Reaching Harmony Across Indigenous and Mainstream Research Contexts: An Emergent Narrative

Catherine E Burnette, Shanondora Billiot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research with indigenous communities is one of the few areas of research encompassing profound controversies, complexities, ethical responsibilities, and historical context of exploitation and harm. Often this complexity becomes overwhelmingly apparent to the early career researcher who endeavors to make meaningful contributions to decolonizing research. Decolonizing research has the capacity to be a catalyst for the improved wellbeing and positive social change among indigenous communities and beyond. The purpose of this critical analysis is to reach harmony across mainstream and indigenous research contexts. We martial critical theory to deconstruct barriers to decolonizing research, such as power inequities, and identify strategies to overcome these barriers. First, we critically analyze the historical context of decolonizing research with indigenous communities. Next, we analyze the concept of " insider " and " outsider " research. We identify barriers and strategies toward finding harmony across indigenous and mainstream research paradigms and contexts.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Indigenous Social Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • critical theory
  • decolonizing research
  • indigenous research
  • power


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