Comparing Hebridean & Canadian Indigenous Educational Research Methodologies

    Project Details

    Description of project aims

    Educational research, and methods of qualitative enquiry, have existed in Highland and Island (Gàidhealtachd) communities prior to the introduction of accepted institutional research methodologies of the 20th century, or Western methodologies such as Glaser (1992); Strauss & Corbin (1998); Creswell (2002); and Richardson (2005).

    Building upon the open-access (CC-BY) taught doctorate module on Indigenous research methodology (Smith et al, 2022; Smith, 2023), this presentation will explore a priori research methods originating in the Western Isles, Gàidhealtachd, particularly oral and narrative forms of enquiry through sustained ethnographic systems.

    This conversation explores, describes and honours unique research methods originating in the Gàidhealtachd, paralleling Canadian Indigenous and participatory research methods identified and described globally (Kovach, 2009, 2010; Plain, 2022, 2013; 2011; Riddell et al, 2017; Singh, 2015; Tobias et al, 2013). Hebridean educational research methods value collective voices over individual statements. Sloinneadh and Dùthchas, the connection to land in learning, and the oral tradition of data collection through elders, are a few of the unique ways Hebridean research, like Indigenous research, is carried out and valued (Smith, 2023; Thomson, 2022; Tilley, 2016; Whitinui, 2014). This research endeavours to sustain and honour traditional methods of knowing.


    Jacobson, D. & N. Mustafa. (2019) . Social Identity map: a reflexivity tool for practicing explicit positionality in critical qualitative research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 18, 1609406919870075.

    Kovach, M.E. (2009). Indigenous methodologies: characteristics, conversations and contexts. University of Toronto Press.

    Kovach, Margaret. (2010). Conversation method in Indigenous research. First Peoples Child and Family Review, 5(1): 40-48.

    -conversational method (East v Western methodologies…)

    Marshall, P. A. Ethical challenges in study design and informed consent for health research in resource-poor settings [online]. Available at < > [26 November 2015]

    Plain, D. (2022). Module 1: Indigenous Knowing Methodologies. Global EdD (Taught Doctorate) in Remote Pedagogy and Stewardship.

    Plain, D. (2013). Ways of Our Grandfathers: Our Traditions and culture. Trafford Publishing. 9781425122768.

    Plain, D. (2011). 1300 Moons. Victoria: Trafford Publishing. 978-1-4907-0674-0.

    Riddell, J.K., A. Salamanca, D.J. Pepler, S. Cardinal & O. McIvor. (2017). Laying the groundwork: a practical guide for ethical research with Indigenous communities. The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 8(2):Art.6.

    Singh, Amina. (2015). Learning as Becoming: the subject, body and knowing as learning. University of Technology Sydney. (Nepal)

    Smith, K. (2023). Hebridean educational research methodologies. Annual UHI Research Conference. Elgin, January 11, 2023.

    Smith, K., D. Plain, G. Davies, F.Rennie, C. Beckford & S.Xu. (2022). EdD in Remote Pedagogy and Global Stewardship. Open-access eCampus Ontario course.

    Thomson, Amanda. (2022). Belonging: Natural histories of place, identity and home. Edinburgh, Canongate. 14-15.

    Tilley, S.A. (2016). Doing respectful research: power, privilege and passion. Fernwood Publishing.

    Tobias, J.K., C.A.M. Richmond & I. Luginaah. (2013) Community-based participatory research (CBPR) with Indigneous communities: Producing Respectful Reciprocal Research. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Ethics, 8(2): 129-140. DOI: 10.1525/jer.2013.8.2.129

    Whitinui, P. (2014). Indigenous Autoethnography: Exploring, engaging, and experiencing ‘self’ as a native method of inquiry. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 43(2): 456-487. DOI: 10.1177/0891241613508148

    Layman's description

    Identifying Hebridean educational research methods, or ways of knowing.
    Short titleHebridean Research Methods
    Effective start/end date6/02/2329/02/24

    UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 4 - Quality Education
    • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


    Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.