A result of conducting this research on-line has been to reconnect with cousins from my maternal family who I never knew existed. We have met and validated, through documents and stories, that we are related and of Australian aboriginal descent. This validation has strengthened my feelings about how I should go about my research, though interactions with people and direct experience of places that seem significant. I’ve since connected with other Indigenous scholars and recognise my research methodology as Indigenous, as defined by Shawn Wilson. I now write, in my thesis, Chapter One, that ‘Long before the time of the ancient Greeks, Indigenous peoples around the world had defined space and place in terms of human relationships with environments (Wilson, 2009, p. 87):
So place is important, and how we describe it … ceremony brings us together so that we occupy the same space. … I think that Indigenous concept of place is that there is that same kind of relation between humans and our environment. So the distance or relationship between ourselves and the environment is sacred, and so you do ceremonies to bridge that space or that distance.
All forms of living things are to be respected as being related and interconnected. ‘The measure of the land and the measure of our bodies are the same,’ said Chief Joseph (McLuhan, 1971, p. 54). Respect means living that relationship in all forms of interactions. (Wilson, 2009,
Indigenous knowledge is based not on abstract considerations of symmetry but on the naturally symmetrical form of our living human body. In Antarctic Animation (Roberts, 2007-2009), gestures and lines trace body responses to our changing environment…
(and the Gaia word view:)
Paleo-botanist Mary E. White warns that,
it has only been recognised recently to just what extent invisible life controls the Planet. In our modern world we need to acknowledge the symbiotic nature of the Biosphere, where microbes represent more than half of the living matter; and the dangers of not taking into account the factors required for maintaining the life-friendly balances that result from the functioning of the Webs of Life, microscopic and visible. White (2003)