In the world, we women live with shared violence. Each of these types of violence must be made visible and analyzed from the perspective of cultural diversity. In recent years, Indigenous Women have made known the different forms of violence that we experience on a daily basis.
Specifically, we have made environmental violence – also called ecological violence – part of the human rights agenda at the international level. It is understood as the deliberate lethal exposure to pesticides, mining waste and other sources of toxic pollution, environmental violence causing illness in people, as well as forced migration from their ancestral territories. The loss of these lands leads to the extinction of traditional knowledge and both imbalance and disharmony with the environment: the deterioration of organization systems, security, food sovereignty, and the relationship with Mother Earth.
From this problem, FIMI Research Program on Issues of Impact on the Life of Indigenous Women launched the call “Discovering and Writing from my Community”. Aimed at Indigenous Women’s organizations and individuals from Asia, Africa and the Americas, in order to generate knowledge material, from their contexts and particularities.
62 Indigenous Women’s organizations applied to the call: 37 from Latin America, 12 from Asia and 13 from Africa. After a review and evaluation process, 9 organizations were selected to receive USD 3,550.00 as financial contribution.
Intercultural Research: An inclusive Way of Learning in Indigenous Communities Based on the Work of Myrna Cunningham
As part of the technical advice of the call Discovering and Writing from My Community, we held a webinar on Intercultural Research. In it, Dr Cunningham described Cross-Cultural Research as a distinct learning tool where indigenous researchers take different cultural expressions (e.g., oral histories, dreams, embroidery, and intergenerational learning based on practice) as sources of knowledge.
Additionally, Dr. Cunningham highlighted Intercultural Research as a theoretical and methodological position that seeks to defend Collective Rights. This type of research is not imposed on other forms of knowledge generation, nor does it presuppose neutrality or objectivity, since the researcher recognizes that she is part of the community. Then, the understanding of her own culture becomes a valuable element for the construction of knowledge. Likewise, she admits that her research process has elements of her own subjectivity.
Another element to highlight in Intercultural Research is that community members are active participants in
the construction of new knowledge. Away from the shelves of a library, this information is for advocacy. Through it, we hope to generate a positive impact on participating communities, presenting it as a tool for intervention and decision-making that allows transforming Indigenous Peoples’ realities for the better in their communities as part of well being.
This research proposal includes ethical codes such as self-determination and free, prior and informed consent, which is why it is considered a non-extractivist methodology. Currently, the 9 research projects of the Describing and Writing My Community call are receiving technical advice taken from this perspective. We invite you to follow our library where we will publish the research projects at the end of the second half of 2020.