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Student & Researcher Resources

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Indigenous Training Supports
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Community-Based Participatory Research

Research that focuses on social, structural, physical, and environmental
inequities through active involvement of community members, organizational
representatives, and researchers in all aspects of the research process –
including decision making authorities. Partners contribute their expertise
to enhance understanding of a given phenomenon and integrate the
knowledge gained with action to benefit the community involved.

Ethical Space

A metaphysical meeting place or neutral zone between two contrasting
worldviews where cross-cultural dialogue can take place. Engagement in
this ethical space can trigger a dialogue modeled on appropriate, ethical,
and human principles – where notions of universality are replaced by
concepts such as equality of nations – that carries the possibility of
developing a cooperative and innovative spirit between Indigenous peoples
and Western institutions.


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.

Patient-Oriented Research (POR)

The goal of patient-oriented research is to better ensure the translation
of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to the point of care, as
well as to help the provinces and territories meet the challenge of
delivering high quality, cost-effective health care. POR embeds the
patient on the research team and ensures research outcomes contribute
meaningfully to the lived experiences of patients.

Strengths-Based Approach

A strengths-based approach is a conceptual framework for health research with
Indigenous peoples which capitalizes on existing Indigenous resiliency and
wellness. A strengths-based approach does not involve ignoring the
historical and social realities facing Indigenous peoples; rather this approach
seeks to move towards overcoming deficit-based health research models.

Research Term Definitions for Students and Researchers
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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 2009, p. 21).

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 2008, p. 33).

Qualitative Research

Qualitative Research – “any type of research that produces findings not arrived at by statistical procedures or other means of quantification”. (Kovach 2009, p. 21).

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 2009, p. 32).


“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 2009, p. 32).

Relational research

Relational research is concerned with doing research in a good way. As Wilson affirms, as a researcher ‘you are answering to all your relations when you are doing research’ (2001: 177, emphasis in original)”. (Kovach 2009, p. 35).

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 2008, p. 33).


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 2008, p. 33).


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 2008, p. 34).

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