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Indigenous research: Culturally relevant methodologies


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Although ‘research’ and ‘researchers’ feature prominently socially and politically a lot of people do not realise that the research community has a major issue with what constitutes good research (Said Shahtahmasebi, 2014). The problem is exacerbated when attention is turned to a particular group in society with different health, social and historical parameters such as minorities and indigenous populations.
In New Zealand, this issue is highly politicised and political boundaries have been placed around conducting Maori research, in effect isolating Maori which is in conflict with the ethos of doing research. This in part is due to government organisations, public institutions,
and other entities attempting to comply with the Treaty of Waitangi, and, also due to Maoris’ mistrust of Pakeha (white non-Maori) conducting research about them rather than treating them as researchers in their own right. Ironically, the purpose of research is to remove boundaries through gained additional insight into Maori.
Politicisation of research is not strictly confined to Maori or indigenous populations, invisible boundaries have been placed to keep others out e.g. in suicide research (S. Shahtahmasebi, 2013). Similarly, Maori identify research with Maori cultural values and belief system (Kaupapa Maori Principles and Practices) and claim that current research methodologies are inappropriate for researching Maori (Ahuriri-Driscoll, Hudson, Bishara, & Milne, 2012; Baskin, 2005; Bishop, 1999; Edwards, McManus, & McCreanor, 2005; Mane, 2009; TipeneMatua, Phillips, Cram, Parsons, & Taupo). A discussion of Kaupapa is beyond the scope of this paper and the interested reader is referred to Tuhiwai Smith (Tuhiwai Smith, 2000). A point of contention with Maori is the claim that only Maori can do Maori research because
Pakeha do not understand Maori, and Maori research methodology.
In this paper, we discuss what is meant by scientific research methodology: the theories underpinning and defining each research study, the framework, research designs, tools, and so on, in order to discuss the implications for Maori research. These applications are
illustrated using ‘kaiawhina’ as the research question/topic.

Item Type: Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cultural sensitivity, research methodology, kaiawhina
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Health & Social Practice
Depositing User: Jan Liddell
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2019 03:01
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 08:15

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