Advertisement

Using an Indigenist Framework for Decolonizing Health Promotion Research

  • Karen McPhail-BellEmail author
  • Alison Nelson
  • Ian Lacey
  • Bronwyn Fredericks
  • Chelsea Bond
  • Mark Brough
Living reference work entry

Abstract

This chapter provides a critical reflection on an ethnographic approach led by a non-Indigenous researcher in partnership with an Indigenous community-controlled health organization, and a team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous supervisors, advisors, critical friends, and mentors. The chapter explores the way the three interrelated principles of Indigenist research informed the study, as a critical reflection of the methodology’s achievement of a decolonizing research agenda. The flow of Maiwah (the Brisbane River in Australia) provides a metaphor for the chapter’s diverse authorship. Maiwah’s tributaries, inlets, and banks represent author voices at different points while the one River flowing represents coming together to form a broader collective story of the research that still respects the authors’ individual positioning. Maiwah’s flow also signifies the dialogical approach of the research – “tricky ground” (Smith 2005) for non-Indigenous researchers seeking to privilege Indigenous voices while remaining accountable to their own White privilege, particularly given that at its most basic level, research requires the “extraction of ideas” from participants. Yet, the flow of Maiwah also shows us the possibilities of research, where in this case, researcher and participants together cocreated new knowledge in support of their agendas. This process enabled both research outcomes and increased research capacity and confidence in the host agency and researcher. On this account, decolonizing research is perhaps more about relationship and devolving control over the process than it is about particular methods, and the respectful negotiation of epistemological meanings and representation of particular knowledges that can result.

Keywords

Indigenist research Decolonizing methodologies Health promotion Indigenous Australians Non-Indigenous Australians 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We acknowledge the support of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health and Deadly Choices.

