“It Makes Me Feel Good to Teach People About My Culture:” On Collaborative Research Methods with Indigenous Young People

  • Amy Mack
  • Jan Newberry


In this article we, as settler scholars, explore process as method within a community-driven, supradisciplinary project in southern Alberta called Raising Spirit. The project was a collaboration between the University of Lethbridge’s Institute for Child and Youth Studies and Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society, a nonprofit that serves Indigenous children and families in southern Alberta. The project team formed in response to Opokaa’sin’s need for a digital library of Blackfoot culture, language, and history. Here, we reflect on the methods used during this project, specifically paraethnography (Marcus & Holmes, 2008) and design studio (Rabinow, Marcus, Faubion, & Rees, 2008). Throughout, we argue that this approach produced a collective sphere (Rappaport, 2008) wherein young people and community partners, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, became collaborators throughout the process. In this space of vulnerability and potential, everyone could contribute, share, and learn.