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Student & Researcher Resources

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Indigenous Research Training Supports

  • BRRIC: Building Research Relationships with Indigenous Communities (BRRIC) was created by IPHRC at FNUniv. BRRIC aims to disseminate knowledge among academic stakeholders for engaging in transformative Indigenous research utilizing best practices and methods for producing results and findings that benefit all parties involved. The self-directed version is delivered by the Indigenous Continuing Education Centre and has a $350 fee (plus GST/HST).
  • OCAP®: The First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) is pleased to offer The Fundamentals of OCAP®, an online training course developed in partnership with Algonquin College Corporate Training. This self-guided course takes learners through seven modules that are designed to introduce the fundamental concepts of OCAP®, information governance, and First Nations data sovereignty. The fee is $249 (plus GST/HST) and can be paid by credit card. Algonquin College Corporate Training processes all registrations for the course on the 20th of each month.
  • San’yas Anti-Racism Indigenous Cultural Safety Training: Anyone can enroll in a San’yas course. You do not have to live in Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, or Canada. Their registration team will help you choose the course that is right for you.
  • Indigenous Community Research Partnership: Indigenous Community Research Partnerships (ICRP) is an online open education training resource.  It is designed to assist researchers who are new to research in partnerships with Inuit, Métis and First Nations (“Indigenous”) communities. The self-directed Open Access Training is free with registration.
  • TCPS 2: CORE (Course on Research Ethics) The Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2) provides ethics guidance that applies to all research involving human participants – including their data and/or biological materials – conducted under the auspices of an institution eligible for funding by the federal Agencies (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC). The self-directed TCPS 2: CORE training is free with registration.
  • National Centre for Collaboration in Indigenous Education (NCCIE): The National Centre for Collaboration in Indigenous Education (NCCIE) is hosted by First Nations University of Canada, which has a 40-year history of being Indigenous-owned, operated, and controlled. The Centre is grounded in principles of respect, reciprocity, and relationship, which are understood in Indigenous ways and honoured according to Indigenous protocols and customs. Resources include: Stories, Teaching Resource Centre and Searchable Database in the Resource Library.
  • IRLET: The Indigenous Research Level of Engagement Tool (IRLET) aims to provide guidance to researchers and grant review committees who are involved in or are new to Indigenous research with guidelines on how to ensure a project proposal is being planned and executed in an appropriate manner. Registration is free.

Research Term Definitions for Students and Researchers

Epistemology

Epistemology – “Means a system of knowledge that references within it the social relations of knowledge production. It is different from Ontology, in that ontology is concerned with the nature of being and reality.”

Kovach, M. (2009). Indigenous methodologies: Characteristics, conversations, and contexts. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Epistemology: “Epistemology is the study of the nature of thinking or knowing. It involves the theory of how we come to have knowledge, or how we know that we know something. It includes entire systems of thinking or styles of cognitive functioning that are built upon specific ontologies. Epistemology is tied in to ontology, in that what I believe to be “real” is going to impact on the way that I think about that “reality.” Choices are made about what is “real” will depend upon how your thinking works and how you know the world around you. Epistemology is thus asking, “How do I know what is real?”

Wilson, S. (2008). Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods. Black Point, N.S., Fernwood Pub.

Ethical Space

Ethical Space: “The “ethical space” is formed when two societies, with disparate worldviews, are poised to engage each other. It is the thought about diverse societies and the space in between them that contributes to the development of a framework for dialogue between human communities. The ethical space of engagement proposes a framework as a way of examining the diversity and positioning of Indigenous peoples and Western society in the pursuit of a relevant discussion on Indigenous legal issues and particularly to the fragile intersection of Indigenous law and Canadian legal systems.”

Ermine, W. (2007). The ethical space of engagement. Indigenous Law Journal, 6(1), 193-203.

