CLEAR is hiring two part-time research assistant positions as part of a year-long project on Indigenous and decolonial quantitative methodologies. The positions will start in February 2022 and be for 5-10 hours a week (flexible). Research Assistant rates are set my Memorial University and are between $21-26/hour. Applicants must be eligible to work in Canada. All applicants are welcome, though priority will be given to Indigenous students enrolled at Memorial University. Research can be conducted remotely.

The student will be part of a research team that collaboratively articulates four in-depth case studies on the ways Indigenous researchers are using Indigenous cosmologies, ethics, knowledge, and worldviews (methodological approach) to do quantitative research (methods). Tasks will include conducting a literature review and interviews with leading Indigenous researchers who use quantitative methodologies. Applicants should be familiar with both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and fluent in Indigenous cosmologies (worldviews). Training will be provided.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email Dr. Max Liboiron at mliboiron@mun.ca by January 18th (review to begin Jan 19th). Include:
1) a statement of interest (why you are interested in the position and what sort of experience you have in qualitative and quantitative methods as well as Indigenous ways of knowing, including a position statement about who you are and why you’re a good fit for the project)
2) a resume/CV.
You are also welcome to email to ask questions. Maarsii!

Project summary

There is increasing interest in decolonizing and Indigenizing research. Indigenous methodologies are diverse, but they share some commonalities, including: accountability to relationships; being grounded in Indigenous knowledge; being based in place; and ensuring research is operating in Indigenous interests (Smith, 1999). A commitment to these common elements impacts how research is done at a fundamental level: hence the term “Indigenous methodologies” or “decolonizing methodologies.” With a few notable exceptions (Walter and Andersen, 2013), existing work in this area has focused on qualitative research. In the same period, a record number of Indigenous people have graduated with PhDs as scientists and quantitative researchers, science-based state-Indigenous co-management of natural resources has proliferated, and Indigenous self-governance has been more explicitly based in quantitate analysis of tribal lands and needs (Cid et al., 2021).

Many Indigenous researchers have already developed, or are developing, quantitative methods that might be called Indigenous or decolonizing methodologies in both STEM and quantitative social science disciplines. Most of these methods are not published. Indeed, existing interviews with Indigenous academics show that they/we are often punished for introducing “Indigenous stuff” in scientific or statistical research during peer review, leading to rejection or exclusion of these aspects of Indigenous-led research (Unreserved, 2018).

The project aims to collaboratively articulate the ways Indigenous methodologies (approaches to research) meet quantitative methods (techniques of research). This requires fluency in Indigenous cosmologies (worldviews) and axiologies (ethics) as well as in quantitative research methods based in interviewees’ disciplines (oceanography, neurobiology, genetics, demographics). While there is certainly a growing number of researchers who are fluent in both these qualitative and quantitative areas, this competency is still fairly unique, as indicated by the hundreds of texts in Indigenous and decolonial methodologies in qualitative disciplines, very few in quantitative disciplines (most of these are in demographics and health in social sciences, e.g. Walter and Andersen, 2013; Rodriguez-Lonebear, 2016)), and even fewer still that explicitly take up inferential or descriptive statistics, modeling, mathematical functions, computation, and other quantitative tools in Indigenous ways.

There is increasing interest in decolonizing and Indigenizing research. Indigenous methodologies are diverse, but they share some commonalities, including: accountability to relationships; being grounded in Indigenous knowledge; being based in place; and ensuring research is operating in Indigenous interests (Smith, 1999). A commitment to these common elements impacts how research is done at a fundamental level: hence the term “Indigenous methodologies” or “decolonizing methodologies.” With a few notable exceptions (Walter and Andersen, 2013), existing work in this area has focused on qualitative research. In the same period, a record number of Indigenous people have graduated with PhDs as scientists and quantitative researchers, science-based state-Indigenous co-management of natural resources has proliferated, and Indigenous self-governance has been more explicitly based in quantitative analysis of tribal lands and needs (Cid et al., 2021).

Many Indigenous researchers have already developed, or are developing, quantitative methods that might be called Indigenous or decolonizing methodologies in both STEM and quantitative social science disciplines. Most of these methods are not published. Indeed, existing interviews with Indigenous academics show that they/we are often punished for introducing “Indigenous stuff” in scientific or statistical research during peer review, leading to rejection or exclusion of these aspects of Indigenous-led research (Unreserved, 2018).

