Scholarship from the Margins

The Power of Marginalised Voices

First Peoples scholars often find themselves described as writing from the margins—a term sometimes used pejoratively. Yet, this mode of writing is much more than that; it is a strategic articulation from our unique standpoint. It is a deliberate act aimed at centring our cosmologies, allowing Non-Indigenous Peoples to grasp the essence of our worldview.


Communicating Standpoints

Writing from the margins is a strategic manoeuvre—it is encircling those misinformed narratives, compelling them not just to listen but to truly comprehend our narratives. Though I do not subscribe to Paulo Freire’s notion that the oppressed should educate the oppressor, there is a truth in this statement. In the 21st century, First Peoples are using diverse avenues for communication: from public performances in sports and arts to the scholarly realm of academic writing. Through this intentional narrative, we weave socially situated knowledge that directly tackles local issues, reinforcing our ties to land, culture, and community.


Speaking from Within

By channelling our standpoint through academic writing, we assert our presence in realms that historically excluded our voices. It is a means to articulate our truths, not just for ourselves but to dismantle misconceptions and myths that have often clouded perspectives about First Peoples. This approach is not just about highlighting our scholarship; it is about inviting understanding and empathy, demanding recognition of our lived experiences.


Shaping a New Narrative

Through purposeful writing, we bridge the divide between the periphery and the centre, bringing our narratives to the forefront. It is about transforming the landscape of knowledge, injecting it with the richness of our cultural heritage and experiences. Our scholarship is not just an academic exercise; it is a transformative force, redefining the discourse and reshaping the narrative about First Peoples.


Embracing Diverse Forms of Expression

Our communication transcends traditional academic boundaries. It is found in the rhythm of our dances, the stories woven into art, and the resonance of our performances. Embracing these diverse forms of expression allows us to reach broader audiences, engaging hearts, and minds beyond the confines of scholarly corridors.


Claiming our Space

Writing from the margins is an assertion—an assertion of our right to be heard, understood, and respected. It is about claiming our space, not as a footnote or an afterthought, but as essential contributors to the rich tapestry of human knowledge.


A Call for Recognition

The act of writing from the margins is an invitation—a call to delve deeper, to engage earnestly, and to acknowledge the multiplicity of perspectives that shape our world. It is an invitation to listen, learn, and honour the profound depth of First Peoples scholarship, emerging resolutely from the margins to the centre stage of academic discourse.

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