Indigenist and Decolonizing Research Methodology

  • Elizabeth F. RixEmail author
  • Shawn Wilson
  • Norm Sheehan
  • Nicole Tujague
Reference work entry


European colonization of Indigenous nations has severely impacted the health of Indigenous peoples across the globe. Much of the burden of ill health suffered by Indigenous people today can be traced directly back to colonization. Indigenous peoples of all first world nations where colonization has occurred are experiencing epidemic proportions of chronic disease, higher levels of morbidity and mortality, and poorer health outcomes compared to non-Indigenous populations. Indigenist and decolonizing approaches to research with Indigenous peoples have emerged in recent years with the overall aim of recognition and inclusion of Indigenous epistemologies and ontologies within the western research paradigm. A significant barrier to achieving this is the disconnection between the dominant biomedical approach to health and the holistic understandings of health based on Indigenist philosophies and traditional healing practices and knowledges. Conducting research that can successfully inform and improve health services and outcomes for Indigenous peoples requires a decolonizing approach where the voices of Indigenous Elders and communities are the primary informants. Integrating Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing with western biomedical approaches requires respect for and inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge as healing methods that have preserved community and individual well-being for thousands of years.


Indigenous Knowledge Colonization Trauma aware practice Healing culture Dominant western paradigms 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth F. Rix
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shawn Wilson
    • 1
  • Norm Sheehan
    • 1
  • Nicole Tujague
    • 1
  1. 1.Gnibi Wandarahn School of Indigenous KnowledgeSouthern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia

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