Canadian and Australian First Nations: Decolonising knowledge

  • Josie Arnold
    Swinburne University of Technology


This article explores Indigenous standpoint theory in Australia in the context of postcolonialism and some of its aspects influencing Canadian First Nations scholarship. I look at how cultural metanarratives are ideologically informed and act to lock out of scholarship other ways of knowing, being and doing. I argue that they influence knowledge and education so as to ratify Eurowestern dominant knowledge constructs. I develop insights into redressing this imbalance through advocating two-way learning processes for border crossing between Indigenous axiologies, ontologies and epistemologies, and dominant Western ones. In doing so, I note that decolonisation of knowledge sits alongside decolonisation itself but has been a very slow process in the academy. I also note that this does not mean that decolonisation of knowledge is always necessarily an oppositional process in scholarship, proposing that practice-led research (PLR) provides one model for credentialling Indigenous practitioner-knowledge within scholarship. The article reiterates the position of alienation in their own lands that such colonisation implements again and in an influential and ongoing way. The article further proposes that a PhD by artefact and exegesis based on PLR is potentially an inclusive model for First Nations People to enter into non-traditional research within the academy.

Published: 2018-08-10
Pages:3 to 20
Section: Articles
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How to Cite
Arnold, J. (2018). Canadian and Australian First Nations: Decolonising knowledge. International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, 11(1), 3-20.