INQ13 | Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Eve Tuck – “Decolonizing Methodologies”

INQ13 | Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Eve Tuck – “Decolonizing Methodologies”


(hip-hop techno music) (speaking foreign language) – Thank you so much. My name is Eve Tuck, and it
is my pleasure to welcome you to a public lecture celebrating the 15th anniversary of Decolonizing Methodologies By Dr. Linda Tuhiwai Smith.
(audience applauds) It is also my pleasure
as a guest on this land, but as a guest for the
last 15 or so years to welcome you to the traditional homeland
of Lenni-Lenape people. This is the land called Manna-hata. And I’ve included some images of the Lenni-Lanape sites and trails. But I wanted to draw your attention to… My voice and my arms are not cooperating. But, to this trail right here, which is one of the oldest trails on the continent, and is also approximately Broadway. So, always, when you are here in New York, you are on native land. And so, it’s important that we begin our meeting in recognizing that we are here because of the… I was going to say hospitality, but that’s a complicated way to put it. But, that we are here on always, always native land. I think I’ll turn it over to Michelle. – So, Eve has given you
the history of this space. I’m Michelle Fine. I have the privilege of teaching
here, and I welcome you to CUNY, the people’s university that sometimes forget it
belongs to all of the people of this City of New York.
(audience applauds) It’s really remarkable that we’ve been able to gather this evening to bring
together University of Alaska, University of Arizona, CUNY, Canadian scholars, New Zealand scholars, together to gather to speak about decolonizing methodologies. I was at a conference maybe two weeks ago, on prisons, and Silki Shah, who’s
an immigration lawyer, reminded us that she was defending someone who was brought up on immigration charges. And, you know in this country, we like to put people in prison, for those of you not from this country. So, this guy had been picked up, and rather than put him in prison, they gave him an ankle bracelet. Just a reminder for those
of us who fight for reform, that when we fight for reform there’s kind of a sprawl
of criminalization. So, he was wearing this ankle bracelet, and he and his wife were taking a trip from Nassau County to Suffolk County, and as they crossed the border, his ankle bracelet said,
“You’re leaving the master zone. “Please turn around and
return to the master zone.” So, that’s the complicated politic in which we situate this space. Many of us are living with the affective whiplash of hard
violence and soft violence from last week. Hard violence in Boston
and around the world, and the soft violence
of high stakes testings, and school closings, cutting
off people’s opportunities and aspirations in a way that doesn’t look violent, but in fact many of us would consider another form of structural violence. So, it’s with that kind
of affective bouillabaisse that I’m thrilled that we’re able to begin a three day salon with Linda Smith, with Graham Smith, with many of the colleagues
who helped me pull off this event: Perry Gilmore, Terry McCarty, I’m gonna screw up people’s names, Lacy. Speak your names, those of you who have been
involved in the planning. Go ahead, go down the row. (people speaking) Who else has been invited, Kendra. (people speaking) Brian, Sheila. – Rachel.
– Where is Rachel. Rachel Liebert, who is everywhere, you will want to thank her. There are many others. Don Roboth, Don, are you here? Don, from the Advanced
Research Collaborative here at the Graduate Center. It has taken a lot of good
will to pull this off. Linda, it is your book that
has created an occasion that so many of us wanted
to gather to think through what’s the academic
project in such hard times. What is the role of research,
other than to further, humiliate, stratify, demonize, and declare disposable. Is there a progressive
project of research? And Linda’s work… I’ve had the opportunity to
work with Linda for 15 years. Linda’s work has been a way of reframing public science that many of us here at
the public science project have tried to move forward in our own spaces, to use science and recognize the expertise that lives particularly in marginalized communities to take seriously the knowledge of those who know most
intimately in justice. To recognize that expertise
does not sit in the academy, we are lucky if we can
open our doors to create what Maria Torre would call
contact zones of expertise. So, it’s in that frame that I welcome you here
with us this evening. You are going to hear
from two remarkable women. I will introduce each of them separately, but let me just say that together, they have sandwiched my
lives both as mentors: one as an age-peer, and one as a younger mentor. I had the opportunity to work with Linda when I visited New Zealand,
probably 15 years ago, right? It was when the book was just coming out, and she was involved in
this remarkable project gathering youth voices
from all around New Zealand to tell a different story about who lives on those islands. To tell not the story that the
tourist industry was selling, but not just the story of
tragedy and oppression, either. A story of strength and
resilience, and oppression, and fight back. Then I had the opportunity
to meet Eve Tuck when she wandered into my office and said, “Wanna play with me?” and
then she became my student. And we played, and thought,
and read, and she wrote, and I’ve learned from both of these women. And one of the amazing things
about these women separated by age and continent and generation, is that they, this is a bad sports metaphor, they bat a thousand. They cannot write an essay
or a book that is not an automatic classic. If you haven’t read both
Linda’s work and Eve’s work, I suggest that you do that tonight. Linda Smith is a professor of Education
and Maori Development and Pro-vice Chancellor Maori, at the University of Waikato. She first published Decolonizing
Methodologies in 1998, and then has had a second
run that just came out last year, and has remarkable international reach. I think both because it speaks deeply to critical issues inside native communities, but
also for those of us who are not from native communities, how we might think about ethical progressive research
that takes seriously land, language, human rights, sovereignty. Linda will speak with us for a bit, and then we are really fortunate that our discussant this evening is Eve Tuck. As I said, Eve is a graduate
of the Graduate Center. She now teaches at SUNY New Paltz. She’s a professor of
Educational Foundations, and coordinator of the Native
American studies program. Last year, Eve published
Urban Youth in School Pushout: Gateways, Get-Aways, and the GED. She also has publications
in Harvard Ed Review, in Urban Review, and almost every top-tiered education journal in the five minutes
since you have left us. So, without further ado,
let me introduce Linda Tuhiwai Smith.
(audience applauds) (speaking foreign language) – Greetings in my language, and thank you Michelle
and others for inviting me here to New York. I love it, I hate it. I don’t have enough money,
so I don’t like it that much. But I did discover where all the inexpensive T.J. Maxx and
Marshall’s, and I loved it again. I’ll love it more when I
finish my obligations, and I can relax. Thank you very much for the invitation, for the opportunity to hang out with some friends. I want to acknowledge those of you who are from Alaska and Arizona, and who, you know, our lives
and our careers have intersected and interacted. Think what that means
since we’re a community. To me, a community has
a conversation together, and then we eat. And over the next three days, hopefully we get some eating done as well. So, thank you. Firstly, this evening, I’m really just giving you some thoughts on where, I think, decolonizing methodologies has come from and is going to… It’s very easy to invent an new history for
decolonizing methodologies, because I can’t truly
remember 16 years ago. It could be a partially invented history. But the history is actually in that first edition. Want to remind my self and
remind you that I come from a particular place. I like this map, courtesy of Google, because it tips New
Zealand the right way up, the way in our indigenous
geography we understand it: a fish. A fish that was fished up by our ancestors from the canoe, or the waka, which imaginatively came to be called the North Island and the South Island. I speak also from this place, which is actually my family home. It’s a valley, and as you know, valleys
can be very enclosing. And there’s something
quite safe about that, but also something very insular. And as I get older, I value that insular. When I was young, it was
much too claustrophobic. But this is my family home. The only reason there’s lots of cars there is we’re gathered for a funeral. And often when you’re disconnected, when you come together again, it’s either to celebrate a wedding, or unfortunately these days, to also mourn the passing
of a member of the family. So, I speak from a specific place as an indigenous person, and I want to acknowledge this place. And the places here of ancestors who, I’m sure are present, but I think also in
the history of the city are also absent. And it’s about trying to bring that concept of absence
and presence together and understand what that means when we’re thinking about research. Over here on your right
is my great-grandmother, and on my left is my grandmother. It just so happened that women have had a powerful influence in my life. They were Maori. They intermarried with one
a Scotsman, and the other an Englishman, but those men didn’t really stick around. And so, our families were raised
often by our grandmothers. And these women lived a long time. My great-grandmother
lived until she was 106, and my grandmother lived until she was 96. So, they’ve been very dominant influences in my life, and I still have aunts alive
who are in their 90’s. My mother was the youngest of 16 and she’s 85, and she is fit and healthy. I guess, the beginning of
decolonizing methodologies has always been about trying to understand our colonizing experience. And trying to understand
it, not just as a history that was taught oh so briefly in school. It was first there was us, then the British came, and
our lives were forever changed for the better. I think my undergraduate journey,
I was a history major, but at that time in New Zealand, New Zealand history wasn’t taught. The history that was
valued was British history and European history. So, I actually learned about imperialism through European history. And it wasn’t until I left
undergraduate studies, that a major in New Zealand history was established in New Zealand. Believe it or not, history is
not compulsory in our schools, and where it is taught,
teachers still have the option of teaching New Zealand history. So, that denial of
history is a very powerful part of the way our country learns to deny colonization, and
deny our experience. And as you know, when
that experience is denied, and it’s real, you develop a number of
psychological and sociological frameworks for trying
to make sense of that. That school on the right,
I went to that school. Native schools were
established from 1867 onwards. We had to provide the land. We had to pay for part
