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In 2020 the Deep Water Initiative began designing and facilitating academic and community-based panels and conferences with our institutional partners. Recent panels include A Renewal of Genesis 1 and Decolonizing Research, Indigenous Research Methodologies in Western Academic Institutions. Conferences include Alternative Research Methodologies in Western Academic Institutions.

A RENEWAL OF GENESIS 1, September 2020


































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Genesis 1 has long been a collection of biblical verses that have inspired the human imagination.  Filled with mythic imagery, and charged with cosmic language, the opening line – Bereshit bara Elohim [In the beginning of G-d’s creating] – is a statement that has invited us to question the role of our participation in the mystery of creation.  For many centuries, Genesis 1 has been regarded (by some) as a text that issues a challenge: the creation of the world was an ordered, highly structured process, and it is our responsibility to harness those imbedded truths and wield them in the implementation of our own “dominion.” Other philosophies, and theories, argue that the doctrine of creation is an invitation into a reality much less fixed – our participation with the more-than-human-world can engender a fluid and spontaneous awareness of life that enhances our cooperation with the natural world.  The purpose of this panel is to explore the various approaches, and positions, that can be considered on the thirty-one verses that have held a preeminent position in the human relationship to nature. 

The current social and political climate within the US presents students of the Western academic institution with a unique opportunity to engage in a dialogue about the role that research can play in decolonizing institutional paradigms. How can scholars, from all walks of life, redefine the current boundaries of our academic paradigms by applying Indigenous Research Methodologies and Indigenous Research Paradigms to their work? Furthermore, in an increasingly challenging research environment, how do scholars apply these methodologies within a theoretical and qualitative framework and maintain the integrity of relationality – a central principle to Indigenous research? In this online panel, a collaboration between DWI and the California Institute of Integral Studies, we heard from 5 Indigenous female scholars on their views of the above questions. Panelists include Dr. Dorothy Christian, Dr. Rachel Burrage, Dr. T. Noelani Perreira and Ms. Mariel Belanger.

The Deep Water Initiative (DWI), and the Student Union and Center for Writing and Scholarship (CWS) at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), co-hosted an interdepartmental online gathering on April 16, 2021, entitled – Decolonizing Research – Alternative Research Methodologies in Western Academic Institutions.


23 CIIS students and recent alum shared their work addressing the question: How are researchers, from a diversity of backgrounds, adopting Anti-racist, Decolonial, and Indigenous Research Methodologies from within Western academic institutions in increasingly challenging times?


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