Exploration in understanding an indigenous worldview
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With motivations of indigenization and reconciliation in mind, I contemplated my ability, as a non-Indigenous individual, to understand an Indigenous worldview, pertaining specifically to the Indigenous culture of Treaty 4 lands. Initially, I used qualitative approaches of ethnography and participant observation to procure knowledge through literature and experiential happenings pertaining to Indigenous culture, which I reflected in field journal entries. I further sought to conduct interviews with Indigenous people, who are deeply familiar with their culture using an interpretive phenomenological perspective. However, my journey soon revealed the need for a different approach, one that relied on Indigenous methodologies, specifically conversational method and self-location. The conversational method, involving the gathering of knowledge through the tradition of oral storytelling, and self-location, the situating of self and acknowledgement of how personal experiences influence the lens of interpretation, allowed me to approach individuals in a relational manner that permitted a space for protocol, sacred content, and vital respect to emerge (Kovach, 2010). Similar to research narratives shared by other nonIndigenous researchers, I learned that self-involvement is intimately required in revealing a personal understanding of an Indigenous worldview and Indigenous traditions can provide a passage for those curious, in formalizing connections of sacred appreciation and relation to the land. Moreover, engaging with Indigenous knowledge justifiably led me to recognize the need for appropriate methodologies within my research that respectfully enable the existential component of spirituality to be reflected and honoured in the emergence of cultural practices of said worldview.