Perspectivism posits that we can know no fact
without interpretation, hold no claim of reality
independent of belief.
Perspectivism also holds that there are many
ways of viewing a phenomenon, many angles
that offer promise to the viewer. There is no
best perspective, only a field of choices from
which to select.
Folger, J.P., Poole, M.S., & Stutman, R.K. (2001). Working Through Conflict: Strategies for
Relationships, Groups, and Organizations. Fourth Edition. New York, NY: Addison Wesley
cannot view a phenomenon without
relaying on a catalog of assumptions
Theories and perspectives guide our choices,
final decision is left largely to our discretion
The assumptions you privilege and the premises
you prefer form your perspective, form the lens
through which you will view conflict
Real Examples in Contemporary
The View Abroad
Hockey Rink Conversation
My daughters view
The Aboriginal communities view
Culture – Health/Peace
The way in which conflict is defined, perceived,
responded to, and managed is culturally
embedded or that there is a “culture of conflict”
(Fisher, 2001, p. 18) in each society, there is also
a culture of peace. Thus, peace is defined,
perceived, responded to, and managed within a
Fisher, R.J. (2001). Methods of Third-Party Intervention. In, the Berghof Handbook for Conflict
Transformation. Berlin Germany: Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict
Language - Concepts of Holistic
Miyupimaatisiiun – ‘being alive well’
Adelson, N. (2007). Being Alive Well: Health and the Politics of Cree Well-Being. Toronto,
ON: University of Toronto Press.
Ioterihwakwarihshion Tsi Ihse – ‘Walking
in a good way’
Cooper, I.T, & Moore, G.S. (2009). Walking in a Good Way Ioterihwakwarihshion Tsi
Ihse: Aboriginal Social Work. Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars Press.
Mino-Pimatisiwin - ‘ the good life’
Hart, M.A. (2002). Seeking Mino-Pimatisiwin: An Aboriginal Approach to Helping.
Halifax, NS: Fernwood Publishing
Land / Peace Interface – The Nexus of Land and
Culture in Indigenous Contexts
Shearer, J., Peters, P., and Davidson-Hunt, I.
(2009). Co-producing a Whitefeather forest
cultural landscape framework. In M.G.
Stevenson and D.C. Natcher (Eds.), Changing
the culture of forestry in Canada: Building
effective institutions for Aboriginal
engagement in Sustainable forest
management. Edmonton, AB: CCI Press.
A Perspective on Peace and
“Just as a coin has two sides, one side alone being only
one aspect of the coin, not the complete coin, peace
also has two sides: absence of personal violence, and
absence of structural violence. We shall refer to them as
negative peace and positive peace respectively”(p. 183).
Galtung, J. (1969). Violence, peace, and peace research. The Journal of Peace
Research, 6, 167-191.
Galtung & Cultural Violence (1990)
“Cultural violence”: “those aspects of culture, the symbolic sphere
of our existence ─ exemplified by religion and ideology, language
and art, empirical science and formal science (logic, mathematics) ─
that can be used to justify or legitimize direct or structural
violence” (p. 291).
Cultural violence makes direct and structural violence look, even
feel, right ─ or not wrong. The evidence of structural violence
exists in western countries not meeting every day basic needs
(clean water, health care, education) of some resident minority
Examples of Cultural Violence
Resource Management (Consultation)
Examples of Processes in Resource
Caribou Reintegration Strategy (Species
Black Sturgeon Damn Removal
Parks Canada LSNMCA
A Process of Division
Land / Culture Interface
Differences in “Protection”
Division in working together (Native / nonNative)
◦ How does this lead to open violence? (N.B.)
Brownlie, R.J. (2003). A
Fatherly Eye: Indian agents,
government power, and Aboriginal resistance in Ontario,
1918-1939. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press.
Shewell, H. (2004). Enough
to Keep Them Alive: Indian
Welfare in Canada, 1873 – 1965. Toronto, ON: University
of Toronto Press.
Mills, A. (1994).
Eagle Down is Our Law: Witsuwit’en Law,
Feasts, and Land Claims. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.
necessarily post-colonial research. Decolonization
is a process that critically engages, at all levels,
imperialism, colonialism, and postcoloniality.
Decolonizing research implements Indigenous
epistemologies and critical interpretive practices that
are shaped by Indigenous research agendas” (Smith,
1999, p. 20).
of violence in the process (Walker, 2004)
by and for Indigenous Peoples,
using techniques and methods drawn
from the tradition and knowledges of
those people” (Evans, Hole, Berg,
Hutchinson & Sookraj, in Press). In
Handbook of Critical and Indigenous
Methodologies, Denzin, Lincoln, Smith,
Similar to Indigenous research (Wilson, 2008) and Indigenous Philosophy (Turner,
2006), Indigenous peace building must leave behind dominant paradigms (Wilson,
2008) and follow an Indigenous paradigm for building peace based on the Indigenous
worldview often defined in literature as “holism”.
“Clearly, peace studies must begin to pursue holism as the framework, process
as the primary method, and peace in its widest sense as the goal, if it is to
energize the intellectual transformation necessary to a paradigm of peace”
(Reardon, 1992, p. 402).
Research and the research process, when viewed through the Indigenous worldview,
is in fact a peace building process.
For Indigenous Peoples, peace and peace building are not applied only when conflict
occurs. It is a lived, continuous process of applying balance and harmony to all
aspects of one’s life (Rice, 2005; Alfred, 1999). Process must reconnect Indigenous
peoples to their traditional physical environment.
For Indigenous Peoples, peace and peace building is not a separate process to be applied when
conflict occurs. It is a lived, continuous process of applying balance and harmony to all aspects
of one’s life. It is embracing complexity and change as constant, and analyzing the patterns of
change to understand how it is connected to every aspect of our lives (Bopp, Bopp, Brown, &
Lane, 1985). Inherent in this lens is learning;
In Indigenous contexts, land and the health of the land are intimately linked to the health of the
people. Thus, if the land is unhealthy, the people are unhealthy and vice versa;
In Indigenous contexts, peace can only be achieved with external groups once peace is achieved
within. This can equally be applied within an individual, a family, a community, a nation, or
In Indigenous contexts, historical connection to the land is essential for community health.
Rediscovering these connections through development of a community narrative about the land
will increase resiliency and facilitate community health. A healthy Indigenous community is
predicated on a strong attachment to the land;
Action research can be used as a culturally congruent process for peace building in Aboriginal
Based On Traditional Values and
Kinoo’amaadawaad Megwaa Doodamawaad
(Kino-a-ma-da-wad Ma-gwa Do-da-ma-wad)
“They are Learning With Each Other
While They Are Doing”
What did I do?
Process – when does research begin?
◦ How? Questions?
– Presentation and usefulness