Methodology

Methodology: “Methodology refers to the theory of how knowledge is gained, or in other words the science of finding things out. Your view of what reality is, and how you know this reality, will impact on the ways that more knowledge can be gained about this reality. If the ontology is that there is one ultimate reality, then there should be one way of examining this reality (methodology) that will help to see it best (epistemology). If the ontology is that various realities exist, then you will choose ways of examining one of these realities (methodology) that will take into account your point of view as a researcher to come up with a better understanding (epistemology). Methodology is thus asking, “How do I find out more about this reality?”

Wilson, S. (2008). Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods. Black Point, N.S., Fernwood Pub.

OCAP®

OCAP® asserts that First Nations have control over data collection processes in their communities, and that they own and control how this information can be used. As such, it provides a framework for First Nations data governance. Self-determining Indigenous nations have the right to Ownership, Control, Access and Possession of their data.

Ontology

Ontology: “Ontology is the theory of the nature of existence, or the nature of reality. Is there one “real” world that each of us observes differently through our own senses, or do various worlds exist, depending upon the point of view of the observer? There is no way to come to a definite answer to this question, so people develop an ontological set of beliefs and take it on faith from there. Once a set of beliefs is established regarding just what is “real,” research then follows these beliefs in an attempt to discover more about this agreed upon reality. Ontology is thus asking, “What is real?’”

Wilson, S. (2008). Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods. Black Point, N.S., Fernwood Pub.

Qualitative Research

Qualitative Research – “any type of research that produces findings not arrived at by statistical procedures or other means of quantification”.

Kovach, M. (2009). Indigenous methodologies: Characteristics, conversations, and contexts. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Quantitative Research

“Quantitative Research – flowing from a positivist paradigm, assumes that objective neutrality can exist within research so long as lurking variables are controlled.”

Kovach, M. (2009). Indigenous methodologies: Characteristics, conversations, and contexts. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Reflexivity

“Reflexivity – Is the term often utilized within a variety of qualitative research approaches to reference the relational. Reflexivity is the researcher’s own self-reflection in the meaning making process.”

Kovach, M. (2009). Indigenous methodologies: Characteristics, conversations, and contexts. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Research Paradigm

Research Paradigm: “Research Paradigms are labels that are used to identify sets of underlying beliefs or assumptions upon which research is based. These sets of beliefs go together to guide researchers’ actions. Any research represents the paradigm used by the researcher, whether the researcher is conscious of their choice of paradigm or not. Paradigms are thus broad principles that provide a framework for research. As paradigms deal with beliefs and assumptions about reality, they are based upon theory and are thus intrinsically value laden.

What is reality? How do we know what is real and what is not? How can we find out more and explore our reality? What moral beliefs will guide the search for reality? What moral beliefs will guide the search for reality? These questions are at the heart of what research paradigms are. The set of beliefs that make up research paradigms are the interrelated concepts of ontology, epistemology, methodology and axiology.“

Wilson, S. (2008). Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods. Black Point, N.S., Fernwood Pub.

Research Term Definition Citations

  • Ermine, W. (2007). The ethical space of engagement. Indigenous Law Journal, 6(1), 193-203.
  • Kovach, M. (2009). Indigenous methodologies: Characteristics, conversations, and contexts. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Wilson, S. (2008). Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods. Black Point, N.S., Fernwood Pub.

Suggested Readings

List of Readings

  • Bartlett, C., Marshall, M., & Marshall, A. (2012). Two-eyed seeing and other lessons learned within a co-learning journey bringing together Indigenous and mainstream knowledges and ways of knowing. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 2(4), 331-340.
  • Chilisa, B. Indigenous Research Methodologies. (2011). Sage Publications, Inc.
  • Ermine, W. (2007). The ethical space of engagement. Indigenous Law Journal, 6(1), 193-203.
  • Kovach, M. (2009). Indigenous methodologies: Characteristics, conversations, and contexts. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • MMIWG Final Report
  • Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP)
  • Smith, L. T. (2012). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and Indigenous peoples (2nd ed.). London: Zed Books.
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
  • UNDRIP
  • Wilson, S. (2008). Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods. Black Point, N.S., Fernwood Pub.
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