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Kaupapa Maori Research: An indigenous approach to creating knowledge

Russell Bishop

1999 Aotearoa New Zealand

This paper seeks to identify how issues of epistemological racism are addressed in practice within an indigenous Kaupapa (philosophy) Maori approach to research, and how such considerations may impact on the Western trained and positioned researcher. One fundamental understanding to a Kaupapa Maori approach to research is that it is the discursive practice that is Kaupapa Maori that positions researchers in such a way as to operationalise selfdetermination (agentic positioning and behaviour) for research participants. This is because the cultural aspirations, understandings and practices of Maori people implement and organise the research process. Further, the research issues of power; initiation, benefits, representation, legitimation, and accountability are addressed and understood in practice by practitioners of Kaupapa Maori research through the development of a participatory mode of consciousness.