Diversity, Equity & Social Justice

Indigenous Scholars on the Challenges of Decolonizing Research

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When a research is conducted, we’re searching for answers that matter. However, crucial questions are often left behind during the researching process: Who produces the research we rely on? Who determines what is important to research, what topics deserve to be researched, and who researches it?

This roundtable discussion from USC Visions and Voices addresses decolonizing research and the fraught relationship between Indigenous knowledge and scholars and the academic and cultural institutions that have often erased, co-opted and excluded them. The panel features Chris Finley, Native studies professor at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; Rebecca Hernandez, community archivist from UC Santa Cruz University Library; Loriene Roy, professor in the School of Information at the University of Texas, Austin; and Shawn Wilson, associate professor of Indigenous studies at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan.

Who Will Benefit

– Those hoping to further understand the vital role of Indigenous scholars in research
– Scholars wanting to explore how representation can be improved in archives
– Those looking to uncover how to support Indigenous scholars

About Our Featured Faculty

Chris Finley is an assistant professor of American studies and ethnicity at USC Dornsife. She received her PhD in American culture at the University of Michigan. She is a member of the Colville Confederated tribes and is originally from Washington State. In her research, Finley critiques how dominant U.S. popular culture sexualizes Native bodies as culturally and, therefore, racially unable to conform to white heteroreproductive norms. She completed her postdoctoral training in Race and Gender Postdoctoral Fellowship from Rutgers University in 2016.