of the teacher’s salary. We had to chop the firewood, and we had to make sure that the principal, or the head
teacher, was looked after. Believe it or not, our
people were totally engaged in schooling. Because they believed that
it would deliver the promises that we had been given. That it would deliver justice, and it would deliver equality. It took some generations to
realize that it wouldn’t, but it would still deliver to us our own culture, and
things that we wanted. So, native schools existed
in New Zealand for 100 years. By the time they got into the 80th year, they had really become community schools, and being transformed. And most of the teachers in the schools were actually Maori teachers,
or indigenous teachers. So, they became our schools. We thought they were quite successful. And the fact that they
were successful in our mind is the reason they were disestablished, and the school system
was brought in under the mainstream schools. On your right is the fragment of the Treaty of Waitangi, which was signed in 1840 by Maori chiefs with the British Crown. The Treaty is an important
discourse in New Zealand. It’s the basis on which we as Maori think New
Zealand should be governed, but it was the basis the British saw for their settlement. So, from 1840, where we were
the dominant population; within 30 years, we were
the minority population. And in 1856, New Zealand
established a settler government, and things went rapidly
downhill from there. I don’t really want to dwell too much on the colonial
history of New Zealand, but just two important slides here, one is the Suppression Act
that suppressed Tohunga. Tohunga were our elders, our healers, our intellectuals. The ones who looked after
the life of the community. And because they also were our healers within the health area, and
looked after our well-being, the government decided that they were a hindrance to us being healthy. And so they passed legislation
to make them illegal. It was illegal to call yourself a Tohunga, to operate as a Tohunga, to
give advice as a Tohunga. That simple legislative act, that is one of thousands of legislative acts that really wounded our culture, and wounded our people. On the right is just one of
the number of protests that occurred in the 1970’s and 80’s. Can’t really see the picture,
but it’s about education. And that really leads
me to the next slide, which, if I were to
reinterpret our Treaty, our Treaty gave us the right to an intellectual life. Gave us the right to the
legacy of our ancestors. And I think the legacy of our ancestors is actually the legacy
of a people who thought, who valued knowledge, and who actually did research. They valued knowledge enough
to never get the greatest waterways in the world: the Pacific Ocean. And they did it purposely. You don’t wash up in New Zealand easily. It’s not something you
can accidentally find. It’s purposeful voyaging. And purposeful voyaging in
which in our canoes, were men and women who traveled the Pacific. Men and women. It enabled us to settle. Men and women. It’s a very much part of our tradition. So, that intellectual life is part really of what I came to think as important when, as a Masters student, I tried to make sense of the research texts I
was being made to read in a research methodology course. I didn’t understand any of it. Or if I understood it, I had that sort of instant weariness about what research methods was about. And in a simple way, it just made me feel like
I couldn’t do research. I was the wrong person. That in order to do research,
I had to give up myself. And that didn’t seem a possibility. I was in a feminist methods class, and one would think that
would have been helpful. No, it wasn’t. It wasn’t helpful. It had some useful tools
to analyze research, and understand what we have been taught in the academy, but it still didn’t speak to
me as an indigenous person. And that’s mostly because
the literature at the time about indigenous peoples, you know, primarily
anthropological literature, was about describing natives. Describing native peoples. And those descriptions
weren’t that healthy. So when I read them… Well, I didn’t read them. I made several attempts, but it’s like trying to
eat something really sour that your can’t stand. You can suck on it so long, and then, no, you have to spit it out. When I had spat out all
of them, I thought, well, this just not gonna work. I can’t love these texts
that I’m being made to read. I’m gonna have to think about it. And really, my journey
has been about trying to think about it. What does that mean? What does it mean for
the way I was educated, the way our society educates people? What does it mean for research, for our ideas about how
knowledge is created, produced, made, understood, and then reproduced
through what we are taught? So that, then, has been a 15-year journey. Well, actually, probably 18 years. Parts of decolonizing methodologies are wrote as a Master student. Some of the middle chapters. The critique of positivism was something I wrote as a Master student, and kind of kept and worked
on and thought about, yeah, from that time. And I just saved and put things together, and reframed them as I moved on. So, I think there’s some simple messages about decolonizing methodologies that you probably all aware of, that scientific research
has deeply implicated in the forms of colonialism. And then it must stop. That academic disciplines have their roots in Orientalism, or what’s
called Orientalism, of the other, and they need to be decolonized. That research is an institution of power that has been viewed by
others as the misuse of power. And that approach must stop. But that also the idea
of research for knowledge is something all human societies seek. And that includes us as indigenous people. Research can enhance knowledge and can generate solutions, and benefit societies at
local levels and upwards. And that indigenous
peoples value knowledge, and have approaches to research that can provide benefits
for themselves and others. And you’ll note from that
slide they afford that there are two parts to the story. Two parts to the book. First part which is unchanged in the second edition was my attempt to understand imperialism, and understand cultural imperialism in the way knowledge was thought about, in the way institutions were developed, and in the way disciplines
came to be formed. So, the first part of
the book deals with that. But I never thought of myself
as being anti-research, or anti-knowledge, or anti-science, per se. I believe we actually have a tradition of knowledge in our own communities. And that that tradition was really trashed by schooling. I believe we valued knowledge, and that knowledge was dismissed
as irrelevant and ignorant. And I believe that we had answers, that we were able to resolve problems, that we were able to inform
ourselves with better knowledge. We had a language that enabled us to talk to each other to make sense of the
world that we lived in. So, the second part of the book was my attempt at that time to formulate some ideas about how can we do that again? How can we revalue our knowledge, but also think about knowledge and research as ours? Again, how can we restore it to us? What do we have to do to reframe knowledge in any way? You will note that I was greatly influenced by writers like Said, Edward Said, who was also influenced by Foucault, by Derrida. I was influenced by Fanon, and then Memmi, and Paulo Freire, so, a range of critical theorists, anti-colonial intellectuals. They really became the literature that helped me move forward. I think decolonizing research is actually, to me it’s really positive. I get people who think I must have
been a terribly angry person to write the book. And actually, one of
my head of departments, thankfully, what he did
do was read the book. But he interviewed every
staff member about they had been writing. And his interview with me was you must have been so angry, and I was really stunned. ‘Cause I don’t think this
book is written in anger. I would have not complete it. I think it was written with passion. That’s different. Not out of anger. Out of a desire to understand. Really out of a desire
to turn research around. Turn it around from being a negative. Turn it around from
being an abusive power. How to you shift the gaze? How do you tune something that’s been anti-you into something that can
be positive towards you? And I was writing at a time, remember, well, some of you might be too
young, but the 1970s, 1980s, they were actually
relatively liberal times, progressive times. Possibly more progressive
times than we have now. It was a time when intellectuals were very expansive, and very progressive, but not when it came
to indigenous peoples. We were the unstated, the ones they didn’t want to talk about. The other they couldn’t find
a language to talk about. It was convenient to ignore us. And so, at that time, I think indigenous, you know, the Indigenous
Peoples Movement was really just beginning to work around drafting the Declaration of Indigenous Peoples Rights, and would be assembling
in Geneva every year to draft the next clause and
to debate the next clause. We were a movement coming into being when this book was written, both politically and in
terms of all the other grassroots, and flex roots
initiatives that were developing. We were on the cusp of being, but hadn’t quite reached there. So, I just want to change the view a bit, not think just of the
colonizing institution, but what did it mean to change the way we thought about research and thought about knowledge. This photograph here is actually a welcome to the French philosopher Derrida, who’s the figure in the gray suit. But, this is not really about him. The slightly, a
deconstruction of the context. ‘Cause you will see, I took this photo. So you will see from my
position where I’m standing. So, I’m standing behind the group that is welcoming Derrida onto our space. And you will see that between the group that Derrida’s part of and our group, there is a space. And it’s that space over
the next few minutes, or next 40 minutes, is negotiated through
a series of protocols that walk Derrida and that group across the space to where we are. And it seems to me that space
of negotiation is a really important space for trying to, A: shift the (stammering), where the, I don’t wanna use zones, but, where the center is. It’s easy to think it’s all about Derrida, but in this particular ceremony, it’s all about the space. And it’s about moving
people through space, through a series of protocols that then join people together. And I thought, when you’re
thinking about changing, how do you change a perspective? It’s really trying to understand that space in which perspectives are created, and shaped, and formed, in which they interact. This is another photo I have. I have lots of these where I stand behind people and like. They’re mostly not very good photos. But this other, I guess, illustration of starting to look at ourselves, but with new eyes. Different eyes. Thinking about ourselves not in the negative, and not
even in the grievance mode of being a colonized people. But how do we think about
ourselves as sovereign people, as people who have a history, who value knowledge, and who have a future and want to define that future? How do we begin to reframe
ourselves as self-defining people? So, you will know from the book, I don’t really do diagrams very well, but this was my attempt
to really think about what is it as indigenous
