Ethical practices in relation to indigenous research require that the researcher decolonise the research. This can be challenging when institutional guidelines are unclear but at the same time exacting in terms of the level of input required as a prerequisite for approval. This article explores the ambiguities of approval through a study of the application process for ‘my’ doctoral research to observe indigenous athlete‐role models engaging with young people. I draw on Simmel’s (1976) ‘stranger’ to enunciate the constraints of approval and consent within a decolonising methodology and to propose the possibilities of an ethics of the self.
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