Decolonizing Methodologies

Research and Indigenous Peoples

Linda Tuhiwai Smith

Second Edition


An essential text that critically examines the basis of Western research, and the positioning of the indigenous as 'Other.'

'A landmark in the process of decolonizing imperial Western knowledge.'
Walter Mignolo, Duke University

To the colonized, the term 'research' is conflated with European colonialism; the ways in which academic research has been implicated in the throes of imperialism remains a painful memory.

This essential volume explores intersections of imperialism and research - specifically, the ways in which imperialism is embedded in disciplines of knowledge and tradition as 'regimes of truth.' Concepts such as 'discovery' and 'claiming' are discussed and an argument presented that the decolonization of research methods will help to reclaim control over indigenous ways of knowing and being.

Now in its eagerly awaited second edition, this bestselling book has been substantially revised, with new case-studies and examples and important additions on new indigenous literature, the role of research in indigenous struggles for social justice, which brings this essential volume urgently up-to-date.

Author Bio

Professor Smith is Vice-Chancellor with responsibilities for Maori development at the University of Waikato, as well as Dean of the School of Maori and Pacific Development.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • 1. Imperialism, History, Writing and Theory
  • 2. Research through Imperial Eyes
  • 3. Colonizing Knowledges
  • 4. Research Adventures on Indigenous Land
  • 5. Notes from Down Under
  • 6. The Indigenous People's Project: Setting a New Agenda
  • 7. Articulating an Indigenous Research Agenda
  • 8. Twenty-Five Indigenous Projects
  • 9. Responding to the Imperatives of an Indigenous Agenda: A Case Study of Maori 
  • 10. Towards Developing Indigenous Methodologies: Kaupapa Maori Research
  • 11. Choosing the Margins: The Role of Research in Indigenous Struggles for Social Justice
  • 12. Getting the Story Right, Telling the Story Well: Indigenous Activism, Indigenous Research
  • Conclusion: A Personal Journey
  • Index


'A landmark in the process not only of decolonizing methodology, but of decolonizing imperial Western knowledge and ways of knowing.'
Walter Mignolo, Duke University

'Linda Tuhiwai Smith's trail-blazing book is one of the greatest contributions towards instilling pride and dignity in indigenous peoples all over the world.'
Harald Gaski, University of Tromsø, Norway.

'This second edition will secure and expand the place of this book as a classic in the field of indigenous methodologies.'
Patti Lather, Ohio State University

'Persuasive, evocative, and enduring.'
Margaret Kovach, University of Saskatchewan

'Equips indigenous scholars with a series of methodological and political strategies for developing research that is enabling and empowering.'
Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Indigenous Studies Research Network, Queensland University of Technology

'A text of broad intellectual reach and political depth, this book transformed the fields of educational research and critical epistemology.'
Michelle Fine, City University New York


Publication Date: 10 May 2012
256 pages

Not available in: New Zealand

Product ISBNs: Paperback 2nd Edition: 9781848139503
Hardback 2nd Edition: 9781848139510
eBook ePub 2nd Edition: 9781848139534
eBook PDF 2nd Edition: 9781848139527
eBook Kindle 2nd Edition: 9781780324227
Library Edition: 9781856496230

Previous Editions: Paperback 1st Edition: 9781856496247

Why is peer review so important?

Learn more about the various types of peer review, why it’s so important, what the social and political considerations of peer review are and how we use it at Zed Books.