peoples we have to address? When I looked at the different
examples across the world, basically we have to address everything. Layers, and layers, and
layers of imperialism. Many indigenous communities to this day are fighting for their survival, the survival of their environment, the survival of their language. But, for a number communities, physical survival. Sheer survival. When you’re struggling
for physical survival, protecting your language
and revitalizing it is probably the least important priority. Protecting your home, and
your family, and your house is the priority. So, as I’ve studied different
indigenous communities and asked myself, what
are they working on, what’s the discourse they’re using? So, going to Canada with a discourse was about healing. Coming from New Zealand, I
found that a intriguing word. Healing. Why do they want to heal? Who do they want to heal? What do they want to heal? I was coming out of a context
where we weren’t into healing. We were into struggling against the
Crown, or the government. We were into protesting. Being politically active. So, what was this discourse
about healing about? In Australia, why would they want to have a reconciliation program between Aborigines and white Australians? What was the reconciliation agenda about? How do we begin to understand that? Essentially what I did here was try to map the different projects
that indigenous peoples were working on, whether they knew they were
working on a project or not. What were they doing, and what was the discourse of the moment in which they were doing this? And so, that’s my sort of attempt to put everything down on a page that enabled me to work with it. And to organize it, because part of it is not
really the decolonizing project. Some of it, people, just beginning to think
about decolonizing. They’re just putting
themselves together again, like a broken egg trying to find all the little
pieces and the fragments. And we still do that as well. We just had a delegation from New Zealand here in New York City visiting the museum finding human remains. And this delegation,
for the last nine years, have been collecting human
remains of our people from museums across the world. It’s a putting ourself together piece. Bringing our ancestors home. Finding our bits and pieces that have been scattered to the four winds and trying to bring them home. But that’s just one piece of work that we’re engaged in. So, a lot of this was how do we think about addressing our own concerns and move beyond simply political rhetoric, or political action, which is focused on the government. How do we shift our
obsession with the government to being nicely obsessed with ourselves, and the sense of trying
to rebuild ourselves? So, we had work to do. And this slide is from an early childhood center that specializes in
language revitalization, what we called the Kohanga Reo Movement that began in the 1980s with parents and grandparents trying to restore our language. It became the fastest growing
early childhood movement in New Zealand. It is still a significant movement for us. It’s over 25 years old, but out of Kohanga reo was generated many of our community initiatives. And what did Kohanga reo
do that was so special, other than revitalize the language? Well in order to undertake a language revitalization, you need some basic ingredients. You need people who
could speak the language. For us, they were elders. You need people who
can learn the language. For us, they were grandchildren. And you need people who
could do the work of joining, doing the physical work
of looking after children. The parents. So, without really a very elaborate philosophy, what the languagenists did was create families, and connect families. It was a three generational program. Grandparents who could speak, parents who did the physical work, and children who hadn’t
been tainted by schooling. That was really important. That the elders went to children who were under five, before they’d gone to school where they would learn
to hate our language. Learn to be ashamed of our language. The magic component
was this reconstitution of family groups and have them responsible, not only for child care, but for language and for
culture, and for learning. So, it was a very powerful movement. But it’s also about
changing our perspective. The way we saw, and the position we saw from. This is actually a
photograph of my nephew, taken by my brother-in-law, and I think it sort of… To me it captures that sense of looking out from our world, but looking out as if
you belong in our world, as opposed to looking out
but being disconnected from our world. And that sense of owning our world, but looking outwards was also important. Here’s another view. That’s actually a very
famous photograph of a political rights activist,
not the one on the left, but the old lady on the right. She leaded a land march. This is her and her grandchild marching off to get language and
land recognition for us in the capitol city. And that’s kind of the
joining of the generations as an important part of our struggle. Trying to put back the pieces, and trying to reconnect ourselves. This photo is actually from Sweden, and from Samiland, in the north. The person in the center
is a Sami researcher at the university in Sweden at Umea. But what I want to capture by this, and you can see where I’m standing again, up against the wall being
terrified of reindeer. Actually, they’re very timid creatures. They just run past you in a clockwise direction. But it’s that sense of that it’s dynamic, and it’s moving. So what I’m talking about is you can’t stop the world and say, right, we’re gonna decolonize, and then we’re going to
indigenize, and then we’re going to develop all these initiatives. The world continues on. Things continue to happen, and there’s a sense of urgency, sense of movement, and a sense of a dynamic context in which you cannot
control all the elements. And a lot of community development is situated in this kind of context. Graham, my husband, has probably got another
diagram which would show some of the reindeer
might be going backwards. In this particular picture, they’re driven to all go in the same direction. So, another picture to show,
I guess, the entanglement of our context. Maori having to married with white people, with Pakeha people, that entangles our relationships. It’s very hard just to
draw a line down the middle and say, well, you’re
the real authentic Maori, and you’re not. We’re a complex people with intermarried, but we still see ourselves as Maori. We can define ourselves as Maori. And maybe unlike nations here, for us it stems through genealogy. If you can claim an ancestor, that you’re descended from an ancestor, you are a Maori. Whether you are formally
attached to a tribe is another issue. But it’s by genealogy is how you can claim descent. But nowadays, because of our colonial experience, it is complicated. It is hugely entangled. And also a little bit
messy and uncomfortable. Also, I think, like, first
nations in North America, many of our children were adopted out, and have had to find their way home. Some have had no desire to, and we don’t know where they’ve gone. But many end up finding their identity and coming home. And the genealogies are
used to reconnect them to us. So, it is an entangled history, complicated history, messy
history, a dynamic history. This work happens in
that kind of environment. It’s not clean work. It’s not neat and tidy. And what you see maybe
is not what you see. And sometimes, as this
photo was taken, I was stuck in a gorge. And I had a choice. I could stand still in my little car, and I saw myself being
washed down the river. Bobbling away in a little
white car hoping that someone might find me. I couldn’t go backwards, because the storm had created barriers to me going backwards. So, I really had to push forward. It got darker as I went through the gorge, and I started to imagine, will my husband notice if I don’t get home within a certain hour? I couldn’t text my daughter, but I thought I better leave her a journal of my last journey down this gorge by taking photographs and texting her saying, “I’m here,” knowing that the text
wouldn’t get through. But often in our work, you
get to this position where you can’t go backwards. But going forward is
very tentative and risky ’cause you don’t quite know
where your next footstep is going to fall, and putting your foot on
uncertain and unstable ground. And that’s really the other issue is that there’s this instability in our context. You cannot always rely
that the world today is the world tomorrow. And in many of the initiatives we plan, the initiative is great,
the people are great, you’ve got pretty much all
the materials you require, the government changes the rules, takes the money away,
removes a few people, and you’re starting back at the beginning. So, it takes a great deal of purpose, and sheer stubbornness and determination to keep moving forward. But it also takes a realization that it’s pointless going backwards. It is utterly pointless going backwards. You have to go forward, and you have to seek out what’s ahead. So also in this work,
then, is what I would call texture, contours, shapes. Some of which move you forward in a nice circular way, others are a bit more
angular and on the edge, and can cut you. But there’s a certain
texture to this work, a certain kind of
landscape that’s textured that you have to understand how to navigate and negotiate. It’s not plain, smooth sailing, whether I’m talking about research or just community action, and the work that we might
do in the communities. Sometimes it appears that the way ahead is smooth, everything’s been planned,
people have talked about it, we all agree, but there right people
weren’t at the meeting. Another group of people
come to the meeting and undo it all. And so, we start knitting again. And little bit by little
bit, you develop this pattern of moving forward, moving forward, developing, generating energy, using the energy or momentum
to move forward a bit faster, and then hit a wall, start again. So, I think that’s very much… I’m talking about it at one level about community development, but I think that’s also about research and the work that we do in research. That if you’re moving
forward thinking that, yeah, it looks good today, tomorrow, it doesn’t quite look so good. Challenging. It’s also, I think, about relationships, and about how those
relationships interact. Those relationships that are
nested within each other. Those happen to be my
daughter’s feet, the big ones, and the little feet
are my grandson’s feet. She’s very aware of her feet, and the foot picture, but I really use those to
think about relationships, and how significant they are in qualitative research, generally, but to me in life. That relationships are often the glue. That if the insufficient
relationships, things come unstuck, and that relationship work is a significant part of research work in the work that I do. It’s about building relationships, sustaining relationships. And that’s often the part
that many of my students don’t understand. To them, yeah, you build research so
that you can do your research. Or you build a relationship
so you can do your research. And they’ll say, wow,
it’s not quite so easy. You can start a relationship… People might agree on principle that you can do your research. But then they find out
