Section 3: Ethical Processes


In this section, you explored how ethics reflects beliefs and values. How we value and express ethics depends on our own teachings, so we need to create a place of trust and understanding to hold conversations on what research can be. The Post-Secondary Education Partnership Agreement Toolkit is a good way to build your own approach to research agreements. The following activities build on the information shared in this section.


Activity 1: Values and wellness in your research approach

Type: Individual

Time: 1 hour

  1. Read David Bouchard and Joseph Martin’s 2009 book The Seven Sacred Teachings of White Buffalo Calf Woman, and define the values within the teachings, including the meaning of the animal spirits. Apply this teaching to the Indigenous mindset.
  2. Read Dr. Bill Hettler’s model for the Six Dimensions of Wellness and explore its relationship to Western research and interconnections in your research.


Activity 2: Exploring Métis culture

Type: Individual

Time: Ongoing

Like First Nations Peoples, Métis Peoples have their own language, rituals, customs, culture, and governance systems. Researchers need to carefully consider this when conducting research with Métis Peoples. Explore the following resource, and see if you can describe the difference between Métis and First Nations culture in your area or region: Canada’s First Peoples: The Métis


Activity 3: Reconciling ethical research

Type: Individual

Time: Ongoing

  1. Read the impact that residential schools had on Indigenous Peoples in Canada. This can provide some context for understanding the importance of conducting ethical research in Indigenous communities: Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  2. Consider the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action you reviewed earlier in this guide. How have your view and approached changed?

Activity 4: Building a reciprocal research agreement

Type: Individual

Time: Ongoing

  1. Using the Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association Toolkit [PDF] Appendix 3, apply relevant categories to your research design. Are there areas that diverged from or intersected your research inquiry?
  2. Set some strategies for establishing community relationships.


Activity 5: Identifying ethical dilemmas and relationship building

Type: Individual or group

Time: 1–5 hours

Begin this activity alone, and then gather in a group with four or five other people to share and discuss the following:

  1. Explain some common ethical dilemmas for undertaking research in Indigenous communities.
  2. Ask yourself how you can clarify your relationship with or without the Indigenous community in your research?
  3. Define your own culture and ethnic origins. Consider what difficulties you would encounter if you could not understand your own cultural mindset as you conduct research in an Indigenous mindset.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Pulling Together: A Guide for Researchers, Hiłḵ̓ala Copyright © 2021 by Dianne Biin; Deborah Canada; John Chenoweth; and Lou-ann Neel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book