In this paper, we explore processes of teaching and learning through a focus on relationships between indigenous tour operators, researchers, teachers and students. Situated within the context of our research on educational tourism with indigenous tour operators in the Northern Territory, we examine the relationships built between three groups: indigenous tour operators (our research partners traditionally seen as research participants), undergraduate university students, and ourselves, the 'uni mob'. We develop a conceptualisation of teaching and research as an interwoven learning exchange characterised by multi-directional learning experiences within which all collaborators teach, research and learn. By viewing all contributors, including ourselves, as active and multiply situated co-learners, we begin a process of recognising and reconfiguring power relationships as we, together with our co-learners, reconsider the mutuality and reciprocity of academic processes and outputs. We reflect on how an interwoven learning exchange may create opportunities for ongoing ethical relationships within both research and teaching and may allow for the possibility of transformative moments through the act of bringing new relationships and subjectivities into being. We demonstrate the importance of relationships and working collaboratively with indigenous peoples when conducting research. We hope these insights can contribute to a methodology that can create more meaningful experiences for indigenous tour operators.
17th Annual CAUTHE Conference. Tourism - Past Achievements, Future Challenges. Proceedings of the 17th Annual CAUTHE Conference (Manly, NSW 11-14 February, 2007) p. 1-11