The research methodology adopted in work package 3 (WP3) of the COMBIOSERVE project in the Jaqueira Reserve and Pé do Monte Brazilian study sites involves the construction of research by groups of student researchers in a training process whose format alternates between a series of village times and workshops. The entire co-investigation process will be coordinated by indigenous community researchers under the guidance of project researchers and two indigenous supervisors. The principal methodology for training the community researchers will be based on two fundamental strategies: the “learning-by-doing” method and “education through research”. The 1st Field Workshop had the following objectives: 1) to introduce the team and the participants 2) to explain the Combioserve project objectives and 3) to begin preparing the groups’ research projects.
Figure 1: At the start of the workshop, the COMBIOSERVE team participated in the Awê ritual, performed by our Pataxó hosts, which then was carried out at the beginning of activities throughout the workshop.
On the morning of the first day, following a round of introductions, the COMBIOSERVE project was presented and discussed. In the afternoon, two key presentations were given by the local leadership, Oziel, who spoke of the Pataxó struggle to reclaim their lands and the importance of elders and ancestors in the process, and the leader of the movement for community conservation, Nitinawã, who discussed the history of the Jaqueira Reserve and the importance of recovering the language and knowledge of the elders through research conducted by indigenous peoples themselves. Following these presentations, members of the COMBIOSERVE team gave examples of their experience in co-inquiry with indigenous peoples on the topics of mapping and ethnographic research.
Figure 2: Nitinawã and Chief Oziel giving their introductory talks on the first day of the workshop
The second day, following a process to create community research groups, two members of the COMBIOSERVE team covered the theoretical aspects of how to implement co-inquiry research – defined as ‘researcher’s steps’. The research groups then separated, and through experiential walks throughout the reserve, worked to establish their research themes; these were discussed among all participants at the end of the day. The research themes to be developed by the different groups are:
(1) Mapping the Pataxó villages of Porto Seguro;
(2) The myths of catumbaiá and amesca (Burseraceae (Protium sp));
(3) The school and the environment;
(4) Being a Pataxó woman;
(5) Soil and reforestation in Nova Coroa village;
(6) Fauna and flora of the Jaqueira Reserve;
(7) Flora of the Monte Pascoal National Park;
(8) Medicinal flora of the Monte Pascoal National Park;
(9) Types of "hunting” animal in the Monte Pascoal National Park.
Figure 3: A research group presents their chosen theme to the whole group on day 2.
On the final day, following a theoretical session on methodology, the research groups met to discuss the methods they planned to develop as part of their chosen theme. These were then shared and discussed prior to the creation of a schedule for research activities. As a final task, the researchers decided they would prepare a drawing and/or a video and map of their group’s location and housing, which would be sent with an accompanying letter to the community researchers of the Mexico and Bolivia fieldsites. The workshop closed with a Participatory Evaluation Mural.
Figure 4: Group photo taken at the end of the workshop.