As we begin this blog, we have had some discussion around what the purpose and intention should be with it. In conversation with Kiri yesterday, we talked about how we incorporate the nitty gritty research details about paradigms, epistemology, theory, etc., but that actually these first few stages where we establish who we are, and where we are at is really important because this blog is an opportunity to give shape to us as whole people, not just researchers. All the challenges presented from day one of our individual journeys are part of the educational achievement and signify markers of development–not just as scholars, but as humans. As I was reading Research as Ceremony, Shawn Wilson discusses approaching knowledge through intellect, and approaching knowledge through emotions and motives, and cites Hampton, another Indigenous researcher in the following quote that speaks directly to the process that we have intuitively used to start our blog:
“We do what we do for reasons, emotional reasons. That is the engine that drives us….Feeling is connected to our intellect and we ignore, hide from, disguise, and suppress that feeling at our peril and the peril of those around us. Emotionless, passion-less, abstract, intellectual research is a goddam lie, it does not exist. It is a lie to ourselves and a lie to other people. Humans–feeling, living, breathing, thinking humans–do research.” (2008, p. 56 as cited in Hampton, 1995, p. 52)
The connection between feeling and intellect is something that is profoundly difficult to articulate, especially in the written form. But for anyone who has experienced the reiteration and verification processes of knowledge that is preserved in oral tradition, these connections are seamless and validated in real time. There is no differentiation between feeling and intellect because they work together, making us ever-new in the unfolding of the eternal present. In this relationship with our research, with each other and with our readers, we share both.