about your research. And then they’re gonna
ask you some questions. And they’re not little questions. They’re gonna be big questions. They’re gonna start with who are you? Who’s this for? Why you? What are you gonna do about it, or what are you gonna do with it? Why are you doing it this way? And these are legitimate
questions of methodology. They’re the big picture
questions that I think we have to struggle with. So, here’s another relationship, an interesting one in our context. Because this relationship
is symbolic of what we call a Treaty Settlement. The Crown has been negotiating settlements with different tribes over our historic grievances. And this is the symbolic signing of a settlement between my father’s tribe and the Crown. And the woman on the left happens to be the minister
of Treaty settlements, and the young man on the right is a significant member of our tribe who was part of the signing ceremony. For us, the settlement concept is quite a significant political paradigm shift. ‘Cause what does it mean
to settle with the Crown when, for over 120 years, we had a grievance with
the Crown over the Treaty. More than that, what does it
mean to forgive the Crown, because in the signing of
this Treaty settlement, my father, who was the chief negotiator, had to stand up and say, this was a condition of the
settlement, that we, our tribe, forgives the Crown. That is a major statement. The Crown, then, apologizes. Another major statement. But what does it mean
to forgive the Crown? What does it mean to
change that framework? Because the next day, you
can’t complain about the Crown in terms of a grievance framework. You have to start to say things like, oh, we’re in a partnership
relationship with the Crown. They are our partners in the
way that we move forward. For my father’s tribe,
it was really important that the Crown apologize. From our perspective,
they invaded our lands, they executed some of our men, they’ve taken 90% of our land, we wanted them to apologize, because they couldn’t
give us all the land back. That was a necessary
requirement on our part for the settlement. And the Crown wanted us to forgive them. So, that was really
important to that tribe. But my mother’s tribe, I happen to be a negotiator
for my mother’s tribe, and when we went to our community to say, now, about the apology, they went, “We don’t want the Crown to apologize. “We don’t care about the apology. “It would be meaningless anyway.” So, that tribe chose not to have a Crown apology. They were fully unanimous that
the Crown wouldn’t mean it. They’d just be lying. And we didn’t care. I mean, I think that was
our official position. We don’t care if they
wanted to apologize or not, just hand over the resources,
pay the compensation, and get out of our lives. That would have been that approach. Different tribes are negotiating these settlements with different kinds of requirements. For my father’s tribe,
however, that apology was significant. It was significant emotionally, psychologically. Interestingly enough, the
day after it was signed, unusually for my tribe,
we had a celebration. It had fireworks. We had never celebrated as a tribe. So, it was a new dawning,
but it is a relationship. And relationships develop. Sometimes, there’re good days, sometimes there’re really bad days, but at the core is this
commitment to keep a relationship. And I think, you know the… I guess what I teach my
students in research is that relationship goes on. Whether you turned a corner
and developed a new project, the community thinks they
have a relationship with you. They know you. They want to be able to ring you up, and these days text you. They want your advice. They want to know that when
they need your support, you’ll be there for them. It’s not a short-term relationship for an instrumental gain for a researcher. It is a relationship. And a relationship in which
there’s some negotiation over what the research question is, over what the knowledge being produced is, over who’s world it will transform, over who’s knowledge, if you like,
will be privileged. So, it’s a long-term relationship. I’m not saying relationships, sometimes, shouldn’t be closed off, but there’s a protocol for
closing a relationship. Silence isn’t the protocol. Ignoring isn’t the protocol. It’s an active protocol of closure. So, celebrating, and kind of getting in touch
with the joy in our people, is an important step of moving forward. I don’t know how many of you
have watched indigenous movies, or movies by indigenous peoples. There’s some good ones that
have come out of New Zealand, but they’re mostly
traumatic and depressing. It’s hard to… And because they’re telling our stories. They’re telling our stories,
which are mostly traumatic and depressing, until they find those
stories that are about the joy amongst us, the things that are actually joyous, and happy, and healthy, and are about celebrating the good in us. And those stories are
hard to find, in a way. They’re there in front of us, but often when I go to
an indigenous movie, it’s with great reluctance, ’cause I’m not one to… Well, I cry, that’s a start off. And then I don’t like violence, so I have to close my eyes. then I don’t like hearing violence, so then I have to close my
ears like this, like that. So, it’s an upsetting experience watching our stories be told in film. I understand the absolute
importance of that, but our stories are terrible often. It’s only now that we’re
finding storytellers who can tell the other stories. The stories that are actually funny, and joyous, that are celebratory, and that are unique. Some of you might have watch Whale Rider, which was a very interesting story that was set in my tribe, and was actually filmed where
Graham, my husband, is from. What’s ironic to us with that movie is, of all the tribes to set it in, our tribe is the one where women can lead, and traditionally have
been chiefs and warriors. So, of all the tribes for
that story to be set in. But the other part that wasn’t in the film is that the whales are a family. And the whales are going through
a succession issue as well. That part was underplayed in the movie, where the whales, remember,
were trying to decide who the next leader would be. And the humans are trying to decide who the next leader will be. And so, it’s a parallel
story also of succession, and how the succession occur in our communities. You know, that’s the beginning of a story, but it’s hard for us personally
to relate to that story in our tribe. We think it should belong
to somebody else’s tribe. Okay, so I want to change text now. The decolonizing piece is part of a bigger puzzle. I think it’s important to us and to any society in which imperialism and colonialism has been a dominant ideology. In other words, all societies. Because imperialism has been a global affair. Whether people have, or claim to have,
indigenous people or not, is really not the point. Because what imperialism did is govern the way we think about knowledge. It’s a dominant view of knowledge. And it’s about trying
to understand, even now, the way that dominance worked. And it worked to subjugate
other forms of knowing, and other ways of understanding the world and the human condition. The other piece, which is
the second part of the book, it’s not even all of the second part of the book is trying to imagine what it might mean then for us as an indigenous
community to do our own research. How do we begin to do that? Do we reject all methodologies and all methods? There’s a natural tendency to do that. Then you end up with zero. Often what you do then is think critically engaged with each approach, critically engaged with each method. I think what I did in the book with the chapter on 25 projects was to say, well, let’s move aside the way we
might typically think about research, and the disciplines of research, and let’s look at 25 different ways of understanding the work that indigenous communities were actually doing at the time. What are they doing, other than struggling to survive? Well, actually, struggling
to survive was important. How are they struggling to survive? What are they doing in Canada
when they talk about healing and reconciliation? What is that project about? What are they doing in indigenous filmmaking? What is it to tell our stories about? How are they representing our stories? What is the work that’s
been done in Australia to think about storytelling, or the
work in North America? What does it mean to tell our stories? Is it the telling of the
story that’s important? Is it the motifs of the
story that are important? Is it the plot, or the character, in the story that is important? How do we understand the way stories rebuild our imaginations, how stories rebuild our landscape, how stories rebuild our relationships? How do we begin to understand that? And so the 25 projects was just an attempt to… Actually, I had about 38 or 42, and I tried to synthesize them down. And then the second edition,
I’ve kept them at 25, because I’ve got another 25, but I had to make a
strategic decision about do I strip away those
25 and put new ones in, or do I leave them. I went through them with a
colleague, and decided that they still stand. They’re still relevant to
the work I see happening around the world with
indigenous communities. And so, what I’ve tried to do in that part of the book is update it, and strip out with respect, the non-indigenous writers I used the first time around to
help me talk about this and include the new indigenous scholarship that is doing this work. And I think, really, that’s what I would
want to acknowledge in the 15 years, is this burgeoning of an
indigenous research literature, and of an indigenous scholarship, which is represented here in this room. There’s a transition piece in there which is from one literature, which really was me taking all the literature I
read, and making it work, to now being able to say, there’s the solid body
of indigenous writing in these areas from all over the world, in different languages, not
just in the English language. And the work that’s
being done is exciting. So, that’s really, I guess, what I want to just move on briefly, I don’t have a lot of
slides for this section. So, I think one of the
critical pieces that we had done in New Zealand is build our own institutions. I showed you the early
childhood nest idea. This here, Graham, my husband, is the head of one of three tribal universities in New Zealand. And that is their new
building, and taken at graduation. Interestingly, our universities feel they own the term legally university. That they feel that they own that term. Te Whare Wananga o
Awanuiarangi have also got a descriptor, Graham calls it, where they call themselves
indigenous-university. It’s in lower case, and there’s a dash, indigenous-university. And most people would think, oh yeah, they’re an indigenous university. Not the universities of New Zealand. The universities of New Zealand are appalled, in a sense, that this institution would want to use a term
that they think they own. And it seems to me that captures most of what I’m talking about. That they own the term, and that an indigenous institution, which works internationally,
has to come up with another term. If you translate the word Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, it actually means the
University of Awanuiarangi. Why, because if you translate
my university, which is, our modern name is Te
Whare Wānanga o Waikato, it means the University of Waikato. So, what that means is that universities can
use Maori terminology, and translate themselves
from English to Maori. But the Maori institution is not allowed to translate
itself into English. So, it’s a kind of interesting struggle over the sense of ownership of knowledge. And I think it makes it really stark that the business of
decolonizing isn’t over, that it just shifts ground, and the different sorts of
struggles we have to work at. And we have to decide if
these things are worth struggling over. It’s a pick-and-mix kind of world. What things do you invest energy in? What things do you proactive go out and argue against. What things do you say, oh
well, we’ll wait till Saturday? And then we’ll argue that
one, or we’ll wait till May, and we may decide to argue that. There are a number of challenges
that happen at all levels. In the meantime, however, Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi
is the only one who has a PhD program. They recently had a very large graduation, and a graduating PhD graduates. Over a 22- year history, it has moved from an institution that began
in pre-fabricated buildings with a teacher education program into one that teaches a number
of undergraduate degrees, graduates, and post-graduate
qualifications. So, we’ve built our own institutions. We also simultaneously have to indigenize the universities, the other institutions. It’s not we don’t have the luxury of just looking after ourselves, because every step on this side, we have to create the right environment in the other institutions. And so, there’s been
much work in New Zealand in terms of trying to develop, and actually, that’s my job,
at my institution, is to help the institution do more. It’s a journey. They have to do more for
Maori in the institution, and that requires support. That requires learning. That requires not forgetting. So I have a little
proverb that I talk about when i’m doing professional development. And it’s that, institutions
never remember, and communities never forget. And that’s the beginning of a piece that we talk about relationships with all our stakeholders,
and with the different tribes, is that we have to build sustaining and memorable relationships, and they have to be
inscribed in the memory of an institution. ‘Cause it’s very convenient
for institutions to forget. It’s like, oh, we didn’t know. As if ignorance excuses
them, but does not excuse us. Oh, I’m sorry, we didn’t know. This is a sustained piece
of work that we have to do. I guess the second part
of decolonizing is to try things out, to do things. To give it a go, which is a good New Zealand expression: let’s give it a go. We don’t have any resources, the government doesn’t
really want us to do it, but let’s give it a go. It’s that attitude in which we’ve given a
number of things a go. We’ve created early childhood centers, we’ve created alternative schools based on our language and philosophy. They’re at primary or elementary level, and secondary level. We’ve created tertiary institutions. We’ve created community-based
health providers. We’ve created social service providers. Sometimes, we’re totally
dependent on the government to fund those providers, but other times people
have simply tried to do what they do naturally in a new kind of organization. Our tribes are recreating themselves. It’s causing some worry and consternation in the sense that people are worried that they’re creating themselves as little neoliberal tribes. Because one of the dangers
of our settlement process is that the settlement has been done with governments that are fundamentally neoliberal and persuasion. And that means something to the way tribes are able to reconfigure themselves, and reorganize themselves. But not all tribes go along that path. Some of the smaller tribes just carry on doing the things that
they have always done. Some of them have
exercised more generosity to others than anticipated. This process of settlement can be brutal, because it forces tribes
to identify boundaries. Our boundaries are always contested. The Crown wants to nail in concrete what the boundaries are. It brings out the worst
tendencies in people when you’re negotiating for
what might seem a huge resource. People interested in resources become interested in negotiation, and feel they have something to contribute to that negotiation. It’s a troubling process. But, we’re moving through that rapidly. And in that process, our tribes are also developing different
sorts of institutional forms. Some more corporate. Many of them have investment arms. Where I live, the local tribe owns the most successful shopping mall. It owns the two top hotels. It is investing in the local economy. It puts a million dollars
into educational scholarships. Significant investment in individuals going through education. And now they’re looking also at their own institutions. So, that’s just one example, building our own institutions. I’m nearly finished. Okay, this is a model
that I’ve been working on in terms of some of the research
I’m doing with the tribe. That is purposefully not my own tribe. So, after years of being engaged in research where I’ve gotten very
close relationships, I’ve decided I wanted to be an outsider. I don’t really know what
it means to be an outsider. I think it means that I
don’t need to interfere. I don’t need to be emotionally bound to the relationships. It means that I can work really from the outside, try to assist the researchers on the
inside to do their work, and then I can play a more
proactive mentoring role, and then I can rely on them
to build the relationships. So, we’re working on a project where, you won’t be able to
see the vertical lines, but across the top there are the different projects
that we’re trying to develop as action research projects. So, one is regenerating culture. And this tribe had a
number of initiatives where it’s about cultural revitalization. Te Reo, or the language, revitalizing language, revitalizing cultural performance, reinvigorating our institutions. The next one is the
Treaty settlement process. How do you reconcile, not just with the government, but with the, the government represents
New Zealand society. And what is the work
that this tribe is doing to try and engage with wider society. The third one is what are we doing inside our own extended family structures, around intergenerational development. That also includes succession. It includes governance. So how do we do that. The fourth one is the
practice of hospitality. Now, for us, hospitality is a core value. How do you host visitors? How do you demonstrate hospitality? What’s hospitality about? So, for us it’s a reciprocal process, but what do you need to be a good host? What do you need to exercise hospitality? So if you’re not free, can you exercise hospitality? If you have no food, can you feed your visitors? Now, actually, our poor communities put all their food on
the table for visitors. They put the best food. It is a tradition of giving the best food. They will go without, so that the best food is put on the table. But, I guess the question I have is with that value is, can we do more in the practice of hospitality? What we’re doing is the survival mode. We feed people. But hospitality means more than just feeding people food. It’s the exercise of generosity. The exercise of a good host. Do we host people who
live in our territories? Do they understand what
it means to be a guest on our lands? Do we have a relationship with them? And then the final one is how can we move into a mode of hospitality and then move into maybe a better framework for well-being? The tribe I’m working with are doing a number of
action research projects where they’re also looking at leadership, and the role of young people, and the role of our extended family, and the role of the collective, and we’re trying to develop measures that help us understand
what well-being looks like. So, they’ve done the visioning of what they think well-being looks like, but you know if you’re not well, it’s hard to imagine wellness, other than it meaning you don’t have pain. How do you imagine wellness beyond that? Okay, you can look at rich well people and say well, wellness might be we can live in a big house, and we can have lots of rooms in our house. But our communities tend not to want that. They want a model of wellness, which is a little bit different. How do we understand their way of wellness. And the other magic button here is we’re also doing some matchmaking. So we’re looking for a
tribe in North America, only because people speak English, who have a similar profile to this tribe, and who are equally
committed to doing these action research projects, and who can start to have a conversation then about how do we imagine wellness. Do our measures of wellness
resonate with each other? Can we then do the data collection and build the databases required to understand the journey to well-being? And be able to make that journey, and invite more communities. So, I guess that just one example in terms of research I’m doing, but there are a number of
indigenous researchers, literally around the world, who are developing projects, drawing on indigenous knowledge, drawing on what we’ve learned, that, I guess, starts to deliver research, starts to do real research based on indigenous methodologies. I’m nearly finished,
just got one more slide. I think we can do more. I think we can also tell everybody else what they should be doing in research, and what we can contribute to in terms of solving the
world’s big problems. We have something to contribute around sustainability. Notions of sustainability. Indigenous knowledge about sustainability. We can contribute to
research in that field. We understand something about spiritual and ethical relationships, and how that framework can help the world understand connections, connectivity, and what that means. We need to help the human race deal with it’s own rubbish. I’m talking about rubbish literally, and also metaphorically. Also, around understanding diversity. You see, the one thing that’s urgent to indigenous peoples is we know, on a daily basis, that
indigenous languages are dying. We know because we talk
about it in our world. And in the Pacific, where I come from, indigenous languages
are dying out rapidly. Climate change, rising of the oceans, puts islands at risk. Islands at risk are peoples at risk. Peoples who are communities,
cultures, languages. They are at risk. So, our languages are often the first hint of a people in crisis. And we have something to
contribute around those ideas. And then around freedom and
security and well-being. One of the things that we’re always reminded of
when we come to the U.S. is notions of security. But as you know, there are other forms of security that
people around the world also require: security in terms of their relationships, where they live; security in terms of is the day tomorrow gonna be stable like the day today. When they go out their door,
well do they have a door, is there stability in the world? Is there security of knowing
that what we know today is not going to change too rapidly? Do we have some control over that? I think indigenous methodologies have something to contribute beyond just solving our own problems, or resolving our own issues, or contributing to our own societies. I think our methodologies
can contribute to wider agendas for research. And I’ll finish there. Thank you.
