This is the first of a series of short reflections I want to share, based on my live tweets of a streamed session by Dr. Shawn Wilson on indigenous research methodologies. I don’t find this easy, because I have to confess how little I know, how much I need to learn, how much I fear not understanding in the right way, or distorting things through my own European roots and lens of privilege. I’m selecting the tweets to write on as they resonate for me at the moment. The two I bring forward here were breathed into life for me at the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls march in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side today.

Being with the gathering today, seeing the people and the vivid images, hearing the tragic stories of so many Indigenous women and others, yet also feeling the support and strength among those assembled…What is my relationship to this?

…a time of reflection on reality as relationships… …relationality is our reality. Our roles in relationships are our ways of being.

As I understand from Dr. Wilson’s explanation, indigenist research methodologies compel us beyond a research methodology as a technique that can be used at will, to a way of inquiry embedded in the way we live and connect to others and the world around us. A way of seeing the connections between things, people, ideas in a way that changes us. We need to live our research.

“Stages of ceremony–Incorporate into your lifestyle. Bring new knowledge from ceremony in own life and use/share. This is where wisdom comes from. “If your research doesn’t change you, then you haven’t done it right.” Part of the axiology of research.

This stage of the ceremony turns our research lens both outward and inward at the same time and asks us to confront who we are, what our beliefs and philosophies are, and how we live them out before, during and following our research. I’m reminded how easily research can become disconnected, dispassionate, severed from things that matter. I don’t have answers but rather a question to take away: What does this mean for us as teachers, researchers, learners?