Photo from Marvin Meyer (Unsplash).
A recent article from the University of British Columbia seeks to establish key concepts in conducting research “in a good way” that honours and upholds Indigenous rights.
Indigenous and non-Indigenous authors — Andrea Reid, Deborah McGregor, Allyson Menzies, Lauren Eckert, Catherine Febria and Jesse Popp — were compelled to write their paper after noticing an uptick in natural scientists seeking to engage with Indigenous partners. The article is called “Ecological research ‘in a good way’ means ethical and equitable relationships with Indigenous Peoples and Lands.”
The research team cites many instances throughout recent Canadian history where science and research have caused tremendous harm to the Indigenous Peoples they study. Examples include “rampant expropriation of tribes from their Lands and Water,” and “Canada’s egregious nutrition experiments performed on children at residential ‘schools.’” They identified a need for clearer guidelines to prevent such “extractive and harm-inducing studies” from happening in the future.
The article includes four essential elements for conducting ecological research in a good way: “an expression used across many distinct Indigenous cultures to denote ‘participation that honors tradition and spirit,’” write the authors. These calls to action are to:
- Recognize that reconciliation can only come after truth.
- Know that there is no ‘view from nowhere.’
- Establish free, prior and informed consent.
- Learn with and from Indigenous Peoples and Lands.
Read the full article for free in the Nature Ecology & Evolution.