It’s Not Just About the Destination, but Also the Journey: Reflections on Research with Indigenous Women Food Growers

  • Karyn Stein Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo/University of Otago
  • Miranda Mirosa Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo/University of Otago
  • Lynette Carter Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo/University of Otago
Keywords: Agroecology, Food Sovereignty, Indigenous Knowledge, Indigenous Methodologies, Indigenous Peoples, Kaupapa Māori, Knowledge Exchange, Participatory Approaches, Traditional Food Systems, Women, Gender

Abstract

Research with Indigenous Peoples has a history associated with colonialism, oppression, and power and control dynamics. In order to work with Indigenous communities within a research context, unique methodologies encompassing Indigenous values, participatory approaches, and horizontal collaboration and/or knowledge exchange is required. The reflective essay explores how I (author Stein) utilized a blend of participatory and Indigenous research methodologies, including kaupapa Māori, which is unique to Māori of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and encompasses Māori cultural values, aspirations, and tikanga (protocols). While the research explored how Māori women are reclaim­ing the food system and promoting agro­ecology, food self-reliance, and alternative visions based on Māori cultural values and traditions, this article is a reflec­tive work based on my experiential learning through the process of utilizing a partici­pa­tory methodology and kaupapa Māori. Nonethe­less, I touch upon key research findings. The vastly opposing worldviews between Indigenous women promoting agroecological farming and the indus­trial model of food production are representative of the conflicting values of an Indigenous versus an academic worldview. In this paper, I set out a series of reflections on working with Indigenous Māori women within a research context; the chal­lenges and tribulations that were overcome; as well as how kaupapa Māori, an Indigenous method­ology, expands on participatory research.

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Author Biographies

Karyn Stein, Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo/University of Otago

PhD candidate, Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo/University of Otago, Otepoti/ Dunedin, New Zealand; +64 7 892 2963; karynstein@hotmail.com

Miranda Mirosa, Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo/University of Otago

Senior Lecturer, Te Tari Pütaiao Kai/Department of Food Science, Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo/University of Otago; P.O. Box 56; Otepoti/Dunedin 9054, Te Wai Pounamu/New Zealand; +64 3 479 7953; miranda.mirosa@otago.ac.nz

Lynette Carter, Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo/University of Otago

Senior Lecturer, Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Waitaha, Te Tumu, School Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo/University of Otago; P.O. Box 56; Otepoti/Dunedin 9054, Te Wai Pounamu/New Zealand; +64 3 479 3049; lynette.carter@otago.ac.nz

Published
2017-05-30
How to Cite
Stein, K., Mirosa, M., & Carter, L. (2017). It’s Not Just About the Destination, but Also the Journey: Reflections on Research with Indigenous Women Food Growers. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 7(3), 105-122. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2017.073.003