Indigenous research

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Martin, K 2010, 'Indigenous research', in G MacNaughton, SA Rolfe, & I Siraj-Blatchford (eds), Doing early childhood research: international perspectives on theory and practice, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, NSW, pp. 85-100. ISBN: 9781865085203


In 1993 and 1994, the Quandamoopah peoples of Moreton Bay in Southeast Queensland, Australia were required to provide evidence for a native title application, which required a lot of anthropological, legal and historical research. I first watched with interest that changed to anxiety, the ways in which our knowledges and beliefs were gathered, interpreted and presented for this claim. It became increasingly evident that the findings were measured against predetermined categories defined within these anthropological, legal and historical disciplines. Deliberate or not, this research made me question who I was, my rights, my knowledges and my role as a Quandamoopah woman. I was made to feel that I didn't belong because my experiences were not 'valid' or valued in these procedures. I soon learned that I was not alone in these experiences as other Quandamoopah people shared the same concerns and frustration privately and publicly at community meetings. Others still chose not to participate. But I knew three things: that somehow this Aboriginal research was wrong; from an unwavering belief in my Ancestral relatedness to Quandamoopah that this was a harmful untruth; and that it had to be challenged in order to be changed.