(audience applauds) – Well, before I (stammering) begin, I wanted to give you a gift that my mom made for you. It’s an amulet bag, and she thinks that these are your colors. – They are.
– She said I did some research but they’re her colors anyway. (audience applauds) My name is Eve Tuck, and if you weren’t here when we got started, I’m a guest on this land, but I think it’s important that we continue to recognize that our meeting is taking place on Lenni-Lenape land. I’ve lived in New York City
for the last 15 years or so, and my mother’s side is from
St. Paul Island, Alaska, which is another one of those
purposeful voyaging places. I’m from an island that could not have been found by accident. I was just saying to a friend that St. Paul Island and New York City are my two favorite places. That is because I am an
island girl at heart. In 2010, while I was
preparing to write an essay on what I’ve called A
Methodology of Repatriation, I’ve reread the first edition of Decolonizing Methodologies from cover to cover for the first time since my first year of graduate school, when my mentor Michelle
Fine pressed a copy of it into my hands. In my re-reading, I was
captivated by the layered wisdom in this text, for novice, more
experienced, and I imagine, expert researchers. Published nearly 15 years ago, Decolonizing Methodologies
has profoundly influenced my generation of critical researchers. It has given us an anti-colonial lexicon of research, and an ethics of
making space and showing face. I know my statement of the
book’s influence to be true because as a rare indigenous scholar, in U.S. predominantly white institutions of higher education, I often ended up serving as an ambassador to indigenous texts. So, my favorite question
when I was a graduate student was always if the woman in sunglasses, who appears on the cover of the
first edition, is Dr. Linda. Because authors always put themselves on the covers of their books. I usually bristled at this
role of being an ambassador of texts, indigenous texts, but I was willing to serve as an emissary for Dr. Smith’s book,
because it did so much to explain my own fraught relationships to the academy and to research, and it sent me light beams of recognition. This book is very important to me. So, to prepare for tonight’s
remarks, a few weeks ago, I read the second edition of
Decolonizing Methodologies again from cover to cover. I paid attention to the footnotes, because I believe that indigenous women, and women of color, are always writing to each
other in our footnotes. I listened to the footsteps
of my 1 1/2 year old son, playing with my sister above as I read in my basement office. I looked at the new cover, a human footprint made of small bits and fragments cartographic markers that formed the instep and the toes, a constellation that forms the heel. I thought about mappings, about cartographies, and constellations. So, what I hoped to express most tonight is my deeply felt gratitude
for Decolonizing Methodologies. And for that web of 25 indigenous projects articulated in the book. What I have found in closely
reading the second edition is that many of the ideas that seem to me to be so fresh, that must have been updates
added to the new edition, were actually already
in that first edition. Several times, I read
ideas and thought to myself that they must be new. But then when I went
to that first edition, they were already there. I see this book as a book
that is timeless in that way. That it continues to
reveal and renew itself. It has a complexity that grows as the reader
becomes more experienced, and it resonates
meaningfully and recursively with each re-reading. I have also had another
humbling experience in my re-reading of
this book over the last nearly 15 years. Thought I am still holding my identity as an academic at arms length, I do love the part of this
work that is my writing life, and I love to use writing
to think and express complex lived contradictions, or everyday dialectical experiences. Some of this work has garnered enthusiastic response from readers. But it’s humbling to go back and see that many of what
I thought to be my best most unique impactful ideas were already framed out by Dr. Linda in
Decolonizing Methodologies. So, this means that I have been marked by my reading of this book
in way that I cannot trace, that I cannot distill. This sub is in some ways fitting, because when my first book was published, Dr. Linda wrote one of the
blurbs on the back of the book, and I was almost more
excited to see her name on my book than I was to see my own. In my most recent re-reading,
I tempted to draw out the intentions of the book, looking for places where Dr.
Linda marks the aspirations of decolonizing methodologies. She writes that it is a
book on the issues based by indigenous researchers. A book to help ourselves. It is concerned with the
institution of research, it’s values and practices. It works to disrupt a colonizing
institution of knowledge and the subjugation of
indigenous knowledges. It identifies research
as a sight of struggle between interest ways of
knowing of the settler west, and interest in ways of
resisting by the other. It honors the significance of indigenous critiques of research, emphasizing traditions
of researching back, talking back, writing back, invoking a knowingness of the colonizer, and a recovery of ourselves. She wonders if it is an
anti-research book on research. The book provokes revolutionary thinking about roles that knowledge, knowledge production, knowledge hierarchies, and
knowledge institutions, play in decolonization
and social transformation. Since publication, indigenous studies have
become more prominent in institutions of higher
education throughout the world. And here in the United States,
Native American studies, American Indian studies,
native Hawaiian studies, Alaskan native studies,
and indigenous studies have grown and strengthened dramatically. Indeed, the first ever Alaskan
Native studies conference was held in Anchorage earlier this month. And our keynote speaker was Graham Hingangaroa Smith on transforming the academy. Profoundly influential in
decolonizing methodologies has been the theorizing of research as perhaps one of the dirtiest words in the indigenous world’s vocabulary. Research has a huge credibility problem to the indigenous world. It is relentlessly ideological, yet the power to distort, to make invisible, to overlook, it has the power to do all of this: to overlook, to exaggerate. Research is how
imperialism and colonialism are both regulated and realized, thus, it has traditionally
benefited the researcher and the knowledge base of
the dominant settler group. The historical context of
research in indigenous communities is a history that still offends our deepest sense of humanity. In my own family, I, too,
learned about research through cautionary tales. Between 1867 and 1959, Alaskan Native peoples
were treated as wards of the U.S. nation state. On the Pribilofs where I am from, white village supervisors employed by the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior patrolled our villages. One of the ways that they
managed Aleut families was to conduct unannounced cleanliness inspections of private homes. My grandmother brought me up with stories of how her home was literally subject to white-gloved tests of cleanliness. Other management strategies
included curfews, and limitations on our access to currency. All of these surveillance activities were motivated by profit,
because a trade agreement determined that only Aleut people could harvest the first seal. Throughout the 1940s and 50s, during the unannounced home inspections, the government village supervisors were sometimes accompanied
by researchers in lab coats. Though they at first
assured the Aleut people that their participation in
various studies was voluntary, the presence of the village supervisors communicated to Aleuts that
saying no was not an option. And the researchers soon
stopped asking permission. In one particular story
remembered by my elder, researchers collected a vial of blood from each family member
over several years. My elder, a young mother of
several sons at the time, was offered no explanation or mission of the study
as the researchers worked to sometimes chase her boys to get the blood from them. Each family member received
a dollar for their sample. My elder recalled with a shudder the first time that she
overheard her eldest son refer to the dollar as his blood money. Told that there was no money
to go to the movie house, he said, “But what about my blood money.” In Russian Orthodox Aleut culture, the origin of the term
blood money is significant, because it refers to
the 30 pieces of silver that Judas was paid to betray Jesus. The new use of this term, to refer to money paid
by unknown researchers for vials of blood for unknown purposes intermingles with that old
use of the term of betrayal. Blood money was used by Aleut children in the ways that settler
children in the U.S. might speak of their allowance. And that juxtaposition of allowance and blood money is striking. So, this story reveals something about the tremendous personal conflictedness required from me and other young indigenous
scholars to become researchers. A conflictedness that is recognized throughout Decolonizing Methodologies, to personally engage with
research as the legacy of blood money transactions. Dr. Linda writes that,
“At a common sense level, “research was talked about “both in terms of it’s
absolute worthlessness to us, “the indigenous world, “and it’s absolute usefulness “to those who wielded it as an instrument. “It told us things already known, “suggested things that would not work, “and made careers for people
who already had jobs.” A part of the generosity of
Decolonizing Methodologies is the assertion of the ethical concerns of indigenous communities, raised in sharp relief to
colonizing past practices. In fact, in several places,
Dr. Linda makes it clear that past research has
