Published on July 16, 2018
Cynthia Stirbys, Pauline Young, Colleen Anne Dell, Janay Wilson, Larry Laliberte, Sherri Pooyak, Shannon Taylor, Randy (Charles) Duncan, David Mykota
Background: This paper shares reflections from participatory action research (PAR) and Indigenous approaches to research (IAR) team members on how they developed both personally and professionally through involvement on two Indigenous-focussed studies. Objectives: Sharing these reflections with the community-engaged scholarship (CES), which includes PAR, and Indigenous research communities is intended to further understanding about the relational role of individuals to themselves and with others in community-university research. Methods: Reflections were gathered from 20 university and community research members on the two studies in the forms of focus groups, interviews and written submissions. Results: Three compatible themes emerged from the participants’ reflections on their development: establishment of respectful relationships, increased cultural understanding, and personal empowerment. To help detail the meaning of these advancements, an Indigenous artist and study team member identified the oak tree as a metaphor representing the strength it took for team members to self-reflect on their beliefs, values, practices and assumptions. The metaphor is applied to present the results. Conclusion: Branching outside the boarders of discipline-specific scholarship, and intersecting two traditions in a unique and culturally rooted way, has contributed meaningful insight on researcher development in community-engaged scholarship.
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