Wilson & Restoule, 2010

Wilson, D. D., & Restoule, J.-P. (2010). Tobacco Ties: The Relationship of the Sacred to Research. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 33(1), 29–45, 156. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/docview/864885295?accountid=14846


This article aspires to raise consciousness of the spiritual power of tobacco in a modern context and the responsibility of using tobacco ties as a research methodology. An ambitious project to outline traditional ways of doing research became a humbling teaching in the necessity of honouring tobacco and the spirit connections when tobacco is involved. We recount our journey in the project and what we learned about the meaning of tobacco to various First Nations (primarily those in northeastern Turtle Island), about doing research with Indigenous Elders, and about Indigenous research methodology. We reflect on the relationships activated when tobacco is part of a research methodology and share some of the teachings Elders shared with us about research, with a focus on their thoughts about tobacco offerings. It is not this work's intention to prescribe a proper set of steps or a how-to manual for using tobacco in social research. Rather, this article is an attempt to reflect on what it really means to honour the spirit in Aboriginal research, particularly as it is embodied in tobacco.