Critical Northern Geography
A Theoretical Framework, Research Praxis and Call to Action in our (Post)Pandemic Worlds
Keywords:Critical northern geography, methodology, Indigenous geographies, northern research, Indigenous research ethics, northern Canada
This article traces the historical and evolving development of “critical northern geography”- paying attention to questions of Indigeneity, research ethics, and the practice of northern geographical fieldwork from within the settler colonial context of Canada. We share our reflections on the current state of the field and its future directions by weaving together contributions from scholarly literature, and creative texts, among other sources. Critical northern geography offers a theoretical framework and research praxis shaped by feminist, anti-colonial, anti-racist and critical Indigenous scholarship, and is driven by a belief that scholarly inquiry and practice can be tools for social justice. We argue that the COVID-19 pandemic has reframed understandings of research harm and practices of care for study communities. COVID-19 thus amplifies existing imperatives to move towards the use of critical research methodologies grounded in social justice frameworks, such as critical northern geography, as a means of nurturing more respectful research relationships. To this end, critical northern geography can help shape the questions we are asking as researchers and can contribute to the ever-evolving development of anti-colonial, anti-racist and non-extractive research relationships in the North.
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