The project aims to collaboratively articulate the ways Indigenous methodologies (approaches to research) meet quantitative methods (techniques of research). This requires fluency in Indigenous cosmologies (worldviews) and axiologies (ethics) as well as in quantitative research methods based in interviewees’ disciplines (oceanography, neurobiology, genetics, demographics). While there is certainly a growing number of researchers who are fluent in both these qualitative and quantitative areas, this competency is still fairly unique, as indicated by the hundreds of texts in Indigenous and decolonial methodologies in qualitative disciplines, very few in quantitative disciplines (most of these are in demographics and health in social sciences, e.g. Walter and Andersen, 2013; Rodriguez-Lonebear, 2016)), and even fewer still that explicitly take up inferential or descriptive statistics, modeling, mathematical functions, computation, and other quantitative tools in Indigenous ways.

Two research assistants will be hired for this work. They must be fluent in quantitative methods (inferential statistics, as well as sampling design, probability, etc.) and Indigenous cosmologies. Together with Dr. Liboiron, they will: organize interviews and project meetings; be trained in anticolonial interviewing and listening methodologies (Archibald, 2008); co-conduct interviews; work with transcribing software to edit and refine transcripts; conduct literature reviews; co-write cases with PI and collaborators. We will aim to recruit Indigenous students or recent graduates from Memorial. The RAs will be coauthors on all outputs, following the Equity in Author Order protocol (Liboiron et al., 2017).

Indigenous Statistics by Maggie Walter and Chris Andersen will be one of our key texts.

Bibliography  

Archibald, Jo-ann. 2008. Indigenous Storywork: Educating the Heart, Mind, Body, and Spirit. UBC press.

Cajete, Gregory. 1999. Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Clear Light Publishing.

Cid, Ximena, Kat Milligan-Myhre, Kelsey Leonard, Rosie Alegado, Max Liboiron, Mukhtara Yusuf, Dominique David-Chavez, Andrea Gomez, Cheryl Ellenwood, Katherine Crocker, Desi Small-Lonebear, Kathleen Johnson, Lydia Jennings, Sarah Aarons, Stephanie Russo Caroll, and Ranalda Tsosie. 2021.“IndigeLab Roundtables: Fourteen Indigenous Researchers Discuss Their Research Spaces, Collectives, and Values with One Another.,” February 28, Online. Hosted by the Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto.

Liboiron, Max. 2021. Pollution Is Colonialism. Duke University Press.

Liboiron, Max, Justine Ammendolia, Katharine Winsor, Alex Zahara, Hillary Bradshaw, Jessica Melvin, Charles Mather, Natalya Dawe, Emily Wells, and France Liboiron. 2017. “Equity in Author Order: A Feminist Laboratory’s Approach.” Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 3(2):1–17.

Liboiron, Max, Alex Zahara, Kaitlyn Hawkins, Christina Crespo, Bárbara de Moura Neves, Vonda Wareham-Hayes, Evan Edinger, Charlotte Muise, Mary Jane Walzak, and Rebecca Sarazen. 2021. “Abundance and Types of Plastic Pollution in Surface Waters in the Eastern Arctic (Inuit Nunangat) and the Case for Reconciliation Science.” Science of The Total Environment 782:146809.

Mulrow, C. D. 1994. “Systematic Reviews: Rationale for Systematic Reviews.” BMJ 309(6954):597–99. doi: 10.1136/bmj.309.6954.597.

Nakata, Martin. 1998. “Anthropological Texts and Indigenous Standpoints.” Australian Aboriginal Studies (2):3–12.

Rodriguez-Lonebear, Desi. 2016. “Building a Data Revolution in Indian Country.” Pp. 253–73 in Indigenous Data Sovereignty: Toward an agenda, edited by T. Kukutai and J. Taylor. ANU Press.

Russo Caroll, S., T. Kukutai, and M. Walter. 2021. “Indigenous Data Sovereignty.”

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. 1999. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. Zed books.

Tuck, Eve, and Marcia McKenzie. 2015. Place in Research: Theory, Methodology, and Methods. New York: Routledge.

Walter, Maggie, and Chris Andersen. 2013. Indigenous Statistics: A Quantitative Research Methodology. Left Coast Press.

Wilson, Shawn. 2008. Research Is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods. Fernwood Publishing.

Winter, Kawika, Noa Lincoln, Fikret Berkes, Rosanna Alegado, Natalie Kurashima, Kiana Frank, Puaʻala Pascua, Yoshimi Rii, Frederick Reppun, and Ingrid Knapp. 2020. “Ecomimicry in Indigenous Resource Management: Optimizing Ecosystem Services to Achieve Resource Abundance, with Examples from Hawaiʻi.” Ecology and Society 25(2).