
  • Melody Morton Ninomiya Wilfrid Laurier University https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0196-3410
  • Lisa Bourque Bearskin Thompson Rivers University




Indigenous research methodologies, Indigenous students, research, lived experience


Objectives: As the presence of Indigenous Peoples, world views, perspectives, and teachings continues to grow within academia, the institutional narrative regarding Indigenous approaches to knowing, doing, and being evolves and expands. We would like to contribute to this shifting narrative. Introduction: We are a diverse group of trainees invited into an Indigenous-led research project, entitled IndWisdom, that is exploring the context-mechanism-outcome relationships of Indigenous research. By conducting two parallel study components—an Indigenous-informed realist review and case studies—the larger IndWisdom project aims to advance Indigenous Peoples‘ sovereignty and rights related to how Indigenous Knowledges are centred in research. Through the process of this research, we have come to the understanding that Indigenous Knowledges and Indigenous Knowledge Systems are contextualized and dynamic in nature and are embodied and interconnected in all aspects of one‘s lived experience, language, traditions, and culture. Methods: As a collective, the trainees were supported to participate in a sharing circle to introduce ourselves and reflect on how our positionality and understanding of who we are impacts our approach to engaging with research. Results: While we span different nationhoods and time zones, we share how we have fostered virtual spaces that respect each other's perspectives and approaches as well as honour our own Indigenous world views and allied identities. Discussion: In the same way that our realist review involves recording and analyzing context-mechanism-outcome details of other peoples‘ studies, our paper provides the context of who we are as co-authors, our mechanisms (approaches) of engaging with each other and the IndWisdom study content, and outcomes from our ways of knowing and doing research.

Keywords: Indigenous, research, typology/methodology, lived experience, Indigenous research methodologies, ways of knowing


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