“Nitawâhtâw” Searching for a Métis Approach to Audio-Visual Anthropology: Cultural, Linguistic, Methodological, and Ethical Considerations




Toorenburgh, Lydia A. I.

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Decolonizing and Indigenizing the Academy has long been an important focus in Indigenous scholarship, particularly in the social sciences. From this project has come a push for each researcher to design a unique approach rooted in their own personal, familial, community, and cultural values. With this attention to values and protocol, Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers can develop an approach that challenges the colonial thinking and practices which have so profoundly harmed Indigenous peoples around the globe. As a Cree-Métis person with mixed European ancestry, I feel a responsibility to, and a passion for, learning to work and be in the community in a good way. My thesis is an exploration toward developing my own Cree-Métis approach to audio-visual anthropology and to my academic language. Learning from the work of salient Cree-Métis filmmakers, such as Christine Welsh and Gil Cardinal, and the literature of Indigenous and audio-visual researchers, I search for a practice that speaks to my teachings and values. In addition, I discuss the importance of language and my desire to depart from the history of the words “research”, “researcher”, and “research participant”. Instead, I consider Cree words whose meanings reflect my commitment to my unique, culturally informed, anti-oppressive, decolonized approach to my work, my “participants”, and academia. All my relations!



Cree-Métis, decolonization, self-location, audio-visual anthropology, film, visual sovereignty, linguistic sovereignty, kiskinwahamâtowin, nahihtam, miyohtahêw, miyo-pimatisiwn