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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Genetic Research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities: Beginning the Conversation (Paper: Emma Kowal et al 2011)0

Posted by Admin in on May 31, 2015

Paper: Kowal, E., Rouhani, L., & Anderson, I. (2011). Genetic research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities: Beginning the conversation.

PREFACE (Excerpt):
Genetics is at the forefront of medical research, but it is rarely used in Indigenous health research projects. In the past, proposals to conduct genetic studies in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia have been highly criticised and rarely funded. However, genetic researchers worldwide argue that genetics has the potential to reduce health disparities (including Indigenous health disparities) in multiple ways: through understanding disease pathogenesis, using genetics to probe environmental risk, predicting disease risk, finding novel diagnostics and drug targets, and pharmacogenomics.

Understandably, many Indigenous people interpret genetic research in the context of their experiences of colonisation. Multiple fears constitute barriers to effective research partnerships between Indigenous communities and genetic researchers. These concerns include genetic theft or ‘biopiracy’, that genetics will be used to determine Aboriginality and may fuel racism, of poor access to potential health care innovations, of bad experiences of the Human Genome Diversity Project (known by some as the ‘Vampire’ project) and of struggles over access to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) extracted from human remains.


“De-Colonizing Research Practice: Indigenous Methodologies, Aboriginal Methods, and Knowledge/Knowing”, in Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research (Chapter: Mike Evans et al 2014).0

Posted by Admin in on May 31, 2015

BOOK CHAPTER: Evans, M, Miller, A, Hutchinson, P & Dingwall, C 2014, ‘De-colonizing research practice: indigenous methodologies, Aboriginal methods, and knowledge/knowing’, in P Leavy (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 179-191. ISBN: 9780199811755

Indigenous approaches to research are fundamentally rooted in the traditions and knowledge systems of Indigenous peoples themselves, although Indigenous methodologies and methods have become both systems for generating knowledge and ways of responding to the processes of colonization. Very specific Indigenous methods emerge from language, culture, and worldview. This chapter describes two such Indigenous research approaches drawn from the work of two Indigenous scholars with their communities in Australia and Canada. Although creative and new, these approaches draw deeply from their communities and thus express and enact traditional knowledge systems in contemporary terms. This approach may result in more pertinent research, better take-up and dissemination of research results, and a general improvement in the situations of Indigenous communities and peoples.

Through a critical lens: Indigenist research and the Dadirri method (Paper: Roianne West et al 2012)0

Posted by Admin in on May 31, 2015

PAPER: West, R., Stewart, L., Foster, K., & Usher, K. (2012). Through a Critical Lens Indigenist Research and the Dadirri Method. Qualitative health research22(11), 1582-1590.

Indigenous scholars have addressed the problematic nature of research by adopting methodologies that fit well with their communities and that relate effectively and culturally with how knowledge is shared to give indigenous people a voice. In this article we discuss Dadirri, an indigenous research method and way of life, as a vital research framework, connecting it to other relevant political and critical methodologies such as Freire’s transformative education process and Habermas’ theory of communicative action. In doing so, we illustrate how this methodology provides a significant framework for indigenous researchers undertaking liberatory studies that promote change.

Please Knock Before You Enter: Aboriginal Regulation of Outsiders and the Implications for Researchers (Karen Martin 2008)0

Posted by Admin in on May 31, 2015

BOOK: Martin, K 2008, Please knock before you enter: Aboriginal regulation of outsiders and the implications for researchers, Post Pressed, Teneriffe, Qld. ISBN: 9781921214370


The regulation of Outsiders to Aboriginal Country is theorised by scholars as invasion and contact, race relations, frontiers and acculturation. In these theories Aboriginal People are represented as powerless and hopeless in the face of their inevitable assimilation. Aboriginal regulation of Outsiders is rarely investigated for Aboriginal agency.

This research study investigates the agency of a Rainforest Aboriginal Community in the regulation of Outsiders to their Country of past, present and future. It provides an Indigenist research paradigm founded on the principles of cultural respect and cultural safety and embedded in Aboriginal ontology, epistemology and axiology.