Western research has long been recognised as a ‘dirty word’ within Indigenous communities (Tuhiwai-Smith 2012, xi). Having operated as an apparatus of colonial control via overt racist pseudo-scientific theorising of the 19th century, contemporary research practices which discount Indigenous knowledges, methodologies, strengths realities and aspirations are still present in the academe. In more recent decades, there has been a growing body of literature responding to the moral imperative to do Indigenous research ‘right way’. This has included the development of ethical guidelines to inform Human Research Ethics Committees of how to review health research involving Indigenous peoples as well as a range of ‘how to’ guides explaining how to engage Indigenous communities in research; how to supervise Indigenous research personnel; and how to undertake Indigenous health research. However rarely does this literature explore Indigenous health research ethics from the perspective of Indigenous researchers for Indigenous researchers. Further, there is seldom consideration of the ethics of practice that Indigenous researchers must adhere to when working within their own nation or with other Indigenous nations.
This presentation will explore some of the ethical tensions experienced by a team of emerging and early career Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers from diverse disciplines of population health, social work, nursing and education. Aimed at Indigenous researchers, Indigenous research assistants, and Indigenous postgraduate students, this session will collaboratively explore what an Indigenous research ethics of practice might look like. Some of the tensions to be explored include: