Kelly Whitney-Squire completed her doctorate in Tourism Management at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Her research focuses on the use of community-based tourism initiatives to support the development and revitalization of indigenous languages. Working closely with the Haida, Kelly undertook postdoctoral research through the University of Northern British Columbia into the development of a language-based tourism program in Haida Gwaii. This research focuses on (a) community assessment of 12 potential language projects and (b) visitor openness to local language use at the Haida Heritage Centre at Kay Llnagaay in Skidegate. Kelly moved to Haida Gwaii in 2014 to work with the Haida to support community-based tourism development and currently serves as a consultant on the Council of the Haida Nation (CHN) Culture & Language Committee and the CHN Tourism Committee.
Presentation Title: Informing Traditional Knowledge Through an Indigenist Methodology in Haida Gwaii (Canada)
This presentation outlines the use of a methodology founded on an indigenist research paradigm–an approach that places the community at the centre of the research design from the outset. Indigenous scholars advocate that it is not possible to use science-based methods (quantitative or qualitative) to produce indigenous knowledge. The crux of the problem is one of perspective: wherein the questions generated serve the objectives of those outside the community. While modern research methods can play a supporting role, an indigenist methodology stands alone based on indigenous peoples’ values (ways of being in the world) and criterion (ways of knowing the world). The case study will outline the use of this methodology in Haida Gwaii in terms of (a) the methods used to incorporate the life ways of the Haida, (b) the role of the researcher in facilitating participation, and (c) the shift in worldview required to contemplate an indigenous perspective.