* How do these research methods differ from other research methods you are familiar with?
– From an academic perspective which is primarily a western perspective it is the baseline of my conscience knowledge of research methods, which is concise, orderly and objective. Meanwhile, my unconscious knowledge from the perspectives of the cultures I identify with are very much subjective from the aspect of a western perspective. I feel like there is a huge gap between understanding both perspectives. What one may perceive to understand may be hindered by a culture lens of understanding.
For example, Guam just celebrated its Liberation day anniversary a month ago. It’s a great day for celebration; yet, some indigenous CHamorus from Guam will argue that Guam was not liberated. It was colonized. And this is recognized as more of a framework perspective rather then a misunderstanding. To these indigenous people, they believe that one power just took over another, that here was no true freedom given, rather it was just and hand exchange.
A western perspective allows Social Work to be objective, yet in hindsight both sides are subjective.
* Do you think all of these methods are fully “decolonized” – why or why not?
-absolutely not, I feel like indigenous perspectives will always be viewed as subjective, compared to a western perspective or lens. Although, it is these indigenous people that have to live each day in the forefront of their situation, while western scholars interpret what they perceive rather than living it themselves.
* Do any of these methods resonate more with you than others?
-All of them do. I feel, that taking this class, it revolves more around indigenous people rather then my own people. This has given me the opportunity to think about indigenous people from an outside perspective. Especially how most of these classes and presentations revolve around the Hawaiian culture and perspective, I am left decoding unfamiliar references and cultural norms I am no familiar with.
I understand these methodologies were designed to better understand indigenous people, but this will always come from an outside perspective. Even in my writing, about my own indigenous people; I am left describing something I know, I feel, I live… in a western perspective.
* How might your identity as native or non-native impact your research with indigenous groups?
-As a CHamoru man, in the pursuit to understanding who I am and where I come from I am left asking these questions from a western perspective. I was influenced by a western culture and what ever was on the television. I acknowledge this because of my mentality and my accent. I was very much influenced my modern technology and what was hip on the television back in the 90s. I identify as a native to Guam, but doing research for a Chamoru studies class, to truly indigenous people with pure blood lines to the land, I am left feeling like an outsider. Through my research I am still attempting to understand the people with a western perspective. I am still looked as an outsider, which gives me the perspective of an outsider.