Daniel Ames of Columbia University refers to ‘projection and stereotyping in mental state inference’. These inferences are judgements about what others think, want and feel and are considered central to social life. According to Ames, targeted (Indigenous) people learn that they share a specific attribute with other (Indigenous) people and from this they expect a broad correspondence between their own thoughts and the targets. No one can disagree that having a rapport with another person does facilitate rapid transfer of ideas and early adoption of innovations.
So, i2i builds on the paradigm that Indigenous talent of one culture can efficiently and effectively project, with very little cognitive effort, to Indigenous people of another culture, in contrast to stereotyping. Indigenous people who live their culture and beliefs appear to have attributes which promote a sense of self or similarity with other Indigenous peoples, something colonials or mainstream individuals may find constraining.
Check out the following you tube clip for an example of the impact of i2i engagement.