Conducting a research ceremony, or how to catch fish

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Publication details

Wilson, S 2015, 'Conducting a research ceremony, or how to catch fish', presentation at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, 14 October.


Standardized testing, key performance indicators and demonstrable learning outcomes may not have much relevance to traditional Indigenous Knowledge. However, in order to ensure our survival for these past several millennia, Indigenous people have developed ways of evaluating behaviour. Indigenous axiology considers how we evaluate everything from the abstract and conceptual to the practical and mundane: What is good or bad for our communities? Which topics are worth researching? Is this food healthy for my grandchildren? How do I peer-review this article for the International Journal of Indigenous Peoples? Recognizing the importance of sakihiwawin allows us to evaluate our relationships with the world and guide our actions. Rather than delivering on KPIs, sakihiwawin helps us answer the more important question, “Who am I going to go fishing with?”