• Offered by Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Indigenous Studies
  • Areas of interest Australian Indigenous Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Deirdre Howard
    • Yonatan Minuye Dinku
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

This course centres on how and why Indigenous research is different and important.  It is suitable for students without any prior knowledge. It is a practical, introductory research course that introduces students to the principles of Indigenous research: practices, collaboration and ethics.  This course is suitable for students who are considering working in Indigenous policy, organisations and research contexts. 

This course provides practical lessons about what constitutes good research practice and how to engage ethically in Indigenous spaces. It facilitates more respectful and meaningful engagement with (and between) Indigenous peoples, knowledges and ways of knowing and greater insight into the relevance of Indigenous perspectives in every sphere of knowledge and practice. 

Students are introduced to Indigenous perspectives about ways of doing Indigenous research. This includes developing knowledge about relationship building and how to undertake Indigenous research in a safe and ethical manner in accordance with Indigenous protocols. Students learn about the history of and developments in Indigenous research and how Indigenous knowledges and methodologies have challenged and changed Indigenous research practices within and outside academia. Students will be introduced to aspects of research design and practice, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method approaches for engaging in Indigenous research, including what is the difference, and what are the similarities, between indigenous and general research methods (including traditional and de-colonised methods). Students will also learn about the nuances and distinctions in ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ and even ‘outsider/insider’ researcher identities and understanding how and in what context each of the researcher’s identity is appropriate. Like other courses in Indigenous studies, this course ‘de-centres’ Western knowledge, theories and methodology, and disrupts Western perspectives on Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing. The course will be taught by Indigenous scholars and professionals who are experts in these areas, with non-Indigenous academics experienced in applying qualitative and quantitative methods to Indigenous research playing an active role in the course delivery.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. explain the role that historical and contemporary research methods and scholarship in the sciences and/or social sciences have played in the colonisation of Indigenous peoples;
  2. identify and describe the history of methods and methodologies in Indigenous research in the context of Australian Indigenous history and culture, and policies pertaining to Indigenous peoples in Australia;
  3. analyse the ways in which history and culture informs Australian Indigenous perspectives on Indigenous research;
  4. demonstrate an informed understanding of good research practices, collaboration and ethics;
  5. comprehend methods and methodologies in Indigenous research in the context of Australian Indigenous cultures and traditions; and
  6. compare knowledge of Australian Indigenous concerns regarding methods and methodologies in Indigenous research in the global context.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Individual reflective report (annexing a portfolio of reflections) on history, protocols and powers (mid-point assessment – equivalent 2000 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Group research proposal (1500 words) (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  3. Online or take-home examination (open book, equivalent of 1500 words) (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: which may include online and face-to-face lectures and virtual experiences, as well as either seminars, tutorial and quantitative/qualitative laboratories (which may vary from year to year); and

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing. 

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have either (i) completed 72 units of study towards a degree or (ii) completed INDG1001, INDG1002 and INDG2001.

Prescribed Texts

No prescribed text. Weekly readings will be available via Wattle.

Preliminary Reading

Weekly readings will be available on or through Wattle.

A general list of readings will include the following: 

Dreise, T. (2018). Undertaking research & evaluation in Aboriginal public sector contexts: A practical guide in community-responsive, culturally appropriate, and evidence-based research and evaluation for public sector employees. Aboriginal Affairs, New South Wale Government, Sydney. 

Dreise, T and Mazurski, E. (2108). Weaving Knowledges: Literature Review, Case Study and Practical Tips. Knowledge exchange, co-design and community-based participatory research and evaluation in Aboriginal communities. Aboriginal Affairs, New South Wale Government, Sydney.

Nakata, M. N. (2007). Disciplining the savages, savaging the disciplines. Aboriginal Studies Press.

Castleden, H., Morgan, V. S., & Lamb, C. (2012). “I spent the first year drinking tea”: Exploring Canadian university researchers’ perspectives on community-based participatory research involving Indigenous peoples. The Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe canadien56(2), 160-179.

Rigney, L. I. (2006). Indigenist Research and Aboriginal. Indigenous peoples' wisdom and power: Affirming our knowledge through narratives, 32.

Moreton-Robinson, A., & Walter, M. (2009). Indigenous methodologies in social research. Social research methods2.

Walter, M., & Andersen, C. (2013). Indigenous statistics: A quantitative research methodology. Left Coast Press.

Walter, M., & Suina, M. (2019). Indigenous data, indigenous methodologies and indigenous data sovereignty. International Journal of Social Research Methodology22(3), 233-243.

Walter, M. (2005). Using the'power of the data'within Indigenous research practice. Australian Aboriginal Studies, (2), 27.

Walter, M. M. (2010). The politics of the data: how the Australian statistical indigene is constructed. International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies3(2), 45-56.

Moreton-Robinson, A. (2013). Towards an Australian Indigenous women's standpoint theory: A methodological too

Assumed Knowledge

Awareness of Indigenous ethics and protocols. (Students will be provided with resources that they can complete prior to attending the first class)


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $3120
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4800
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9775 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person N/A

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