Volume 5, Issue 1

Reclaiming my Indigenous Identity and the Emerging Warrior: An Autoethnography

Natalie St-Denis & Christine Walsh

This autoethnography describes the Natalie St-Denis’ four-year journey in Indigenous social work, characterized as: awakening, exploring, indigenizing, reclaiming, belonging, and emerging Warrior. Awakening began with seeing herself as an ‘Indigenous woman’ and is retold through remembrances, reflections and conversations. In the second phase, guided by Elders, she embraces ceremony to explore her emerging identity. Adopting Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing serves to indigenize -- the third phase of the journey. Reclaiming, the fourth phase, is the actor’s reconciliation of both indigenous and Western worldviews, and in belonging, she describes the reconstruction of an Indigenous community. The final phase, emerging Warrior, concerns the integration of her personal and professional social work practitioner identity. St-Denis’ journey is revealed within the complicity of the social work profession in historical and ongoing colonization of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The Warrior is offered as a pathway to decolonize social work praxis.



Understanding Indigenous Food Sovereignty through an Indigenous Research Paradigm

Tabitha Martens, Jaime Cidro, Michael Anthony Hart & Stéphane McLachlan

The Indigenous food sovereignty (IFS) movement offers insight into food-related challenges that confront Indigenous Peoples in Canada. The philosophy of IFS is holistic in nature and sees food as encompassing all facets of being – the mental, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual. Thirty-two interviews were conducted across western Canada to better understand Indigenous food sovereignty practices. Indigenous research methodologies offer further insight into IFS studies, in part, through an epistemology centered on experiential knowledge, relational accountability, respect, and reciprocity. The values of these methodologies are reflected in this research regarding IFS, and provide an important and appropriate context for this work. In particular, metaphor, as a research tool, helps to further the understanding of IFS by acknowledging the harmony that can and should exist between food and nature.



Indigenous Ways of Knowing in Nepal: Exploring Indigenous Research Procedures in Shamanism

Raj Kumar Dhungana & Indra Mani Rai Yamphu

By presenting Shamanism as a form and tradition of indigenous knowledge, this paper aims to reduce the uncertainties attached to the concept in common approaches to indigenous research. Most indigenist researchers, who are working to blend western and non-western ways of knowing, have inadequately explored indigenous research procedures. In order to understand indigenous research procedures in the Nepali multi-cultural context, using interpretive, critical and postmodern research paradigms, the authors engaged with indigenous elders and traditional healers, and observed cultural events like shamanic performances. This paper reveals how achieving a profound understanding of indigenous knowledge traditions will be an integral part of how researchers approach indigenous communities in future studies.