Indigenous Research Resources

Research from an Indigenous paradigm should aim to be authentic or credible. By that I mean that the research must accurately reflect and build upon the relationships between ideas and participants. The analysis must be true to the voices of all the participants and reflect an understanding of the topic that is shared by researcher and participants alike. In other words, it has to hold to relational accountability.

- Shawn Wilson, Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods

One distinction between Western and Indigenous research methods lies in this purpose: research done in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples cannot only reveal knowledge, but also [must] decolonize, rebalance power, and provide healing..Broadly, Indigenous methods should include methods that are culturally relevant and can serve beyond data collection to create relationships and support autonomy.

- Drawson et al, "Indigenous Research Methods: A Systematic Review"

Getting Started:

This list of resources is meant only as a starting place for researchers new to working in research partnerships with Indigenous organizations and communities and should be considered neither comprehensive nor definitive.

A good place to start is this FAQ from Memorial University. 

Lakehead's brochures on research partners for prospective Indigenous community/organization partners can be found here: Orillia ; Thunder Bay


 

For general knowledge of Indigenous history, culture, and legal and political issues in the Canadian context:

Ontario First Nations Maps: How to locate First Nation reserves, Tribal Councils, political organizations and land covered by treaties is helpful in getting to know the different Indigenous groups and communities in your geographical area.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action

Report of the The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples

Universities Canada Principles of Aboriginal Education

The Office of Aboriginal Initiatives at Lakehead is a great resource and plans events throughout the year including some specifically for researchers in partnership with the Office of Research Services. The ORS's events listings can be found here.

The Department of Indigenous Learning at Lakehead offers a variety of courses including in Indigenous research methods.

The Indigenous Learning resources page at the Lakehead library provides a wealth of resources about treaties, teachings, resistance movements, and more.

The Indigenous Knowledge Centres at Thunder Bay Public Library provide learning materials and resources on Indigenous peoples in Canadian history, treaties, residential schools, put together by Indigenous curators.

Elder/Senator Protocol (Lakehead Public School Board)

Teachings on Sema (Tobacco), Lakehead University Aboriginal Initiatives

Pamphlets on Traditional Teachings, Anishnawbe Health Toronto

Fort William First Nation, The Importance of the Duty to Consult and Accomodate


 

Research Ethics and Data Management Policies/Best Practices in Indigenous Research:

Tri-Council Policy Statement II Chapter 9: Research Involving First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples

Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP): The Path to First Nations Information Governance (First Nations Information Governance Centre)

Assembly of First Nations Ethics Guide on Research and Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge

USAI Research Framework: Utility, Self-Voicing, Access, Inter-relationality (Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres)

Principles of Ethical Métis Research (Metis Centre/National Aboriginal Health Organization)

Negotiating Research Relationships: a Guide for Communities (Research with Inuit peoples - Nunavut Research Institute and Inuit Tapirisat of Canada)

CIHR Guide for Health Research Involving Aboriginal People 

SSHRC Guideines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research

Government of Canada: Setting New Directions to Support Indigenous Research and Research Training in Canada

EthicsHub.ca - a space for sharing resources & best practices related to Indigenous Research in Canada


 

Indigenous Research Methodologies:

Absalon, K (Minogiizhigokwe). Kaandossiwin: How We Come to Know. Fernwood, 2011. 

Castleden, H. "I spent the first year drinking tea: Exploring Canadian university researchers’ perspectives on community-based participatory research involving Indigenous peoples.The Canadian Geographer 2012; 56(2): 160–179.

Castleden, H. and Kurszewski, D. "Re/searchers as Co-learners: Life Narratives on Collaborative Re/search in Aboriginal Communities," Adult Education Research Conference, 2000.

Drawson, A. S. , Toombs, E. , Mushquash, C. J. "Indigenous Research Methods: A Systematic Review." The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 2017; 8(2).

Sylvestre P, Castleden H, Martin D, McNally M. "'Thank You Very Much... You Can Leave Our Community Now.': Geographies of Responsibility, Relational Ethics, Acts of Refusal, and the Conflicting Requirements of Academic Localities in Indigenous Research." ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies. 2018; 17(3): 750-779.

Institute for Integrative Science and Health. Two-eyed Seeing resources.

Kovach, M. Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, and Contexts. UTP, 2009

Lakehead University - Office of Aboriginal Initiatives and Office of Research Services panel discussion, Two-Eyed Seeing: Bringing Indigenous and Western Technologies and Ways of Knowing Together. (Video) February 27, 2019. Moderator: Denise Baxter Panelists: Dr. Chris Mushquash (Lakehead University); John Dixon (Dilico Anishinabek Family Care); Dr. Lana Ray (Lakehead University); Deidre Bannerman (Canadore College); Holly Prince (Lakehead University); Maxine Crow (Naotkamegwanning First Nation)

Lakehead University - Office of Aboriginal Initiatives and Office of Research Services workshop, "Doing Research in a Good Way with Indigenous Partners" (Powerpoint Slides) September 27, 2019.

Levac, L., McMurty, L., Steinstra, D., Baikie, G., Hanson, C., and D. Mucina. "Learning Across Indigenous and Western Knowledge Systems: Reconciling Social Science Research Approaches." University of Guelph, 2018.

McGregor, D., Restoule, J.P., Johnston, R. Indigenous Research: Theories, Practices and Relationships. Canadian Scholars, 2018.

Ray, L. "Deciphering the 'Indigenous' in Indigenous Methodologies." AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 2012; 8(1), 85–98.

Smith, L. Decolonizing methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. Zed Books, 1999.

Toombs, E. , Drawson, A. S. , Chambers, L. , Bobinski, T. L. , Dixon, J. , Mushquash, C. J. Moving Towards an Indigenous Research Process: A Reflexive Approach to Empirical Work With First Nations Communities in CanadaThe International Indigenous Policy Journal, 2009; 10(1)

Wilson, S. Research Is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods. Fernwood Publishing, 2008.

Wilson, S., Breen, A., and L. DuPré. Research and Reconciliation: Unsettling Ways of Knowing through Indigenous Relationships. Canadian Scholar's, 2019.