Special Interest Group of the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

Indigenous Inquiries at the Twelfth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry


(ICQI) May 18-21, 2016


“Decolonization is not a metaphor” (Tuck & Yang, 2012). For Indigenous Peoples colonization is not a past event, but an ongoing reality. Indigenous epistemologies have existed for a long time; having managed to survive colonization, war, genocide, and a host of other harmful colonizer policies and practices. “Decolonization brings about the repatriation of Indigenous land and life; it is not a metaphor for other things we want to do to improve our societies and schools” (Tuck & Yang, 2012, p.1). Although relatively new to the academic landscape, decolonization has been practiced and theorized in Indigenous communities for a long time, making Indigenous communities the centre of decolonizing theory and practice (Sium & Ritskes, 2013, p. I). As Russell Bishop (2005, 2011) discusses this struggle is one of freeing ourselves from neocolonial dominance in research “so that models of reform for the oppressed groups can be developed from within the epistemological frameworks of those groups, rather than from within the dominant.” (2011, p. xiii).


De- and Anti-Colonizing discourse and practice are especially prevalent in neoliberal times. As the prevalence of absolutist quantitative metrics increases, the time and place are rife for alternative ways of knowing, which include qualitative and indigenous means of research. Indigenous Peoples across the globe have often felt the brunt of neoliberal policies and practices, both in their lives and in the environment they live in. Indigenous Peoples have thus been among the most vocal critics of unchecked neoliberal policies. From Mayan maquiladoras to Aboriginal health workers to First Nations tar sands truck drivers, Indigenous voices have risen to protest the nefarious effects of neoliberal policies and practices. While only recently has the academy taken an interest in Indigenous methodologies and paradigms, there is a vibrant and thriving community of scholars and activists working diligently to add their voices to those of the oppressed.  Indigenous researchers and their allies are currently engaged in a process of creating space(s) for Indigenous ways of knowing and being within and outside of academia.


The Indigenous Inquiries Circle (IIC) invites attendees to participate in our 5th annual Special Interest Group gathering on Wednesday May 18th, 2016.  In addition to having our usual circles and rituals, we will have sessions that day for us to reflect and discuss the past, present, and future of the Indigenous Inquiries Circle. We also invite submissions to the regular days of the ICQI 2016 (Friday and Saturday) that explore the spaces and the places of Indigenous inquiries in the academy and particularly their relationship with qualitative research in neoliberal times.  To support exchange and interaction among researchers working on common sets of issues, problems, or themes the Congress does allow and encourage alternative presentation formats to facilitate talking circles, roundtables, and somatic sessions.  Such sessions could include dance, movement, research sharing circles, storytelling/drama/music & song, and themed discussion circles.


The time-tabling of the alternative formats for the Friday and Saturday sessions will follow the Congress (1.5 hrs per session) schedule.  However, the sessions will be fluid and dynamic allowing opportunities for participants to engage for longer periods of time than the traditional 10 to 15 minutes presentation. Please note that participants submitting papers to the IIC should expect to present in II sessions that will occur in conjunction with regular congress sessions on the 20th and 21st of May respectively.






Bishop, R. (2005). Freeing ourselves from neocolonial domination in research: A Kaupapa Maori approach to creating knowledge. In N. K. Denzin, & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 109-138). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, Inc.


Bishop, R. (2011). Freeing Ourselves. Boston: Sense Publishers.


Tuck, E & Yang, K. W. (2012). Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 1(1), 1-40.


Organizers for the Indigenous Inquiries SIG: Heather Ritenburg, H. Monty Montgomery, Rose Cameron, Kryssi Staikidis, Mere Skerrett, Roe Bubar, Damara Paris, Elizabeth Fast, Anjali Helferty, Craig Campbell, Jamie Singson, Margaret Kovach, Virginie Magnat, Shawn Wilson, Marcelo Diversi, Amy Prorock-Ernest, Jenny Ritchie, Warren Linds, Nuno da Costa Cardoso Dantas Ribeiro, Patrick Lewis.