Indigenous research frameworks can be used to effectively engage Indigenous communities and students in Western modern science through transparent and respectful communication. Currently, much of the academic research taking place within Indigenous communities marginalizes Indigenous Knowledge, does not promote long-term accountability to Indigenous communities and their relations, and withholds respect for the spiritual values that many Indigenous communities embrace. Indigenous research frameworks address these concerns within the academic research process by promoting values such as: relationality, multilogicality, and the centralization of Indigenous perspectives. Indigenous research frameworks provide a framework that can be used in multiple contexts within higher education to bring equitable practices to research, teaching, mentoring, and organizational leadership. In this article, as a researcher who uses Indigenous research frameworks, I utilize autoethnography to engage in critical, reflexive thinking about how my perspective as an Indigenous researcher has developed over time. The purpose of this autoethnography is to reveal how Indigenous research frameworks may enhance higher education, especially for Indigenous students.


Indigenous Research Frameworks, Mentoring, Indigenous, Teaching, Autoethnography, Indigenous Knowledge

Author Bio(s)

Darryl Reano is from the Acoma Pueblo and Kewa communities in New Mexico. He completed his Ph.D. in geoscience education from Purdue University in 2019 and is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at Florida International University. His current research is focused on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within STEM disciplines. Please direct correspondence to darrylreano@gmail.com.


I would like to gratefully acknowledge my own Indigenous communities and those communities where I’ve conducted research for instilling in me the passion to uphold respectful communication as a primary value in all aspects of life. I acknowledge the work of the many other Indigenous scholars that have prepared a space for Indigenous Knowledge to become respected within the academic community. I also acknowledge my mentors, mentees, and students whose perspectives have helped me to develop these practical applications for Indigenous research frameworks. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the sources of support that have made the experiences described in this research possible: The National Science Foundation (GeoConnections, Award Number: 1712378), The Geological Society of America (Graduate Research Award, 2015), Purdue Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment, and Research, the Native American Educational and Cultural Center at Purdue University, the Purdue Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences Department, the Center for Indigenous Health, Culture, and the Environment at Heritage University, the Purdue Alliance for Graduate Education through the Professoriate, the Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership, and the Purdue Student Fee Advisory Board.

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