On behalf of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), since 2019 People’s Palace Projects hosts a programme of events on Indigenous engagement in research partnerships and knowledge mobilisation.

1. International Seminar on Indigenous Engagement, Research Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilisation (Rio de Janeiro, 2019)

In 2018, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) invited current and previous GCRF award holders to bid for funding to produce reflective pieces in conjunction with the indigenous researchers and communities with which they were working. 12 collaborative projects were selected, and the PIs and Indigenous partners from 10 different countries (Brazil, Colombia, India, Mongolia, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Dominica) were brought together at the Indigenous Engagement, Research Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilisation in Rio de Janeiro in March 2019. The seminar looked to explore research partnerships between indigenous and non-indigenous partners, with a particular focus on culturally sensitive knowledge exchange, equitable co-creation and mobilisation for meaningful impact. The 3-day event was hosted by People’s Palace Projects, Queen Mary University of London (PPP, QMUL) and the Indigenous Association of the Kuikuro people in Xingu (AIKAX), on behalf of AHRC and ESRC. There were a wide range of partnerships, approaches and disciplines represented, as well as interdisciplinary discussions, workshops and presentations; the seminar offered a rare opportunity for an open discussion around the opportunities and challenges facing indigenous and non-indigenous researchers working in this field and the institutions that support them.

The projects and partnerships differed across geographies and disciplines, but there was a consensus that the various research projects sought to legitimise indigenous knowledge and to challenge issues of social injustice. Despite these intentions, all participants had faced a variety of challenges in the co-design and co-production of research projects between non-indigenous and indigenous communities. The group asked themselves what are the rules of the game? How is partnership defined, given the global structural and systematic inequalities around finance, access and the circulation of knowledge? It was agreed vehemently that there is a need to find effective mechanisms of engaging research partners from the global north in a discussion about the meaning of collaboration and partnership in this context.

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2. Webinar on Indigenous Research Methodologies (online, 2020)

The webinar was an opportunity to address the increasing number of UK-based scholars working transnationally and internationally among Indigenous peoples, to inform the international development research community, across disciplines, on challenges when engaging with indigenous communities whilst ensuring co-production of knowledge and effective knowledge mobilisation, and to help identify areas where good practice is established or additional work is required. The 2-hour online event brought together 57 participants and was an opportunity to learn how indigenous partners are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to draw the agenda for the next events in 2021.

 

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3. Indigenous Research Episodes

The conversations of Rio’s seminar were documented by indigenous filmmaker Takumã Kuikuro and the Kuikuro Cinema Collective and transformed into 9 short episodes available on the playlist Indigenous Research Episodes. The clips offer non-indigenous researchers working in this field insights on challenges when engaging with indigenous communities whilst ensuring co-production of knowledge and effective knowledge mobilisation, with the potential for broader impact beyond academia.

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4. II Webinar on Indigenous Research Methodologies (online, 24 March 2021)

The second webinar was an opportunity to bring together indigenous and non-indigenous researchers to discuss the challenges for indigenous research in different regions and fields of knowledge. The event also hosted a conversation between Simon McBurney (Complicité Theatre) and Ailton Krenak (leader of the Krenak people, Brazil).

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