Section 1: Setting the Context
In this section, you have briefly examined the history of policies and processes that shape and support Indigenous voice and knowledge in post-secondary institutions. You have also reviewed the Research Protocols, Policies, and Declarations Timeline showing how Indigenous Peoples have created a voice in research at local, national, and international levels. The following activities are an opportunity for you to explore your research process and how it is affected and influenced by Indigenous perspectives and protocols.
Activity 1: Indigenous research protocols and your research idea
Time: 1 hour
Explore the Indigenous Research Protocols, Policies, and Declarations Timeline. (Note: If you are not using the online version of this guide, you can find the timeline in Appendix A.) As you are developing your research idea, what protocols and declarations influence and affect your research? Think of not only data gathering but also results dissemination.
Even if your research does not involve Indigenous knowledge or people, list two or three strategies from Indigenous protocols that can affect and influence your research design.
Activity 2: What is a researcher’s responsibility?
Time: 45 minutes
Read the paper DNA on Loan: Issues to Consider when Carrying Out Genetic Research with Aboriginal Families and Communities [PDF] by Laura Arbour and Doris Cook about the Nuu-chah-nulth experience. Consider the following questions:
- What are the responsibilities of researchers?
- What are the responsibilities of research institutions?
- How are these responsibilities reflected in your research process?
Activity 3: Traditional Indigenous laws and your research project
Time: 1–3 hours
In your institution or research location, conduct an internet scan of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit community resources included in the Indigenous Research Protocols, Policies, and Declarations Timeline. (Note: If you are not using the online version of this guide, you can find the timeline in Appendix A.) As a group, discuss the following:
- Do any of these resources talk about or delineate traditional knowledge laws and principles?
- Identify and discuss two or three protocols or pieces of legislation that would influence and affect your local research.
- If possible, bring in an Indigenous knowledge keeper to share how they hold and share Indigenous knowledge with their community and others. Discuss if your research process can complement or support community engagement and participation.
- Do your institutional policies and processes recognize and provide a place for Indigenous knowledge?
Activity 4: Researcher positionality in an era of reconciliation
Host a reading group. Select one of the publications below to discuss positionality and researcher responsibility in an era of reconciliation:
- Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (L. T. Smith, 1999/2012)
- Research Is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods (S. Wilson, 2008)
- Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, and Contexts (M. Kovach, 2010)
- Kaandossiwin: How We Come to Know (K. Absolon, 2011)
- Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence, and a New Emergence (L. Simpson, 2011)
- Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence (G. Cajete, 2016)
Activity 5: Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science
Type: Individual or group
Time: 1–5 hours
Watch the 30-minute presentation Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science in which Cajete shares similarities and differences between Indigenous knowledge and Western science. Reflect and discuss in a circle dialogue:
- What resonates?
- How do these principles and ways of doing affect your approach and understanding of research?