Toward an Emerging Indigenous Feminist Spatial Methodology

Ms Maeve Powell1

1Australian National University, Canberra, Australia


Geographers, sociologists and anthropologists have long argued for a collective ‘right to the city’. This concept has been applied to topics such as political movements, race, and gender and sexuality. There is an emerging literature which considers the ‘right to the city’ in relation to Indigenous peoples claims for self-determination. With the increasing presence of Indigenous people in the academy and the emergence of the field of Indigenous studies, traditional disciplines are grappling with how to engage in ethical research with Indigenous peoples in cities. Drawing from Indigenous studies and critical geography, in particular, the work of Mishuana Goeman and Sarah Hunt, this paper describes an Indigenous Feminist Spatial Methodology. I will explore this approach in relation to the settler colonial context of my own research in Canberra which examines urban Indigenous belonging. This emerging practice can inform research design, providing insights which raise new questions and ways of doing research.


Maeve Powell is Ngiyampaa from Sydney and Canberra with links to western NSW. She is currently a PhD Scholar and Research Associate at the National Centre for Indigenous Studies, ANU.  Her research interests are in spatial decolonisation, Indigenous belonging, critical race studies, and Indigenous education. She positions her academic work within a critical trans-Indigenous scholarship.


The Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG) is the principal body representing geographers and promoting the study and application of geography in Australia. It was founded in 1958 and since then has promoted, supported and defended Australian geography.

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