Research informed by theory reformed by practice: Negotiating ethical government- commissioned research at the interface of western bureaucratic systems and Indigenous communities

Year: 2008

Author: Wolgemuth, Jennifer, Tootell, Naomi, Lea, Tess

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

We began planning our research on post-primary education, training, and work on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands with the best of intentions. This is the story of how we, at various stages of the research project, found our good intentions, informed by the literature on conducting decolonizing research with indigenous communities to be harmful, impracticable and/or resisted by those we intended to benefit. Employing Derrida's deconstruction we analyze how our good intentions were challenged and how, in the best of instances, we confronted those challenges and rethought theory and changed our practice. Implications for conducting indigenous and participatory research are discussed.