Research supported by the CURA project will be carried out within an Indigenous Research Methodology (IRM). IRM is a research methodology that honors Indigenous ways of being and knowing. It requires, reminds and supports Indigenous scholars to formally acknowledge traditional values, protocols and culturally appropriate practices in carrying out their research. Healing Through Language and Culture research activities in Aboriginal communities will be undertaken with the direction, support and participation of those communities.
CURA Healing Through Language and Culture emphasizes the significance of deeper understanding of Aboriginal peoples, cultures and languages and how these relate to the historical presence and activities of the Oblate missionaries in the various Aboriginal communities. The following questions are intended to guide researchers, academic and community members as they pursue the knowledge base of this deeper understanding.
- What was the relationship between the Aboriginal peoples and the Oblates as portrayed and/or described by the missionaries? By the Aboriginal peoples actions and recorded words?
- How were the cultural teachings of Aboriginal peoples interpreted by the Oblates as these were displayed in the descriptions of peoples' everyday lives?
- What specific information is available on the language itself as integral to the cultural well-being of individuals and collectives?
- How were language and culture described in the Aboriginal languages used?
- How were the epistemologies of the people displayed in the language as recorded in notes, dictionaries & books?
- What were the teachings related to Aboriginal notions of ontologies? What were the teachings around the first contact with missionaries?
- How did the perceptions of the missionaries influence the ways that Aboriginal peoples perceived themselves?
- Do the writings reflect perceived processes of transformations of Aboriginal cultures and languages? Are there indications that the Aboriginal perspectives might have been different than those reflected in the writings of the time?
- How do the Aboriginal Elders and traditional knowledge holders interpret the content of the journals with respect to the lives of their ancestors and the situations as they are described?
- What is the impact on Aboriginal scholars as they engage in the experience of looking in the mirror that is being held up by the journals of the Oblates?