Managing Indigenous Involvement in and Control over Research

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


Kurongkurl Katitjin




Gower, G., & Mack, L. (2002). Practicalities in managing Indigenous involvement and control over research. In Proceedings of Australian Indigenous Education Conference: Sharing Success: An Indigenous Perspective. Townsville, QLD: James Cook University.


Research in Indigenous communities has historically been controlled and dominated by non-Indigenous researchers. The research methodologies used have been inappropriate and have centred on non-Indigenous frames of reference which in turn has not promoted Indigenous involvement and ownership over the research activity. By using the notion of Indigenous self determination to underscore the research processes with a view to establishing partnerships informed and framed by Indigenous social, cultural decision making processes, Indigenous communities could achieve significant benefits from research and be enriched and empowered by it. This paper discusses a number of research principles which should be acknowledged when conducting research in Indigenous communities. These principles will then be used to analyse fieldwork experiences in a range of Indigenous community contexts.