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Recommendations for Academic and Other Institution-Based Researchers in Canada

  1. Recognize that Western knowledge/science is only one knowledge system of many.
  2. Recognize and express your positionality (e.g. where did you come from, who are your ancestors, what are your responsibilities and obligations to them and to future generations, and other version of your identity beyond your professional one).
  3. Recognize the ways in which Western knowledge/science has played and continues to play a role in colonization.
  4. Recognize that leadership (i.e. Chief and Council) is a First Nations-only model and become familiar with other forms of leadership (e.g. Hereditary) and that Inuit and the Metis nation have their own leadership and organizational structures.
  5. Recognize and understand the diversity of experiences, wisdom, knowledge systems, and cultures of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis/Metis in Canada.
  6. Recognize your role and responsibilities as settlers to Indigenous lands.
  7. Familiarize yourself with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  8. Familiarize yourself with the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996).
  9. Familiarize yourself with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Final Report (2015).
  10. Familiarize yourself with the OCAPTM or OCAS principles.
  11. Familiarize yourself with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, specifically Chapter 9: Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis/Metis Peoples of Canada.
  12. Recognize employing a Two-Eyed Seeing* approach requires more time and more funding in order for community-led work to take place.
  13. Recognize that research involving First Nations, Métis/Metis, and Inuit peoples means a relational commitment to each other long after a project ends and a report is filed.
  14. Recognize that the co-learning journey of Two-Eyed Seeing* is ongoing and never-ending.
  15. Recognize that building and strengthening relationships grounded in respect and reconciliation is required for Two-Eyed Seeing*/integrative approaches.
  16. Recognize that research can – and should – be a decolonizing process that brings multiple stakeholders, perspectives, and voices together for individual and community flourishment.
  17. Recognize the gift of Ceremony in some Indigenous spaces – and allow Ceremony and other sacred experiences to change your consciousness and transform you.

* Two-Eyed Seeing (Etuaptmumk) is a guiding principle articulated by Mi’kmaw Elder Albert Marshall that refers to “learning to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of Western (or Euroentric, conventional, or mainstream) knowledges and ways of knowing…and to using both these eyes together, for the benefit of all.” It recognizes that with the use of one eye (or one epistemology) the view appears whole but when both eyes (or both epistemologies) are used together the perspective is wholistic.