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First Nations, Métis and Inuit

Indigenous Knowledge

Peer reviewed and academic sources are very important. However Indigenous Knowledge, traditional knowledge or knowledge that comes from the community are increasingly valued. There is also an increasing use of Indigenous methodology in research. 

Indigenous knowledge (IK)

  • Transmitted from generation to generation
  • Complete knowledge systems
  • Formats - oral, ceremony, artistic creations, artifacts etc.
  • Not all in the past; there is continued growth and innovation and change in practices
  • Includes history, law, spirituality, agriculture, environment, science, medicine, animal  behaviour and migration patterns, art, music, dance, craft, construction etc. etc.
  • Intellectual property issues and copyright issues 


Strategies for finding Indigenous Knowledge resources for assignments

Issues in using Indigenous knowledge include:

  • Assessing the quality of the information without peer review
  • Ethics requirements for obtaining information directly from people.

Primary sources

Many assignments require or encourage the use of primary sources.  Indigenous knowledge resources can often be used here. These might be:

  • Community-produced materials and information
  • Images of traditional clothing, regalia, activities
  • Recordings / digital versions of traditional practices (Ceremonies are not usually photographed  or recorded and if they are, it may not be appropriate to use them.)
  • Oral pieces

Suggested sources:

Indigenous Research Methods

Indigenous research methods

  • Challenge the notion of neutrality of the researcher
  • Aim to animate postcolonial institutions with Indigeneity
  • Challenge the assumptions of domination, patriarchy, racism
  • Are increasingly accepted in academic institutions

Suggestions for reading on Indigenous research methods