Abstract

To what extent are non-Indigenous researchers invited to engage the knowledges of Indigenous peoples? For those working within a western paradigm, what is an ethical approach to traditional knowledge (TK) research? While these questions are not openly addressed in the burgeoning literature on TK, scholarship on Indigenous research methodologies provides guidance. Reflexive self-study - what Margaret Kovach calls researcher preparation - subtends an ethical approach. It makes relational, contextual, and mutually beneficial research possible. In my work on contested fisheries knowledge and decision-making systems in Ontario, Canada, a treaty perspective orients my mixed methodological approach. It reflects my relationships to Indigenous lands, peoples, and histories, and enables an ethical space of engagement through which relational accountability and respect for epistemic difference can be realized.

Acknowledgments

I gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Fish-WIKS Partnership. I would like to thank Dr. Deborah McGregor and also one anonymous reviewer for constructive feedback. I would also like to acknowledge the mentoring support of the Union of Ontario Indians and to thank Nipissing First Nation for the invitation to participate in community-based research.

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