Seasons of research with/by/as the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

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Great Lakes Research Center


In response to generations of inequitable research to/for Indigenous communities, many have and are developing research practices that center Indigenous priorities. In this paper, we share the Seasons of Research framework developed by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and University collaborators. First, we outline the scholarship that provides the foundations for research and being researchers in Keweenaw Bay. This section includes a comprehensive table that summarizes resources for building, strengthening, and sustaining equitable research partnerships with/by/as Indigenous communities. Next, we share the guidance for research partnerships we created together that uses the Medicine Wheel to illustrate an interconnected system of partnership teachings. The guidance aims for balance between and among four seasons of research: relationship building, planning and prioritization, knowledge exchange, and synthesis and application. Research partnerships with/by/as the Community demonstrate respect for each other's differences, honor reciprocity in actions, exemplify responsibility for differing commitments, and express reverence for shared lands, waters, and living beings. Personal reflections by lead author Emily Shaw are shared to demonstrate the process and practices associated with seasons of research, bridging Indigenous wisdom, social and natural sciences, and environmental engineering. We conclude with a few words on the transformation of the research landscape with Indigenous peoples at home and abroad.

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Journal of Great Lakes Research