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The 2014 Meeting of the American Indigenous Research Association was inspiring and powerful! Watch for a report soon!

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Photo by Frank Tyro, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

Indigenous Research Methodologies differ from the Western approach because they flow from tribal knowledge. Information is gained through relationship — with people in a specific Place, with the culture of Place as understood through our own cultures, with the source of the research data, and with the person who knows or tells the story that provides information. The researcher acknowledges a personal relationship with the story itself and how it is interpreted by both the teller and the researcher. In colonial academic models, the research project and data are separated from the researcher, who is merely an onlooker.

Though the data collected by Indigenous Research Methodologies can be analyzed quantitatively as well as qualitatively, just like data collected by Western research methods, the acknowledged relationship between researcher and data naturally challenges Western research paradigms. But Indigenous Research Methodologies are powerful and worthwhile despite this challenge, because they provide vital opportunities to contribute to the body of knowledge about the natural world and Indigenous peoples.

The American Indigenous Research Association’s mission is to educate researchers and the public about the importance of Indigenous Research Methodologies and to promote incorporation of these methodologies into all research that engages Indigenous peoples and communities. Membership in the Association is free and available to professionals, students, and community members alike. Visit this page to join us.

This fall of 2013 we held our inaugural conference at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The 2014 Meetingwas held Oct 10-11 at SKC, and a report will be available soon on this website. We are already developing the agenda and speakers for 2015, so check back later this fall to see what great things we’re lining up! Thanks to our funders: Montana INBRE, Alaska EPSCoR, and the SKC Social Work Program.

News! The newest book of Dr. Lori Lambert, founder and head of AIRA, is now available! Research for Indigenous Survival: Indigenous Research Methodologies in the Behavioral Sciences. Purchase through University of Nebraska Press, Salish Kootenai College Press and book store, amazon.com and at the conference. Congratulations, Dr. Lambert!

Citations for the text in the first paragraph of this page: Margaret Kovach, 2010. Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, and Context;  Linda Tuhiawi Smith, 1999. Decolonizing Methodologies; Shawn Wilson, 2008.  Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods.