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Reflecting on an Indigenist Methodology in Indigenous Family and Community Engagement Research

Shaneé A. Washington

2023 United States

Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers of Indigenous peoples and contexts have argued that any research involving Indigenous communities must align with Indigenous paradigms, follow critical cultural protocols, and promote emancipatory agendas. This ensures ethical and culturally appropriate research practices that prioritize community needs while placing the interests, experiences, and knowledge of Indigenous peoples at the center of research methodologies. Drawing from canonical scholars who have explicated and refined, over time, the meaning of Indigenous methodologies, this article first offers my synthesis of their collective conceptualizations. Next, I reflexively consider my application and, at times, misapplication of Indigenous methodologies with Indigenous and white participants in a study I carried out exploring Indigenous family and community-school engagement. I conclude by offering some implications for researchers who desire and have the responsibility to conduct research in ethical ways that honor Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing in research with/in Indigenous communities.

Indigenous methodologies, Indigenous methods, Indigenous research, Indigenous communities, family, community engagement