Policy analysis can be useful for learning about ‘what works’ in policy. Contemporary policy studies literature highlight that such learning is influenced by power relations in government that shape our ways of knowing the world. This paper offers a critically reflexive narrative account of power relations present during Indigenous higher education policy analysis research conducted in the Northern Territory (NT), Australia to shed light on how to effectively negotiate policy analysis. We reflect on tensions that arose by applying Nakata’s concept of the ‘cultural interface’, which accounts for the complexity of meaning making across diverse knowledge spaces. Narratives from an Indigenous Project Reference Group member are included to provide a perspective on these tensions from an Indigenous standpoint. The paper concludes by describing enabling conditions and strategies that were necessary for effective policy analysis, and considers implications for Indigenous higher education policy analysis in the NT.