Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans

This Government of Canada Panel on Research Ethics website (Modified: 2010-03-22) Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, focuses on research involving Aboriginal peoples. Due to the fact that the agencies responsible for the formation of this policy statement feel that that there have so far been insufficient discussions with representatives of the Aboriginal communities involved, or with the various organizations or researchers involved, the agencies have decided that it is not yet appropriate to establish policies in this area. The text drafted to date (Section 6) builds on literature on research involving Aboriginal Peoples in Australia and abroad, and is intended to serve only as a starting point for discussions around a policy statement.

I find this website a somewhat hopeful government document for several reasons. For example it:

  • Respectfully acknowledges the unique cultures of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples and the fact that specific policy language needs to be crafted in order to accommodate these needs.
  • Describes clearly some of the past research techniques that have impacted Aboriginal peoples and “historical reasons why Indigenous or Aboriginal Peoples may legitimately feel apprehensive about the activities of researchers” and the subsequent harm that has resulted.
  • States the integral need to include Aboriginal groups in the formation of a complete policy statement.

November 7, 2010   No Comments

The Oka Crisis

This past summer of 2010 marked the 20th anniversary of the Oka Crisis.

Through video, media archives and  print material we continue today to learn from this event and the stories that people share about it. This crisis received extensive media attention across Canada and around the world. I recommend the movie Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (The Oka Crisis) (National Film Board, 1993) which can be viewed at

It is an excellent recounting of the events, also giving the historical context. It is a feature-length, multi-award winning documentary by Native American filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin. It is set in the thick of the armed confrontation between Native American Mohawks and Canadian government forces during the 1990 two-and-a-half month standoff in the Mohawk village of Kanehsatake near the village of Oka in Quebec. There was one fatality in the crisis, Corporal Lemay.

For CBC archival information see:

Twenty years after the death of Corporal Lemay, his sister Francine came forward with the story of her journey of learning, healing and reconciliation and with the publication of her French translation of the book At The Woods Edge: An Anthology of the History of the People of Kanehsatake. Francine Lemay initiated this translation project recognizing that even 20 years after the Oka event, the Francophone community around her lacked information and understanding of the Mohawk people’s history and culture.


October 13, 2010   No Comments

Landmark accord on the Education of Indigenous Peoples in Canada to be Signed at Congress 2010

I came across the attached document and found it to be of highly relevant to our current course readings. Here is an excerpt of the announcement of the accord document to be signed at Congress:

“Montreal/May 31, 2010 – A landmark agreement on the education of Indigenous peoples in Canada will be signed June 1, at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences hosted by Concordia University in Montreal. The Accord on Indigenous Education provides for a new framework under which university programs will be reviewed and partnerships with Indigenous communities forged in order to better reflect the educational purposes and values of Indigenous people. It will lead to the development of teaching methods that respect –and, indeed reflect‐ the specific cultural needs and references of First Nations people.

 The agreement was developed between leading representatives of First Nations communities and The Association of Canadian Deans of Education (ACDE), which is meeting at Concordia during the 2010 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, continuing through June 4.”

 This accord gives one hope. I’ve attached the full announcement here:

media release-Congress Indigenous Signing (3)[1]

 For the full Accord document, navigate to:

October 7, 2010   No Comments