Thought Ritual: An Indigenous data analysis method for research

Monday, 1 July 2019
Dr Tyson Yunkaporta
Donna Moodie

There is an absence in the literature on Indigenous research methodology of discrete Indigenous data analysis methods, although data analysis is occasionally incorporated as an aspect of indigenised research frameworks (Elder, 2013; Suaalii-Sauni & Fulu-Aiolupotea, 2014) or more often follows emic academic techniques mediated by etic values and paradigms (Hill et al., 2010; Gilles et al., 2014; Castleden et al., 2008; Wright et al., 2012). This paper proposes a standalone Indigenous data analysis tool that is a hybridisation of ancient oral culture practice and contemporary thought experiment, grounded in Aboriginal protocols of communal knowledge production that are aligned with principles of complexity theory. It represents a significant departure from western academic approaches while promoting high levels of intellectual rigour. It also offers the intriguing possibility of examining non-Indigenous data-sets using an Indigenous Knowledge process, potentially resolving the issue described by Walters (2005) of quantitative data being largely ignored to date in Indigenous research.