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Rationale for Funding Indigenous Approaches in PARticipatory Action Research


I created this powerpoint presentation for my Educ 610 (Qualitative Research) classmates as a preliminary snapshot of what I was in the process of writing for my final research paper for the course, a funding proposal, which I have also posted as "Convene Grant Application". In this presentation, I modelled the initial stages of the research process: finding out whether a problem can and should be studied (Creswell, 2015).  This artifact demonstrates my understanding that undertaking a PAR project in my school community necessitates embracing Indigenous ways of knowing and being that are held by the First Nations on whose territory we live, learn and teach. In order to gain access to the people and sites that I hoped to undertake research in (Creswell, 2015), it was critical to build a respectful and reciprocal relationship with the local Lkwungen communities many of our students come from, the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations.


This artifact demonstrates my understanding that one of the primary roles that research plays is to identify and fill a void in the existing literature, especially about people in places that have not been previously heard from, in ways that have practical applications (Creswell, 2015). This presentation shows my familiarity with a variety of Indigenous pedagogies and research methods used and advocated by diverse Indigenous scholars such as Saunders, Graveline, Kovach, and Smith, and reveals my understanding that there may be a gap in this literature: defining and supporting an inclusive approach to place-based education, using a locally sanctioned, published Indigenous research methodology.


This presentation was not just an effective means to share with my classmates my practical application of what we had learned about Indigenous approaches to research, theory and practice in special education through a real-world opportunity that they might also be interested in, a grant for Participatory Action Research (PAR) projects. I also created it to share understanding and discussion of these concepts with potential PAR project partners so that we could create the funding application together, one that would allow us to create a common vision as well as generate the financial resources both the school and First Nations staff and community members would need in order to have the time to participate.  


The presentation features both image-based and textual documentation of my initial work on a literature review summarizing Indigenous theories of learning, education and achievement. In addition, it offers examples of a few specific Indigenous pedagogies that I embrace with my partner when we co-facilitate Aboriginal Education programs together, and those already being enacted at our school through our Big Canoe program and Camas meadow. In fact, Songhees Elder Butch Dick did reciprocate in kind, showing me a powerpoint of the pedagogy his teachings are based on, one he does not email or print to protect this sacred knowledge from appropriation.

By soliciting and accepting Songhees Elder Butch Dick’s direction in creating a qualitative research question that features what he is willing to share openly: both his pedagogical strategies (courage, sharing, trust and openness) and his educational goals (building learners’ sense of identity, self-esteem, self-confidence), along with his son Bradley Dick’s published goal of “sninew” or “self-discipline,” I demonstrated a few first steps on the path required to secure permission and resource the expanded use of a culturally-appropriate Indigenous Research Method that could enable ethical PAR work in our local community.

I removed a few action photos I took of students whose parents had signed school and district-based consent forms until I have their informed consent not just as a teacher, but as a researcher. This update of this artifact demonstrates growth in my understanding of the ethics involved in using the images of young people to promote innovations in inclusive, public education. I want to ensure that both my students as well as their guardians approve of my use of their images for this specific use before publishing them, using my new consent form which is displayed in this portfolio in the "Practice" section.  However, since removing these images, I think the value of this artifact has been reduced. I have therefor added the completed Convene Grant Application that I created after creating this powerpoint presentation. I think the two documents complement each other, but are not different enough to be submitted as two separate artifacts. 




Creswell, J. (2015). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. (5th ed.).  Boston, MA:



Dick, B. (2012, January 14). Bradley Dick: Honouring Tradition. [Video] Published by TEDxYouth@Victoria. Retrieved from


Graveline, F. J. (2000). Circle as methodology: Enacting an Aboriginal paradigm, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education,

13(4), 361-370, DOI: 10.1080/095183900413304


Kovach, M. (2010). Indigenous methodologies: Characteristics, conversations and contexts. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.


Saunders, S. E. R., & Hill, S. M. (2007). Native education and in-classroom coalition-building: Factors and models in delivering an equitous

authentic education. Canadian Journal of Education, 30(4), 1015-1045.


Smith, L. T. (2012). Decolonising methodologies: research and Indigenous peoples (Second ed.). New York, USA: Zed Books.


Stoecker, R. (1999). Are academics irrelevant? Roles for scholars in participatory research. American Behavioral Scientist, 42(5), 840-854.

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