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Indigenous Research Methodologies

Featured Resources

First Nations Principles of OCAP

Widely referenced framework for First Nations governance over research, community knowledge, and data. Developed in 1988. 

Ownership: First Nations own their cultural knowledge, data, and information collectively.
Control: First Nations have the right to control all aspects of research and information management processes that impact them.
Access: First Nations have the right to access (and control access to) their own information.
Possession: First Nations have the right to physical control of their own information.


Toolbox of Research Principles in an Aboriginal Context: Ethics, Respect, Fairness, Reciprocity, Collaboration and Culture [PDF]

Explores the ethics of protecting material and immaterial cultural heritage and of open data. Provides tools to support First Nations and Inuit peoples and organizations. Also benefits researchers and students wishing to deepen their understanding of research in an Indigenous context. Promotes dialogue, collaboration, and sharing between partners participating in a joint research process. 


On Screen Protocols & Pathways: A Media Production Guide to Working With First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Communities, Cultures, Concepts & Stories

Develop by the imagineNATIVE Institute, this report provides guiding cultural principles and best practices for filmmakers, production companies and funders looking to work with and/or depict Indigenous peoples on screen.

Selected - First Nation Research Protocol Agreements

Selected - Institutional Protocols

Selected - Collaborative Research

Recovering Voices (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History)

Emphasizes the role of cultural knowledge located in language, practices and objects. Partners with communities and institutional partners worldwide to support collaborative research in the sociology of knowledge, language documentation and revitalization and culturally informed analysis of collections, including providing research grants to help Indigenous communities enliven languages, cultures, and knowledge systems.

Ethics & Pragmatism in Indigenous Research Workshop (UBC)

UBC researchers and key community leaders engage in cross-disciplinary dialogue on building meaningful relationships between indigenous communities and research institutions. Aims to move beyond theoretical frameworks, to develop and understand pragmatic approaches to research partnerships.

Sharing What We Know About Living a Good Life: Summit Report [PDF]
Indigenous Knowledge Translation Summit
First Nations University of Canada 
March 2-5, 2006

Developing intercultural understandings can support collaborative research. Possible sources of information relevant to collaborative research in Indigenous contexts:

Finding Materials on Research Ethics

UBC Library Catalogue: Searching for "Indigenous research ethics" results in a very focused retrieval of books and media.

Summon: Searching for "Indigenous research ethics" retrieves a larger range of material, including articles and chapters in books. Summon has the added advantage of allowing users to filter results based on material type, discipline, library location, etc. (See the left-hand column). 

Remember to try searching synonyms, for example, "First Nations research protocol" in Summon.

Additional resources: Google Scholar and iPortal Indigenous Studies Research Tool.