Dalhousie University - Inspiring Minds


A Primer on Indigenous Research Methodologies

Margaret Kovach, PhD
Associate Professor,
Educational Foundations/Educational Administration
College of Education,
University of Saskatchewan

What are Indigenous methodologies and how do they inform research in 2016?  Indigenous research methodologies explicitly integrate Indigenous knowledge systems and incorporate a decolonizing sensibility.  Increasingly there are two routes to integrating Indigenous methodologies within research:  one is the use of Indigenous methodologies as the primary methodological approach of a research project; the other involves the integration of Indigenous principles within with a mixed methodological approach.  This workshop will explore both processes and include a discussion of key characteristics of Indigenous knowledges as relationality, collectivism, and holism.  We will then discuss how these foundational beliefs inform Indigenous methodological research design that involve story, metaphor, allegory, and reciprocity in the representation of research.  This workshop includes presentation of content, dialogue, and circle.


Margaret Kovach (Sakewew pîsim iskwew) is of Plains Cree and Saulteaux ancestry and a member of Pasqua First Nation located in southern Saskatchewan.  She is currently an Associate Professor at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan. She received her PhD from the University of Victoria in 2007.  Dr. Kovach's work focuses on Indigenous research methodologies and Indigenous post-secondary education. Dr. Kovach's publications have had a significant impact in her field.  Of note, book, Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, and Contexts, published through the University of Toronto Press and won the Scholarly Writing Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards in 2010. It has been widely used as a research text locally, nationally, and internationally.

Dr. Kovach is often invited to give presentations on Indigenous Knowledges as it applies to academic research and instruction. She has been a Summer Noted Scholar in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia (2013); a Visiting Scholar at the School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Nutrition at James Cook University in Australia (2013); a Visiting Scholar at the College of Indigenous Studies, National Dong Hwa University in Taiwan (2013), and a Visiting Research Scholar at the Faculty of Education and Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Initiative at Western University (2012).  She has co-authored a SSHRC funded report Indigenous Presence: Experiencing and Envisioning Indigenous Knowledges within Selected Post-secondary Sites of Education and Social Work (2015) with a western Canadian team of researchers. Most recently she was the planning co-chair of the 2015 University of Saskatchewan hosted National forum “Building Reconciliation: Universities answering the TRC’s calls to action.  




Life Science Centre, Room C244




Michelle Soucy
Communications and Event Planning Officer
Centre for Learning and Teaching
Dalhousie University
Killam Library, Suite G90
Tel: (902) 494-6641
Email: Michelle.Soucy@dal.ca or clt@dal.ca