Acadia researcher launches new podcast series: Indigenous Research Spotlight

The quest toward decolonization isn’t easy or simple. Academia and knowledge-gathering and sharing institutions have had to reconsider many “default” practices and standards, including long-held research methodologies and teaching techniques and focuses. A new podcast series from an Acadia University researcher aims to shed light on the topic and encourage more conversations. By exploring better ways to incorporate trauma-informed education, inclusivity and equity, and critical issues that support decolonization, we can further foster Indigenous self-determination and community-led change. 

The first episode of the Indigenous Research Spotlight is launching quite fittingly on Friday, June 21st, which is National Indigenous Peoples Day. The series includes five episodes (with a new episode released every Friday over the next few weeks) featuring individuals in various fields who share stories surrounding Indigenous research, Indigenous knowledge, scholarship, and creative work. Innovative research, exciting projects, and insightful perspectives from people engaged in Indigenous research, education, writing, and community leadership are explored.  

The podcast’s creator and host is Dr. Jenny R. Rand (she/her), Acadia’s Employment Equity Coordinator in the Office of Research, Innovation, and Graduate Studies. Originally thinking of hosting a workshop on the topic of Indigenous research, Jenny saw the potential to instead engage in several conversations where she could explore many layers with people who had different insights and experiences and then share those discussions with a broader audience. 

The goals of the series are to enhance awareness and understanding about Indigenous Research and celebrate Indigenous Research contributions,” says Jenny. “The Spotlight Series aims to draw listeners into the world of ethical Indigenous research practices, highlighting collaboration, reciprocity, and cultural relevance as core principles.” 

The Spotlight series is supported by Acadia’s Office of Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies, through the Canada Research Chairs Program Stipend for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (CRC-EDI). Specifically, this series was born from the commitment in the CRC-EDI Action Plan to create a knowledge engagement opportunity with Mi’kmaq Ethics Watch in order to better understand research ethics protocols, and proposal reviews, as well as Indigenous Research Ethics, and methodologies. 

The podcast will be available on Spotify and through the Indigenous Knowledge & Research LibGuide thanks to efforts by Maggie Neilson (Academic Librarian). 

Episode Guide: 

Episode 1: Indigenous Research Ethics and Mi’kmaq Ethics Watch with Zabrina Downton (releases on Friday, June 21)
The Mi'kmaq Ethics Watch (MEW) reviews research projects involving Mi'kmaq communities to ensure ethical practices. Zabrina Downton, the Mi’kmaw Ethics Watch Administrator, joins us to discuss key principles and values of Mi’kmaq research ethics including collaboration, relationships, reciprocity, cultural relevance, and the importance of considering the researcher's identity and partnerships.  

Episode 2: Centering Indigenous Voices and Stories in Literature with Amanda Peters (releases on Friday, June 28)
Amanda Peters is an Acadia Associate Professor and the award-winning author of The Berry Pickers. She discusses how Indigenous voices and stories play a crucial role in authentic representation and breaking stereotypes. She also shares insights on her writing process, her love of teaching, and how teaching Indigenous literature allows her to introduce her students to diverse perspectives and expand their empathy. 

Episode 3: Indigenous Co-management Led Research with Dr. Jamie Snook (releases on Friday, July 5)
Co-management is a collaborative approach to research and wildlife management that involves Indigenous communities, government representatives, and other stakeholders. In this episode, we’re talking to Dr. Jamie Snook, Executive Director of Torngat Wildlife, Plants, and Fisheries Secretariat in Labrador. He’ll share how co-management-led research that prioritizes Indigenous knowledge and community involvement can support reconciliation and social justice. 

Episode 4: Allyship in Research with Dr. Melody Morton Ninomiya (releases on Friday, July 12)
Decolonizing research involves shifting the gaze from individuals to the systems and structures that perpetuate inequities. In this episode, we hear from Dr. Melody Morton Ninomiya who discusses her role as a Canada Research Chair and her focus on decolonized methodologies, community-driven knowledge mobilization, and pathways to wellness. Additionally, Melody shares her teaching philosophy, which includes incorporating personal stories, encouraging critical self-reflection, and centering Indigenous voices and perspectives in the classroom.

Episode 5: Trauma-informed Intersectional Love with Dr. Shelley Price (releases on Friday, July 19)
Trauma-informed and culturally humble approaches are crucial for creating inclusive and equitable learning environments. Dr. Shelley Price, an Associate Professor at Acadia University’s F.C. Manning School of Business Administration, shares her ideas about the importance of critically examining business and management education in order to challenge dominant narratives and systems of power. She discusses how relational accountability and self-reflection are key to engaging in difficult conversations. Drawing attention toward advancing missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIAP+ individuals as a critical cause, Shelley describes a future of research and advocacy that focuses on community-led change, rematriation of education, and supporting self-determination for Indigenous peoples.


About Dr. Jenny R. Rand

Jenny (she/her), is a white settler woman with French and British ancestry, who grew up in Mi’kma’ki, (Blomidon, Nova Scotia), and has extensive experience and time spent living and working in Nunavut. Jenny holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from Dalhousie University. Her doctoral research was embedded within an Inuit community-based HIV prevention study, focusing on the interaction of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit societal values and principles) and community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles.

Jenny is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Wabanaki-Labrador Indigenous Health Research Network and has worked within Acadia’s Office of Research, Innovation, and Graduate Studies (RIGS), as Acadia’s first Employment Equity Coordinator. She is a passionate, dynamic, and engaging educator who has taught in the sociology department at Acadia for several years. Jenny is dedicated to fostering inclusive, supportive, and accessible learning environments for her students and engages in research and projects that reflect her commitment to Indigenous health and equity. 

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