comprised colonizing acts. That to be researched is to be colonized. Thus, the criteria for research
in indigenous communities must not just be indigenous criteria, but be colonizing criteria. Dr. Linda writes that “indigenous peoples “offer genuine alternatives “to the current dominant
form of development. “Indigenous people have philosophies “which connect humans to the
environment and to each other, “which generate principles
for living a life “which is sustainable, “respectful, and possible.” Further she writes, “what is more important
that what alternatives “indigenous people offer the world “is what alternatives indigenous
people offer each other.” Kaupapa Maori approaches
to research, she writes, “are based on the assumption “that research that involves Maori people “should set out to make
a positive difference “for the researched.” Though it is a basic assumption
or expectation of research, that it makes a positive difference, western science has never
made that commitment. Perhaps the most visionary act of generosity in
Decolonizing Methodologies is Dr. Linda’s laying out of 25 indigenous projects, which connect indigenous
self determination, rights and sovereignty to pathways in indigenous research. Though Dr. Linda is
critical in colonial mapping and naming practices
that work simultaneously to dispossess indigenous peoples of land, and establish settler
colonial nation states, she invokes Chandra Mohanty’s notion of the cartographies of struggle to speak to the intersecting lines of simultaneous oppressions. More than the duality of mapping, of drawing oppositions with the line, cartography is the art and science of making and remaking maps, of creating and being created by, of recognizing and
conceptualizing marginality, sights of struggle, domains, place, and sovereignty. Decolonizing Methodologies
offers 25 indigenous projects as a cartographic act. I believe the work of our
generation of researchers is to take up this cartographic act. To zoom in on it’s parts and overlaps. To do the finely detailed work of marking the dirt roads
and the blades of grass, but also the travel ways and impasses. The lines of flight, the tide pools, the journeys and the erasures. Her work in Maori communities and with indigenous
communities all over the globe has exemplified this cartography. She has theorized the map, and we must now do the walking. For the next few moments, I want to highlight some of the ways that communities and scholars
have been doing this walking. Among the most striking examples is I Don’t Know More, a collective indigenous resistance against continued
invasion of land and life that started in Canada late last year. The spark there ignited expressions of
solidarity and recognition from around the globe. As cities, towns, and campuses hold teach-ins, and round dances to learn to organize, to tell the story of
pipelines, of sovereignty, of the future, and indigenous futurity
in a different way. In another example, recently the Montana/Wyoming
tribal leaders council established the Rocky
Mountain Tribal Institutional Review Board, established to protect
the rights and well being of member tribes. Their website observes
that non-tribal IRBs have historically focused on protection of individuals as human subjects. They contrast this as
their obligation to tribes as whole living entities, displacing the emphasis on
individual risk and benefit. The Rocky Mountain Tribal
IRB endeavors to insure that the actual benefits of research accrue to the community the mutuality of research practices, the respect for short-term
and long-term range, tribal concerns, tribal ownership of the data, and respectful practice. Though it is newly
established in provisions for it’s sustainability
are still in formation, the Rocky Mountain Tribal IRB has signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Montana, particularly, via the leadership of
native faculty member Kate Shanley. So that any research conducted
with one or more tribes must go through the Tribal IRB instead of the university IRB. In another example of the walking, my wonderful friend Melanie Cheung, a Maori neurobiologist, who has been mentored by
Dr. Linda and Dr. Graham, has done some incredible work to establish a de-colonial
Maori science praxis in her work with human tissue. Melanie’s dissertation explains
that her research has shown that working with post-mortem
human brain tissue is tapu, because the brain has
spiritual properties, because tapu is intensified by death, and because of wai wai tapu, which is associated with the
sacredness of new ground. She describes the process
of seeking blessings for her proposed research: first with her family, then in several community
gatherings with the iwi. She learned of their
desire for her to develop Tikanga Maori, respectful customary practices for each time that she
worked with the tissue. These practices were to
be used in the laboratory to avoid violation of the intense tapu associated with post-mortem brain tissue. This provided her a new
impetus for her research. She learned from many advisors how to cultivate Tikanga
that would not only acknowledge atua and the person of family from
whom the tissue came, but also protect the scientist
working with the tissue from potential harms
derived from that work. The early chapters of her dissertation provide an account of
all of the conversations, meetings and ceremonies,
she engaged in order to develop an appropriate praxis. The later chapters discussed
the results she had in growing brain cells
that would yield findings that would be of use to Maori, especially pertaining
to Huntington’s disease. Recently, Bryan Brayboy
and Elizabeth Huaman launched a new doctoral program in justice and social
inquiry for Pueblo students. The project is housed in the
school of social transformation dedicated to preparing
practitioner researcher scholars committed to Pueblo
peoples and communities. Malia Villegas and the National
Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center inspired by Dr. Linda’s work has recently focused on ensuring that as the engine of STEM fields
grow in the United States, native peoples are at
decision-making tables of national commissions. Their work is to call for representation and move beyond representation so that tribal people are
driving decision making and taking place at the seat of power. The methodology of
repatriation that I lay out in my own work is meant to move inside the framework established by Dr. Linda to articulate research
in urban communities and in native communities as repatriation. My work on articulating repatriation should be read as an extended footnote to Decolonizing Methodologies. It is concerned with
these three questions: how do we think that change happens, what role does research have
in our theories of change, and what role do academic researchers have in our theories of change. My worry is that much of social
science research operates from a colonial theory of change, in which the proof of neglect
is displayed for the state in order to receive native material gains. This theory of change is incompatible with notions of power
and change that are part of indigenous ways of knowing,
but also rarely works. Without making how we think
change happens explicit, we may inadvertently rely
on theories of change that locate power entirely
outside of our communities. So that we use research to document damage to prove to someone outside that we are deserving of more, or rely on the liberal narratives in which the only logic is a market logic. Of course, Dr. Linda has
already spoken to this in Decolonizing Methodologies, and she talked about it
tonight in the Theory of Change of Giving It A Go,
emphasizing that research has never demonstrated itself to be beneficial communities. Her book has done the mapping, and now we must do the walking. As I said earlier, the first ever Alaskan
Native Studies Conference was held earlier this month. Dr. Graham Smith was the keynote, and in his address, he
emphasized the importance of transforming, not just transformational practice. With this shift from transformation to transforming, Dr. Graham has reinvigorated a discourse that has been calcified
by an over-reliance on a-one-size-fits-all models
and universal solutions. Dr. Graham’s emphasis on
Kakapa Maori practices and innovations and institutional design are but one example that has
emerged from a specific land and sovereignty context. One that continues to unfold. Dr. Smith, too, emphasized
the need to have a sense, a theory of how change happens so that we have a way
to talk with one another about the changes we achieve, and the conditions that
remain stubbornly in place even through all of our efforts. I will close now with one
last expression of gratitude. This one is more embodied, it’s more present, so to do this I need your help. This is where we get participatory. What I would like to do
is first ask all of you who are indigenous, who are native in this room, to stand. We may have just broken a
record at the Graduate Center. (audience laughs) Most native people on this spot since the last gathering
of the real people, the Lenii-Lanape were here. So, I want you to keep standing, and now I would like for anybody who has read the book, who was influenced by Decolonizing
Methodologies to stand. Now, if you’re not standing, I just would like for
you to raise your hand if you plan to read the book soon. (audience laughs) Those of you who are standing, I’d like for you to reach your hands out. Taking note of all of
the hands around you, reach out and grab one near you if you plan to teach this book, share with others about this book. You can go this way, too. (people laughing and chatting) Use the other hand if you plan to share this
book with your children, or others in the next generation. So, I didn’t anticipate
the big columns here. This would have been much more impactful without the big columns. So now, I’m going to ask for Dr. Linda to jump into the crowd and bodysurf around the room.
