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Learning ethics from an echidna: Embedding Indigenous knowledges at the core of ethical research practice

Michelle Dickson

2020 Australia

I am an Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander2 (Koori3) researcher and am privileged to work at the Cultural Interface with Koori ontologies, epistemologies and axiologies within a Western academic paradigm. I deeply engage with my Koori ways of seeing and ways of knowing the world and those things sustain me as I navigate working in the Cultural Interface. However, I feel my Koori ontologies, epistemologies and axiologies are not often valued or understood as ways of being, knowing and doing within a Western academic space. This is particularly the case when I share a Yarn4 that I learned somewhere in my lifespan and apply it to teaching or research within a Western context. However, many of those Yarns are the foundation of my learning and knowledge, have inspired me and inform and guide my research. This article describes how Yarns learned through my own life have informed my development as a researcher and have guided the ethics, methodology and methods in my research. Throughout the article I will share several Yarns (in a written form) that I used as part of my doctoral research methodology, as I Yarned with Team Members, about navigating research ethics, about establishing my own research methodology and about how I ensure respectful research practice founded on Indigenous knowledges.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, indigenous research, ethics, methods, methodology, yarning, indigenous methodology, first nations, research ethics