The interplay between ongoing historical trauma and yet to be acknowledged first nations sovereignty
Carnes, R. (2012) The interplay between ongoing historical trauma and yet to be acknowledged first nations sovereignty. In: 27th Annual Research Forum (Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc) Transforming practice: The value of educational research, 11 August 2012, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Western Australia
Aboriginal people have consistently experienced research conducted by non-Aboriginal people and institutions as disrespectful and disempowering. Therefore, while investigating gap(s) in prisoner education as experienced by Aboriginal people I have attempted to address this and my own white privilege by de-centering standard, colonial research practice. To do this I have adopted yarning, an academically and culturally rigorous methodology. I have yarned with ex-prisoners, family members and Aboriginal people who have worked in prisoner education and become aware of a picture of many gaps. These include social and educational such as lack of housing, irrelevance to communities of much prison training, English as a second, third or fourth language, and difficulty accessing any courses in prisons, standard teaching practice that is one way while it needs to be two way. Of special interest to me, however, is what Aboriginal people perceive lies beneath these gaps; a chasm in need of acknowledgement and action. The interplay between ongoing historical, inter-generational trauma and yet to be acknowledged first nations sovereignty and the resulting impact on education gaps will be the focus of this presentation. As is the case with my research, I attempt to de-centre dominant colonial discourse by prioritising and privileging quotes from my Indigenous teachers. These teachers have been the research participants and Indigenous academics and authors to whom I am indebted and grateful and from whom I continue to learn.
Keywords: critical whiteness studies, Indigenous sovereignty, historical trauma and Aboriginal education
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