Waka hem no finis yet: Solomon Islands research futures

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Journal Article
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Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies
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Sanga, Kabini
Reynolds, Martyn

Research provides discovery in the present, and a legacy for the future. The knowledge gained is in pursuit of a more complete understanding of the world, natural and social. However, research is not a static entity. Much can be learned by examining past outputs of researchers. Never a neutral activity, research is paradigmatically embedded, always with a purpose in mind. Formal research of one kind or another has long been conducted in the Solomon Islands archipelago; it has provided a rich example of Pacific research as unfinished work, waka hem no finis yet, which resonates with the bodies of research from other Pacific contexts. In this article, we mine the research past of Solomon Islands to examine the directions taken over time by researchers. We then then pay attention to recent research, honouring the work of emerging researchers and the Solomon Islandcentric steerage that some are currently offering. Finally, we speculate on future directions that have the potential to further contextualise research, supporting it to reflect local thinking and lifeways, and offering wisdom to the wider Pacific and beyond. We hope that this reflexive journey will encourage Pacific researchers, including those serving Solomon Islands, to fully be themselves in their own spaces. In doing so, may they bring honour to all those who contribute to Pacific research that seeks the common good and wisdom to those that seek it.

Solomon Islands, research, Indigenous, intellectual traditions, Pacific, bibliography
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ANZSRC fields of research
CC BY 4.0