Posted by on Jan 2, 2018 in Indigeneous Research, Research ethics, Research Methodology | 0 comments

Hello! I am a PhD student of Sociology, my research investigates the Penan people, a nomadic indigenous community that remains to be hunters and gatherers. My research, studies the impact that widespread deforestation has left on dozens of Penan families, with no other choice but to flee their ancestral homes. Once displaced, these hunter-gatherer tribes, who had lived in harmony with the rainforest of Malaysia for thousands of years, found themselves without a livelihood. My research also studies the effects of having to adopt new means of livelihood, within the community. In order to study this phenomenon, my research guide has been insisting on conducting interviews of the Penan people. Even though I have read sufficiently about the ethical responsibilities that needs to be considered while conducting interviews with indigenous communities.
However I am still perplexed in using interviews as the mode of communication (since it would require help of a translator). I would appreciate if someone could suggest any other appropriate ways to approach such a closely knit community that is far from the modernized idea of sociology and anthropology. So that this exercise would not just be a version of elitist journalism but would allow me a good glimpse in the lives of the community.