Saturday, January 18, 2020: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Marquis BR Salon 9, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Global Indigenous Populations (Indigenous Cluster)
Nancy Lucero, PhD, University of Denver, Donalyn Sarracino, MSW, Pueblo of Acoma, Jennifer Nutton, MSW, McGill University and Ann Baker, MA, Capacity Building Center for Tribes
As the social work profession renews its commitment to anti-oppressive, anti-racist, and decolonizing practice, it must now also extend this commitment to aligning social work research with these values. One fundamental component of a research paradigm grounded in social justice would be acknowledging the power of a dominant system to dictate how knowledge is produced and what constitutes valid evidence, and to suppress knowledge systems that reside outside its domain. Western scientific approaches and their inherent ontology and epistemology continue to be privileged and, in the extreme, are considered the only methods for yielding valid evidence. This results in many researchers and research consumers believing there is one universal form for legitimate knowledge creation. Increasingly, indigenous scholars are presenting indigenous research models, and an expectation is arising that research with indigenous peoples not only be participatory in nature, but also reflect, respect, and incorporate indigenous worldviews, contexts, and ethical principles for the conduct of research and use of findings. From this expectation has also followed the call to incorporate processes for generating knowledge that reflect indigenous beliefs about the nature of reality and how that reality is expressed. However, little discussion has ensued about how findings derived from these methods can be translated into new knowledge to inform operations and service delivery in programs serving indigenous peoples. This roundtable will provide a space to dialog about indigenous community-based experiential knowledge as a legitimate body of knowledge, and how it can be situated alongside western ways of knowing. Collectively, session participants will also be encouraged to strategize about how indigenous ways of being, community-based knowledge, and practice-based evidence can be used to build capacity in Tribal and First Nations social service programs. The session will begin with panelists providing First Nations, American Indian, and non-Native perspectives on issues including: 1) what indigenous knowledge is and who holds it; 2) supporting indigenous programs to build practice-based evidence from cultural knowledge; 3) experiences incorporating community-based knowledge and traditional teachings in program development; and 4) examining the relational and experiential nature of knowledge creation in indigenous communities. Following this segment, the session will continue with a relational process inclusive of reflection, sharing, listening, and experiencing aligned with how indigenous knowledge is commonly generated. Using the Liberating Structure, What? So What? What Now?, as a bridge between western and indigenous ways of coming to know, session participants will engage in facilitated critical reflection and thinking intended to generate a dynamic and constructive dialog to increase social work researchers' understanding of: (1) indigenous forms of knowledge-making and evidence creation; (2) ways such evidence can be positioned as valid and credible in light of the dominance of western scientific approaches; (3) how indigenous evidence can be used in program and service development; and (4) the relational and experiential nature of knowledge creation in indigenous communities. Through this reflective dialog, ideas may also be elicited for furthering emerging strategies to decolonize and bring an anti-oppressive lens to social work research with indigenous peoples and in indigenous contexts.
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