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Panel Session: Indigenous Research Issues

Lynn Lavallee, PhD
Vice-Provost (Indigenous Engagement), University of Manitoba
Raven Sinclair, PhD
Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Regina
Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 08:30 to 09:45
Location : 
Place du Canada

Session Description:

In 2010, major revisions to the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research involving Humans brought clarity for research ethics boards (REB) and researchers with respect to research with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples (Chapter 9). REBs are now required to determine if researchers have engaged the community in the research process - from the inception of the research idea to dissemination. In addition, the importance of ensuring the community has ownership, control, access and possession (OCAP) over the research is articulated. Chapter 9 also states that researchers should consult their own institutions to see how OCAP principles are consistent with their institutional policies.     The tensions between institutional policies on intellectual property and the notion of the OCAP principles has challenged institutions and researchers. For instance, some institutions require the university - typically offices of research services - to sign all research agreements. However, researchers themselves are in the relationship with the community and need to be accountable via research agreements. Often times, these agreements can become very litigious, requiring legal expertise on both sides simply to interpret the agreement. On the other end of the continuum, sometimes the notion of intellectual property and copyright is not entertained at all by the community and the researcher retains all intellectual property rights. Furthering the tension between intellectual property and the OCAP principles is the concept of Indigenous knowledges, most of which is not 'owned'. One cannot 'own' Indigenous knowledge.     This discussion will highlight some of the tensions between Indigenous knowledges and intellectual property and offer suggestions for how REBs and researchers can respond within their respective institutions.