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ix Foreword Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy (Lumbee) In 1969, Lakota scholar Vine Deloria, Jr., writing about research in tribal communities , noted, “Academia, and its by-­ products, continues to become more irrelevant to the needs of people.”1 Deloria’s frustration is one that has been shared by others, and continues to be relevant almost 50 years after being raised. This volume is a response to these frustrations. But, it is more than that. I would argue that the chapters in this volume point to what I call the four P’s of Indigenous methodologies. Indigenous methodologies are: Personal; point to the concept of Presence; are rooted in Place; and construct Positionality. The four P’s, taken together, reflect the power of Native scholars, thinkers, and authors. For Indigenous scholars, conversations about methodologies—­ or the ways that we think about research and the research process—­ are rooted in relationships . These methodologies emerge from questions of identities; we may ask, can a Native person engage in research and still be Native? There is, in this way, a relation­ ship regarding identity as it emerges through epistemological (how we think about, (re)produce knowledge) and ontological (how we engage larger questions of our realities). There are other points that are rooted in questions of method; we may ask, how do I interview and collect data from other Native peoples in the most ethical ways? There is a technical component here, but there is also an axiological one. That is, we are asking about the moral and ethical values that guide the work. And, there are large questions around how to engage in the research process in a way that is, in fact,“relevant to the needs of the people” and also counts for people in the Academy. As such, one way to think about relation­ships and methodologies is to agree that our methodologies are personal. This volume offers views into the research of a cadre of Indigenous scholars whose work is focused on understanding different phenomena in and around institutions of higher education. The chapters engage the art and act of being Indigenous researchers, even when this is not the explicitly stated aim x Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy of the chapter. The descriptions in the chapters, however, when chewed on and savored, are wonderful examples of what it means to be both a Native person and a researcher. Of course, it bears noting that Native peoples have always been researchers. As such, we have always had ideas about the purposes and role of research. Early on, we observed the elements around us, the natural ebbs and flows of geographies and wildlife (that would later become part of how we nourished ourselves and families), and the factors that led to particular kinds of interactions between humans and their surrounding environs . We experimented with plants and other organisms to see how they interacted with our bodies. From these observations, we developed both theories about what might happen next and actions about how to best respond. We noticed when animal migration patterns changed, or what happened when we ingested a particular plant while experiencing a particular illness. This is what Native science looked—­ and continues to look—­ like. The relevance to people was that it allowed us to live happy, healthy lives. Survival (happily and healthily ) was the purpose. The chapters in this volume have similar threads. They describe how Native peoples make sense of, and (happily and healthily) survive higher education. As is true for many of our ancestors, happiness and health were not always attained without a fair share of pain and harm. These chapters reflect this reality. Indigenous methodologies are personal. The chapters in this volume also reflect the fact that our methodologies reflect presence. There are several ways to consider this point. First, the fact that such a talented, diverse group of Native scholars are engaging in addressing the ways that we make sense of research illuminates the presence of Native people in higher education.At the risk of demonstrating the fact that I grow older with every passing day and become increasingly reminiscent, this presence is different than when I emerged into writing about higher education. There is a robust, hearty presence in these chapters, which is joyous. The collection of scholars represented in this volume are leading the movement in Indigenous higher education. I am grateful for their presence. It is rooted in and produces a powerful collective. And, presence emerges in other ways through their work. In several...


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