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Indigenous Epistemologies Reading Group

Zoom Meeting Link:

Meeting ID: 842 7741 9362

Passcode: 937767



The Indigenous Epistemologies Reading Group brings together researchers and students from across the University departments interested in engaging with indigenous perspectives and epistemologies in their work and research. This reading group is a weekly gathering in which we critically explore the mechanisms and methods of knowledge production that we engage with in our own research through the lens of indigenous methods of world-knowing and world-making. We share and discuss indigenous scholarship, its intersection with the "western" academy, national politics, and corporate interests. We explore questions of sovereignty, epistemic oppression, relational worldviews and performative knowledge-making.

  • The group assigns and discusses weekly readings on set themes relating to indigenous epistemologies and methodologies. 

    • Each week there are two suggested readings on each theme, with emphasis placed on learning with and from indigenous scholars and voices where possible. 

    • Participants can read one or both of the readings.

  • We actively encourage participants to critically engage with the suggested reading list, contributing to it or contesting texts.

    • Pair articles from indigenous and non-indigenous authors. Ensure a balance of representation and voice-platforming. 

  • We invite speakers who could bring first hand perspectives on a text or a theme of discussion.

  • As a research group we want to create a safe space for participants to discuss their own and others’ research. We aim to support a plurality of perspectives and ideas.We will not tolerate hate-speech of any kind directed at authors, researchers, participants or groups.

  • We want to remain conscious throughout our discussions of our own positionality. We remain open to and actively invite any and all participants’ contributions that would change the group’s focus and lead it onto new paths of discovery. 

  • We want to remain conscious of the complexities behind “western” and indigenous identities, perspectives and epistemologies, their historical interweavings and co-evolution. We will therefore refrain, where possible, from positioning indigenous epistemologies within an indigenous/western binary.

READING LIST for Hilary 2021

Week 1 Jan 19th 

First Meeting of IE Reading Group Steering Committee


Week 2 Jan 26th

Theme of Discussion:

Planning Meetings of IE Reading Group.

Week 3 Feb 2nd 

Theme of Discussion: 

Indigenous Epistemologies vs. Western Science: A Saami Case Study 


1.Joks S, Østmo L, Law J. Verbing meahcci: Living Sámi lands. The Sociological Review. 2020;68(2):305-321. doi:10.1177/0038026120905473

2. Law J, Joks S. Indigeneity, Science, and Difference: Notes on the Politics of How. Science, Technology, & Human Values. 2019;44(3):424-447. doi:10.1177/0162243918793942

Week 4 Feb 9th 

Theme of Discussion: 

Local Interests/Global problems: Reindeer herders confront Climate Change 

“For centuries, it was the land of the reindeer, not that of the strong and electrified man. A new and white man spread out his three wings, and dispossess centuries and future memories.” - Sara Emilie Jåma, Reindeer herder and poet (in Fjellheim, 2016).


1. Alexandra Lavriller, Semen Gabyshev, Maxence Rojo. The Sable for Evenk reindeer herders in southeastern Siberia: Interplaying Drivers of changes on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – Climate Change, Worldwide Market Economy, and Extractive Industries. August 2016. In book: Indigenous and Local Knowledge of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Europe and Central Asia (pp.111 - 128) Edition: UNESCO. Chapter: Chap 8. Publisher: Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Editors: Marie Roué, Zsolt Molnár

2. Normann, S. Green colonialism in the Nordic context: Exploring Southern Saami representations of wind energy development. J Community Psychol. 2021; 49: 77– 94.


Week 5, Feb 16th:

Theme of Discussion: 

Where do indigenous knowledges sit: wisdom-traditions, keeping and sharing in indigenous communities.

1. Interview with Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds, Cheyenne Artist. Revista de Estudios Globales y Arte Contemporáneo| Vol. 7 | Núm. 1| 2020 | 23-34

2. Arctic Earthviews: Cyclic Passing of Knowledge among the Indigenous Communities of the Eurasian North. Mustonen, Tero; Lehtinen, Ari.Sibirica : the Journal of Siberian Studies; New York Vol. 12, Iss. 1,  (Spring 2013): 39-55. DOI:10.3167/sib.2013.120102

Week 6, Feb 23rd:

Theme of Discussion: 

Indigenous Epistemologies of Place and Locality: Intersections with National-state policy in South America 

1. Borman, Randall. Whose Sacred Sites? Indigenous Political Use of Sacred Sites, Mythology and Religion.

2. Escobar, Arturo. Culture Sits in Places: Reflections on Globalism and Subaltern Strategies of Localization, February 2001. Political Geography 20(2):139-174  DOI: 10.1016/S0962-6298(00)00064-0

Week 7, Mar 2nd:

Theme of Discussion: 

Integration: Possible, ethical or colonial? And what are the alternatives

1. Erin Bohensky, Yiheyis Maru. 2011. Indigenous Knowledge, Science, and Resilience: What Have We Learned from a Decade of International Literature on "Integration"? December 201. ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY 16(4):6. DOI: 10.5751/ES-04342-160406



Week 8, Mar 9th:

Theme of Discussion: 

Engaging Indigenous Methodologies as  Research Methods

  1. Wilson, S. 2001. What is an indigenous research methodology?. Canadian journal of native education 25 (2), pp. 175-179

  1. Smith, L.T. 1999. Chapter 10: Toward Developing Indigenous Methodologies: Kaupapa Maori Research in Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous People, University of Otago Press, 1999. 

               Also in Smith, L. T. 2012. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples, 2nd edition, London & New York, Zed Books

Week 9, Mar 16th:

Theme of Discussion: 

Too Eager, Too Fast, Too Reckless: Challenges, Problems and Pitfalls arising from the over-hasty adoption of Indigenous Methodologies in Western Research

  1. Briggs J. 2005. The use of indigenous knowledge in development: problems and challenges. Progress in Development Studies, 5(2), pp. 99-114. doi:10.1191/1464993405ps105oa

  1. Todd, Z. 2016. An Indigenous Feminist's Take On The Ontological Turn: ‘Ontology’ Is Just Another Word For Colonialism. Journal of Historical Sociology, 29, pp. 4-22.  

Suggested reading over the break: 

  1. Herrera, César E. Giraldo. "Microbes and other shamanic beings." (2018). - just one chapter

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