Research is Relational and Reflexive: Peoples, Policies, and Priorities at Play in Ethically Approving Health Research with Indigenous Peoples

Regions: North Slave Region

Tags: social sciences, northern perspective, research training

Principal Investigator: Bull, Julie R (1)
Licence Number: 16402
Organization: University of New Brunswick
Licensed Year(s): 2018
Issued: Sep 07, 2018

Objective(s): To talk to research ethics board members, chairs, and other research administrators about the review and approval of research involving Indigenous peoples.

Project Description: A qualitative research orientation is most suitable for the proposed research. It is not enough to merely describe the multiple parts, it is about the integration of them toward action. An interdisciplinary methodological framework informed by Decolonizing Methodologies, Autoethnography, and Narrative Inquiry will guide this research. The Principal Investigator (PI) will use complementary story-generating and story-gathering methods, and will assemble data through digital stories and interviews. The PI will use iterative, agile, and reflective means of content and thematic analysis that are decided upon collaboratively with participants. Both descriptive and interpretive analysis will be applied making constant connections between and among categories and subcategories.

This research will be conducted in various locations across Canada, depending on the location of participants. The PI will use GoToMeeting (an online video-conferencing platform) to conduct the interviews. Participants can decide whether or not to use the video component; even without video, the audio function can work. All interviews will be recorded.

Participants can contribute in two ways: 1) interview; 2) artifacts (art, photos, literature, etc.). Interviews will be approximately one hour, depending on how much the person has to say. People are not required to participate or contribute further after this point. However, if a participant wishes, there is opportunity to be engaged throughout the duration of the project in a manner that aligns with the participant’s availability and interest. For those who want to submit artifacts, they will be sent to the PI.

The entire interview process (including informed consent) will be recorded in this project. The audio files will be split, and the consent portion will be stored separately from the interview data to protect confidentiality.
A transcriptionist may assist with transcribing the interviews to text. This person will sign a confidentiality agreement and will not have access to the consent portion of the audio recordings so they will not know the identity of participants.

Though there is no intention to illicit sensitive material in this project, it is possible that participants discuss unethical research practices or other issues that cause discomfort. The PI is well-versed in research ethics and practices with Indigenous Peoples and has the ability to mitigate any issues that may arise. If something comes up that is outside the scope or beyond my comfort level, the PI will connect the participant with other people in the field who can assist as needed.

This project seeks to collect resources and stories that illustrate wise and emerging practices in the ethics review and approval for research involving Indigenous Peoples. The possibilities for local involvement are open and include, but is not limited to: highlighting best practices in ethics review from northern perspectives; showcasing excellent scholarship on research ethics and governance in the NWT; collaborate on educational tools for researchers and others who come to work in the territory; and demonstrate relational approaches to research ethics review and oversight.

All final products (papers, reports, digital stories, and videos) will be available to the people and communities in the NWT. The PI will also ask participants if there are specific ways in which they would like dissemination to occur and will accommodate any additional requests for knowledge translation materials.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from September 7, 2018 to December 31, 2018.