(audience laughs) (audience applauds) Instead, though, I ask for
you to receive this sight as an image of our appreciation
for you and for your work for now and for every generation. Thank you.
(audience applauds) – So, thank you both. I think we have maybe 10 minutes for you to speak aloud questions, or appreciation, or joy, or head scratches. – How do you balance a life when you’re engaged
politically in this space? I’m not a good model of balance. I think I pull it
together pretty well, but depending on the month or the day… My daughter is my conscious, consciousness, and she
will say things like, “Don’t you take a holiday? “Do you have to do that? “Do you always work?” When she was really angry with
us, she’d say things like, “I’m not even becoming an academic. “I’d look like you.” I don’t know. I just think it’s a
commitment that one makes, and you do the best you can without beating yourself up. I think that’s the trick. I think you’ve got to chart a course, and make decisions, and
understand the compromises that you might make, because you have other priorities. I do think it’s important
to write, to publish, to tell your story, because the more that’s
out there, the more I know people will draw on it to strengthen their argument. I think it’s important to
connect to our community, our indigenous research community, or critical research community, because empowering those
communities makes it easier so that you’re not isolated, and trying to do this on your own. It’s important to take a long timeframe. I’ve been trying to change
education for 30 years. And I thought we’d done it, and then now I don’t think so. And now I have to decide if I’ve got the energy to start again, because I thought
we were doing really well. There are things we’re proud
of that we’ve done, but it’s ongoing. So, I think the other strategy is to try and convince at least 10 other people to do that work in the next five years, so you’re not alone. – I’m trying to think of
what I have to say in public about your question. I do think it’s really important to have people who will help
you make decisions about what parts of your life
you’re generous in, and which parts of your
life you’re decidedly ungenerous in. I know I just said it
a few moments ago, but that stuff about the theory of change, you know, like, how is it that you think that change is going to happen. Where are the… I know we spent a lot of time
trying to convince people who will never ever listen
to us to do things, or convince people who will… When I’m teaching, I always teach the one who’s sitting grouchy in the room. We should be teaching to the ones, talking to the ones who
are going to work with us, build with us. So, I think about theories of changes starting with some of the softer spots, rather than the arms-crossed spots. – [Student] Do you want me to talk in here? I mean, I’m pretty loud.
– If you could, well, because there are people in Kansas. – [Woman] It’s not amplified, it’s for the live stream.
– Okay. – It’s being live streamed.
– I have a question for now, and a question for later. My question for later is because I’m gonna be part of that
student dialogue with you. My later question is, and I think Eve and I were first years around the same time, I think. There is apart of the first book, and definitely the second, that a lot of us have internalized, that it’s become breath and blood, and deeply embedded in our consciousness. We try to do research as burgeoning social
psychologists and educators, that speaks to you for
me, the colonial ethics, and trying to figure out what that is, and what that means. And about being intentional, and about speaking to
relationships and research that transcend the results and the project, but being that way
sometimes is antagonistic to how doctoral programs want you to move through their space. So, that’s my question for later, if you can speak to that, ’cause I’m in the middle of that right now. I wrote a pretty transgressive IRB protocol that took me almost a year to write, only for CUNY’s IRB to kind of force me to either
say it was a power project, and so it wasn’t appropriate for them to review it, or for it to go to expediter review. But that’s my question for later. My question for now is… I’ve read every single thing
that you’ve ever written that I can find, but probably a piece that you’ve written that has deeply shaped my scholarship is On Tricky Ground, which is in Qualitative Landscapes by Norm
Denzin and Yvonne Lincoln, and in it, extensively, at least in my
body, you seem to stretch the definition of indigenaity. You write that indigenous people can be defined as the assembly of
those who have witnessed, been excluded from, and have survived
modernity and imperialism. There are people who have experienced the imperialism and colonialism of the modern historical period beginning with the enlightenment. They remain culturally distinct. Some with their native languages
and belief systems alive, they are minorities in territories and states over which they
once held sovereignty. Some indigenous people
do hold sovereignty, but of such small states
that they wield little power over their own lives, because they are subject
to the whims and anxieties of large and powerful states. Some indigenous communities survive outside their traditional lands, because they were forcibly
moved from their lands and their connections. And so, I struggle with do I stand? Because I am from St.
Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, which is an unincorporated territory of the United States. So, I’m an American, but other West Indians kind
of question my Americaness, and other Americans kind
of question that too. But, I’ve always wanted,
for like six years, I’ve wanted to say why you decided, I guess, to stretch that definition if it was responding to people saying who can claim, or who can use decolonizing methods. – That’s a nice question. That’s a good question. Under the U.N. it tends to, and I think it was the ILO that had a definition
of indigenous peoples as being colonized, being
culturally distinct, I think there were four criteria. But as I’ve traveled around the world, there’re only a few indigenous
peoples actually who might meet to that four-step criteria in a clean way. The classic indigenous peoples
tend to be referred to as the Aborigines in Australia,
the Maori in New Zealand, the North Americans,
and the Sami, in Canada, then everyone else is
a little bit different. To me, culturally, that broader definition begins to capture other communities who
actually see themselves as indigenous. So, I’ve been to places like China where they’re not allowed
to use the word indigenous, but they always use the
word ethnic minority. I’ve been to places like India, where in the constitution of India are recognized tribes, so there are tribal peoples in India, millions of people in those tribes. The moment they leave the tribe, they join the caste system. But there’re other tribal peoples, and I think here in the U.S. as well, that are not recognized by the state. But others recognize them. So, it’s a really (stammering) complicated set of identities. And I think the crucial one in the U.N. one was self-defining, to define, see yourselves as an indigenous peoples. And I’ve actually just
come from Puerto Rico where I heard interesting discourse like there are no indigenous people here. They went to the mountains. And so, I had to get my
head around what that meant. What, they went to the
mountains and disappeared, or… There was a huge debate in
one of the seminars about that’s 500 years of the Spanish and then the Americans. Then the definitions of how one is classified in terms of ethnicity. Even if you could claim indigenous ancestry, it would
be seen as so fractionated, that it wouldn’t matter. So, there’s some convenient
national fictions about where the indigenous people went, and it helps those nations justify their national story about their identity. I think it’s easy to do a pure definition around culture. In the Pacific Islands,
they are independent states, but they’re subject to the same rules of globalization and imperial powers that… New Zealand and Australia govern most of the South Pacific, the U.S., most of the North Pacific. Those countries, they might
be the majority population, but power still resides in a metropolitan colonial center that’s outside. So, there’s a complicated identity. It’s not an easy one to say, well, you are, and you’re not. And the way I imagine it is there’s a table, a large table, it’s got lots of chairs around it. Sitting at the table are a few people, and then there are all these empty spaces. And I think the feast actually begins as different indigenous
communities come to the table. But, that journey of coming to the table they have to make themselves. It’s hard to make it for them. You can’t force a people to
say that they’re indigenous. They have to make it for themselves. And I know in Africa I’ve met
African scholars who think, are we indigenous, or
are we not indigenous? Do we want to be indigenous? Even if we were indigenous, what’s the advantage of being indigenous? People ask different questions, so, you can’t predetermine
for them that answer, because some choose not to be, and that’s the other thing. (audience applauds) (hip-hop techno music)

9 thoughts on “INQ13 | Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Eve Tuck – “Decolonizing Methodologies”

  1. Kia ora, Thank you for posting this Seminar. I love listening to Linda talk on. to me what is Emancipation for those oppressed people. Reclaiming ourselves through our own traditional values and principles and then applying them into our everyday lives. I am of Ngati Maniapoto decent from a small area in New Zealand called Waitomo, Hangatiki. Transformation through Education is very important. Kia ora koutou katoa.

  2. Bien, estoy buscando material bibliográfico de esta autora, sí alguien tiene favor de compartir o indicar donde puedo hallar en la web. gracias

  3. thanks for the posting I have a portfolio of work heading for a disecting of many points LT Smith discusses related to future indigneous and feminist futures.

  4. So instead of writing or collaborating to create a "Maori National History", she wrote a book about "Thinking about doing something", "Thinking about changing Educational Methodologies". It's like if I wanted to craft wood, and instead of crafting the wood, I wrote a book about "Thinking about crafting wood".

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