In the post-Truth and Reconciliation era of Canada, it is important to read, study, and teach the words of Indigenous peoples in a way that is respectful to cultural perspectives. This writing is not now the focus of literary research or featured in curricula. Little recent historical or theoretical work has focused on the material we propose to examine in this project. We hope to change that.
Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s Decolonizing Methodologies (1999) made it impossible to see the division of research activity into theory, methodology, data collection, and reporting, etc. as culturally neutral. We cannot purify our disciplinary ways of knowing or pretend to understand everything we read. Our main strategy is to read and seriously consider as many Indigenous writers, past and present, as we can, and to open up the many perspectives on the subject responsibly and respectfully.
Research Strategies and Key Activities
Objective # 1- a blog and a sustainable annotated open-access bibliography of Indigenous texts and related secondary materials, including sustainable digital publication and distribution of texts, where legally and ethically permissible.
Objective #2 – Regular forums and training workshops as part of the annual meetings of ILSA to investigate models of supportive, ethical, responsible and community-responsive research and to promote work on the growing web resource.
Objective #3: a manual on Indigenous Research Methods and Protocols for Literary Scholars.
Objective #4- a collaborative literary history of multi-genre Indigenous texts.
Daniel Heath Justice