“Melq’ilwiye” Coming Together in An Intersectional Research Team





This article describes a unique community-based, participatory action research partnership between Elders, an urban Aboriginal community health and social services agency, Aboriginal university faculty, non-Aboriginal faculty, and research participants working together to develop culturally safe best practices in social work and human service field education in Aboriginal community health settings. The article reflects on the process of creating the space to talk together about issues of power, trust, and relationship with respect to histories of colonization past and present within research partnerships. The authors use narratives to link their experiences working as members of this interdisciplinary and intersectional research team moving across various social locations. Experiences are discussed alongside descriptions outlining the process of engagement for respective research team members within a culturally safe and intersectional framework. Grounding the research team in its community health context is Melq’ilwiye, the Secwepemc word for coming together. Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) campuses are located on the traditional territory of the Secwepemc and Nlaka’pamux peoples, noted throughout the paper as Aboriginal.

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