Caught Between Two Worlds: An Aboriginal Researcher’s Experience Researching in her Home Community

An Excerpt


As an Aboriginal researcher who has maintained ties with her home community, I presumed that I would have relative ease of access for research purposes among members of my home community. I thought they would welcome me back and do all that they could to assist me: after all, I thought, my research was intended to help them. Alas, this was not the case. What actually transpired throughout the process of doing my doctoral research continues to be an enigma; a perplexing contrast between supposition and reality or perhaps between academia and community. My research focus was on how the Woodland Cree of Northern Saskatchewan perceive cancer as a whole: their internalization, their diagnosis, and treatment experiences as well as their world view of health and illness. I had chosen to work within my own Band, since I spoke the language and understood the culture and traditions. Lac La Ronge Band comprises 6 communities, spread out within a 300 km radius of La Ronge. What follows is a discussion about my personal experience as an Aboriginal researcher and the implications of researching in my home community.

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