This project is aimed to assist Indigenous communities and minority communities who are excluded from the mainstream political and economic aspects of society.
We believe that as researchers from the mainstream of the global North, the ways in which we communicate and understand these communities is often inadequate and inappropriate. We believe that the methods, tools and approaches we can currently deploy as researchers are based on largely Western and Northern notions of communication, conversation, interaction, behaviour, courtesy, relationship and wider issues of values, knowledge, understanding, culture, lifestyles, and livelihoods.
Furthermore, we believe that learning and education are currently dominated by national or post-colonial institutions and by global digital corporations. For this reason, we are keen to enable and empower local communities to develop their own autonomous, sustainable, community-based digital learning spaces.
By working with Indigenous and other communities that are marginalized by the mainstream, we believe that better and more culturally specific and appropriate research ethics, tools, and approaches are a first step in a co-design and co-development process within individual communities.
We are keen to build up a network of colleagues and collaborators within individual indigenous and minority communities who could work with us in developing and assessing simple, robust, trustworthy, and effective research tools and methods appropriate to specific individual communities and their cultures. The development of such culturally aware and culturally sensitive research tools is important because they can enable communities to reach an informed a critical balance between the resources of the Internet and their own traditions and artifacts and practices. Communities who are informed and self-sufficient can research solutions for relevant issues and create their own learning resources in a self-sustaining fashion.
Our vision is to create a grassroots network of communities that can gather (virtually during the pandemic and possibly physically post-pandemic) to share their aspirations and, drawing upon their wisdom, share possibilities and solutions. These gatherings may result in the development of new research approaches benefiting communities around the world.
We would be keen to talk over the possibilities if you are interested and we will respect your values and culture in any initiatives or projects. We would like to hear your thoughts on this idea at your earliest convenience.
Sincerely, John, Marguerite & Shri