Indigenous Maori researcher and academic Linda Tuhiwai Smith reminds us that research using western frameworks “continues relentlessly and brings with it a new wave of exploration, discovery, exploitation and appropriation. Researchers enter communities armed with goodwill in their front pockets and patents in their back pockets… No matter how appalling their behaviours, how insensitive and offensive their personal actions may be, their acts and intentions are always justified as being for the ‘good of mankind.’
Research of this nature on indigenous peoples is still justified by the ends rather than the means”. The key questions developed for this research, combined with the research methodology used, are a bold attempt to move away from this practice and embrace indigenous and decolonized ways of accessing information, sharing, documenting and building knowledge.
The research methodology used was the indigenous approach of talanoa (Vaioleti, 2006, Fa’avae, 2019), interwoven with a Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) framework (APWLD, 2017). Both guided the processes of the indigenous led research and the collection of talanoa from the participants. The talanoa methodology included the use of individual interviews, focus groups and collective story mapping to develop focused accounts of three Pacific organizations and one Pacific regional network.