Living Texts

A Perspective on Published Sources, Indigenous Research Methodologies and Indigenous Worldviews

  • Ambelin Kwaymullina
    Terra Rosa Cultural Heritage Movement
  • Blaze Kwaymullina
    Terra Rosa Cultural Heritage Movement
  • Lauren Butterly
    University of Western Australia and University of New South Wales


This article explores and extends one aspect of the research theories and methods defined by Lester-Irabinna Rigney (1999) as ‘Indigenist research’, namely, published sources. We view published sources broadly as incorporating poetry, life histories, community histories, creation stories, scholarly articles and books. This article seeks to operationalise Indigenist research in the context of the sources that are central to academic work and critically engage with how the ontologies that inform knowledges are valued in the academy. We aim to explore the relationships Aboriginal people create with the parts of their knowledges that have become translated into text. Whilst acknowledging that oral traditions and processes are fundamentally important, this article seeks to situate sources published by Aboriginal people as a key part of the ‘contestation of knowledge’ that lies at the heart of Indigenist research (Rigney 1999: 116). Our aim is to start the conversation about the issues that are raised in framing how primary and secondary sources might be constituted within Indigenist research. We are two Aboriginal scholars of the Palyku people, and one non-Indigenous scholar. Writing in this academic space requires openness, sharing and profound trust between collaborators, which we have had the privilege of developing together over many years.

Published: 2013-01-01
Pages:1 to 13
Section: Articles
Fetching Scopus statistics
Fetching Web of Science statistics
How to Cite
Kwaymullina, A., Kwaymullina, B., & Butterly, L. (2013). Living Texts: A Perspective on Published Sources, Indigenous Research Methodologies and Indigenous Worldviews. International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, 6(1), 1-13.