Holding Heart: Aboriginal Breathing Space in Research Epistemology

By Robyn Heckenberg.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper discusses research within the framework of an Aboriginal way of being and an Aboriginal cultural perception or way of seeing. This particular ontological approach to research arises from a reality that is metaphysical in nature, an Aboriginal phenomenology that possibly challenges western academic models of research methods and guidelines. Respect is at the heart of this research practice and ancestral knowledge and Indigenous law all form part of the way research needs to be enacted. As well as the centrality of ordinary (mundane) knowing, knowledge is deeply spiritual, guiding life-ways and research rationale. Life and nature are sacred, kinship claims link to specific kinds of awareness related to Country and Traditional people belonging to Country. Behaving carefully and appropriately (ethically) are part of the cultural practice of this kind of research and ensure health and well-being for people and Country.

Keywords: Indigenous Peoples, Ancestral Knowledge, Australia, The Aborigines

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 9, pp.107-118. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 640.348KB).

Robyn Heckenberg

Lecturer, Humanities, Communication and Social Science, Monash University, Churchill, Victoria, Australia

Robyn Heckenberg works at the interface between creative practice and theory. She is most interested in the philosophies of education, and art and culture that support Indigenous notions of self determination and Indigenous models for research methods. Her latest research has been working on Indigenous cultural sustainability as well as pathways into university. Her focus is on Eldership within Aboriginal nations and the empowerment of Aboriginal young people.


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