References

  1. Alcoff L. The problem of speaking for others. Cult Crit. 1991;20:5–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bainbridge R, Tsey K, McCalman J, Kinchin I, Saunders V, Lui FW, … Lawson K. No one’s discussing the elephant in the room: contemplating questions of research impact and benefit in aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Australian health research. BMC Public Health. 2015;15:696.Google Scholar
  3. Bond C, Brough M, Spurling G, Hayman N. ‘it had to be my choice’ indigenous smoking cessation and negotiations of risk, resistance and resilience. Health Risk Soc. 2012;14(6):565–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chilisa B. Indigenous research methodologies. London: SAGE; 2012.Google Scholar
  5. DiAngelo R. White fragility. Int J Crit Pedagog. 2011;3(3):54–70.Google Scholar
  6. Evans M, Miller A, Hutchinson P, Dingwall C. Decolonizing research practice: indigenous methodologies, aboriginal methods, and knowledge/knowing. In: Leavy P, editor. The Oxford handbook of qualitative research. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2014. p. 179–91.Google Scholar
  7. Foley D. Indigenous epistemology and indigenous standpoint theory. Soc Altern. 2003;22(1): 44–52.Google Scholar
  8. Fredericks B. Utilising the concept of pathway as a framework for indigenous research. Aust J Indigneous Educ. 2007;36(Supplement):15–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fredericks B, Anderson M. Aboriginal and Torres strait islander cookbooks: promoting indigenous foodways or reinforcing Western traditions? In: Paper presented at the Peer reviewed proceedings of the 4th annual conference. Brisbane: Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (PopCAANZ); 2013.Google Scholar
  10. Fredericks B, Adams K, Edwards R. Aboriginal community control and decolonizing health policy: a yarn from Australia. In: Lofgren H, De Leeuw E, Leahy M, editors. Democratizing health: consumer groups in the policy process. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited; 2011.Google Scholar
  11. Fredericks B, Lee V, Adams M, Mahoney R. Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander health. In: Fleming ML, Parker E, editors. Introduction to public health. 2nd ed. Sydney: Elsevier Australia; 2012. p. 350–72.Google Scholar
  12. Fredericks B, Maynor P, White N, English F, Ehrich L. Living with the legacy of conquest and culture: social justice leadership in education and the indigenous peoples of Australia and America. In: Bogotch I, Shields CM, editors. International handbook of educational leadership and social (in)justice. New York: Springer; 2014. p. 751–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Graham M. Introduction to Kummara conceptual framework on place: a discourse on a proposed aboriginal research methodology. Brisbane: Kummara Association Inc; 2006.Google Scholar
  14. IUIH. Intitute for Urban Indigenous Health: strategic plan 2011–2014. Bowen Hills: Institute for Urban Indigenous Health; 2011.Google Scholar
  15. Laycock A. with Walker D, Harrison N, Brands J. Researching Indigenous health: a practical guide for researchers. Melbourne: Lowitja Institute; 2011.Google Scholar
  16. Madden R. Being ethnographic: a guide to theory and practice of ethnography. London: SAGE; 2010.Google Scholar
  17. Martin K. Ways of knowing, being and doing: a theoretical framework and methods for Indigenous re-search and Indigenist research. J Aust Stud. 2003;27(76):203–14.Google Scholar
  18. Martin K. Please knock before you enter – Aboriginal regulation of outsiders and the implications for researchers. Teneriffe: Post Pressed; 2008.Google Scholar
  19. Max K. Anti-colonial research: working as an ally with Aboriginal peoples. In: Sefa Dei GJ, Johal GS, editors. Critical issues in anti-racist research methodologies. New York: Peter Lang; 2005. p. 79–94.Google Scholar
  20. McPhail-Bell K. “We don’t tell people what to do” – an ethnography of health promotion with Indigenous Australians in South East Queensland. Doctoral thesis, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove. 2015. Retrieved from https://eprints.qut.edu.au/91587/.
  21. McPhail-Bell K, Fredericks B, Brough M. Beyond the accolades: a postcolonial critique of the foundations of the Ottawa charter. Glob Health Promot. 2013;20(2):22–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. McPhail-Bell K, Bond C, Brough M, Fredericks B. “We don’t tell people what to do”: ethical practice and Indigenous health promotion. Health Promot J Austr. 2015;26(3):195–9.Google Scholar
  23. Megarrity L. Sport, culture and ideology at the Brisbane regatta (1848-73): Aboriginal-European relations in an emerging colonial city. J Aust Colon Hist. 2015;17:101–14.Google Scholar
  24. Moreton-Robinson A. Talkin’ up the white woman: Indigenous women and white feminism. St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press; 2000.Google Scholar
  25. Moreton-Robinson A. I still call Australia home: Indigenous belonging and place in a white postcolonising society. In: Ahmed S, editor. Uprootings/regroundings: questions of home and migration. New York: Berg Publishing; 2003. p. 23–40.Google Scholar
  26. Moreton-Robinson A. Whiteness matters. Aust Fem Stud. 2006;21(50):245–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Moreton-Robinson A, Walter M. Indigenous methodologies in social research. In: Walter M, editor. Social research methods. Melbourne: Oxford University Press; 2010. p. 1–18.Google Scholar
  28. Nakata M. Disciplining the savages: savaging the disciplines. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press; 2007.Google Scholar
  29. NHMRC. Values and ethics: guidelines for ethical conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research. Canberra: Australian Government; 2003. Retrieved from http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/file/health_ethics/human/conduct/guidelines/e52.pdf.
  30. Nicholls R. Research and Indigenous participation: critical reflexive methods. Int J Soc Res Methodol. 2009;12(2):117–26.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13645570902727698.
  31. Riggs D. Benevolence and the management of stake: on being ‘good white people’. Philament(4): Untitled. (2004). Accessed 2015. http://www.philamentjournal.com/issue4/riggs-benevolence/.
  32. Rigney L-I. Internationalization of an Indigenous anticolonial cultural critique of research methodologies: a guide to Indigenist research methodology and its principles. Wicazo Rev. 1999;14(2): 109–21.Google Scholar
  33. Rigney L-I. A first perspective of Indigenous Australian participation in science: framing Indigenous research towards Indigenous Australian intellectual sovereignty. In: Paper presented at the chamcool conference. Alberta; 2001.Google Scholar
  34. Rigney L-I. Indigenous Australian views on knowledge production and Indigenist research. In: Kunnie J, Goduka N, editors. Indigenous peoples’ wisdom and power: affirming our knowledge. Burlington: Ashgate Publishing Ltd; 2006. p. 32–48.Google Scholar
  35. Said EW. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books Edition; 1978.Google Scholar
  36. Said EW. Culture and imperialism. London: Vintage; 1993.Google Scholar
  37. Schnarch B. Ownership, control, access, and possession (OCAP) or self-determination applied to research. A critical analysis of contemporary first nations research and some options for first nations communities. J Aborig Health. 2004;1(1):81–95.Google Scholar
  38. Sherwood J. Do no harm: decolonising aboriginal health research. Unpublished Doctor of Philosophy thesis. Sydney: University of New South Wales; 2010.Google Scholar
  39. Sherwood J, Edwards T. Decolonisation: a critical step for improving Aboriginal health. Contemp Nurse. 2006;22(2):178.Google Scholar
  40. Smith LT. On tricky ground: researching the native in the age of uncertainty. In: Denzin N, Lincoln YS, editors. The Sage handbook of qualitative research. 3rd ed. Thousand Oakes: SAGE; 2005. p. 85–107.Google Scholar
  41. Smith LT. Decolonizing methodologies: research and Indigenous peoples. 2nd ed. London: Zed Books; 2012.Google Scholar
  42. Spivak GC. Can the subaltern speak? In: Nelson C, Grossberg L, editors. Marxism and the interpretation of culture. Basingstoke: Macmillan Education; 1988. p. 721–313.Google Scholar
  43. Thomas D, Bainbridge R, Tsey K. Changing discourses in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, 1914–2014. Med J Aust. 2014;201(1 Supplement):S15–8.Google Scholar
  44. van den Honert R, McAneney J. The 2011 Brisbane floods: causes, impacts and implications. Water. 2011;3(4):1149–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Young R. Postcolonialism: an historical introduction. Carlton: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing; 2001.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen McPhail-Bell
    • 1
    • 7
    Email author
  • Alison Nelson
    • 2
  • Ian Lacey
    • 3
  • Bronwyn Fredericks
    • 4
  • Chelsea Bond
    • 5
  • Mark Brough
    • 6
  1. 1.University Centre for Rural HealthUniversity of SydneyCamperdownAustralia
  2. 2.Allied Health and Workforce DevelopmentInstitute for Urban Indigenous HealthBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Deadly ChoicesInstitute for Urban Indigenous HealthBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.Office of Indigenous EngagementCentral Queensland UniversityRockhamptonAustralia
  5. 5.Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies UnitThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  6. 6.School of Public Health and Social WorkQueensland University of TechnologyKelvin GroveAustralia
  7. 7.Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, Sydney Medical SchoolThe University of SydneyCamperdownAustralia

Personalised recommendations