Source: Government of Canada
Résumé: This chapter on research involving Aboriginal peoples in Canada, including Indian (First Nations), Inuit and Métis peoples, marks a step toward establishing an ethical space for dialogue on common interests and points of difference between researchers and Aboriginal communities engaged in research.
First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities have unique histories, cultures and traditions. They also share some core values such as reciprocity – the obligation to give something back in return for gifts received – which they advance as the necessary basis for relationships that can benefit both Aboriginal and research communities.
Research involving Aboriginal peoples in Canada has been defined and carried out primarily by non-Aboriginal researchers. The approaches used have not generally reflected Aboriginal world views, and the research has not necessarily benefited Aboriginal peoples or communities. As a result, Aboriginal peoples continue to regard research, particularly research originating outside their communities, with a certain apprehension or mistrust.
The landscape of research involving Aboriginal peoples is rapidly changing. Growing numbers of First Nations, Inuit and Métis scholars are contributing to research as academics and community researchers. Communities are becoming better informed about the risks and benefits of research. Technological developments allowing rapid distribution of information are presenting both opportunities and challenges regarding the governance of information.
This chapter is designed to serve as a framework for the ethical conduct of research involving Aboriginal peoples. It is offered in a spirit of respect. It is not intended to override or replace ethical guidance offered by Aboriginal peoples themselves. Its purpose is to ensure, to the extent possible, that research involving Aboriginal peoples is premised on respectful relationships. It also encourages collaboration and engagement between researchers and participants.