NCH recognizes that research has long been used against Indigenous peoples. By being housed in the nation, NCH does research with the nation instead of on the nation. NCH adheres to OCAP principles.
Though NCH originates from a First Nation perspective, its work is applicable to Métis and Inuit peoples too.
Indigenous research protocols are continuing to evolve as are the OCAP principles. NCH uses leading edge best practices in conducting any Indigenous research.
NCH is nation driven. It derives authority and mandate from the nation it supports and hence it builds its research methodology in partnership with the community it is working with. Some of the key guidelines NCH follows are:
1. It uses a nation-based Research Ethics body to review the research methodology for every project.
2. It uses community participatory research methods in order to empower Indigenous voices.
3. It works with the community to determine who speaks for the nation in the research work.
4. It uses community engagement in the design of the research.
5. It accords full respect to the culture, language and values of the nation(s) involved in the research and is guided by the same throughout the research project.
6. Capacity development at the nation level.
ON CONSENT - Being nation driven, NCH receives consent to work on any given research project from the involved community. It also begins work only after receiving approval on its research methodology. Furthermore, NCH ensures there is permission for the use of community's private papers, pictures or art. It honours the copyright of the nation's material.
NCH research participants have the right to withdraw consent or participation from the research project at any time. The participants also have the right to appeal to the advisory board in the event of any problem during the research process.
NCH upholds the principle that Indigenous communities are custodians of their knowledge systems. It respects the fact that research information of a nation is held by the nation collectively. Therefore, no matter the interests of the sponsor or the funder of the research, NCH recognizes the research ownership protocols of the community it is working with as a protocol above all else. NCH works to establish the intellectual property rights, and the ownership royalty rights at the research planning stage.
NCH offers fair return for participants' help and service. Furthermore, participants are acknowledged in NCH research work, unless they wish to remain anonymous.
NCH upholds the self-determination of the nation in their control of data and other aspects of the research work. To fulfill this, before the start of any research project, NCH provides the community with a detailed description of the research objective, processes, its sponsors, the costs, benefits or usefulness of research, the anticipated risks, the publication plan, expected royalties, etc.
There are mechanisms established by NCH for the community to continually monitor the research project. NCH establishes a clear channel of communication during the research work so that all involved participants are fully informed.
NCH upholds that a nation should have full access to research information that pertains to them. It establishes standards, protocols and procedures to adhere to this principle. For example, the first presentation of the research results in draft form is made available to the community before there is any publication on the research. NCH first invites the community members to review the findings and the conclusions drawn from the research before proceeding with any wider circulation. It works to present findings in a clear and concise way so that it is easy to understand.
NCH upholds the principle of self-governance by the nation as it pertains to research management. First and foremost, NCH protects the rights and the interests of the nation and the people that it works with. Using mechanisms established at the start of the project, NCH maintains a continual monitoring report along with the community through a regularly updated clear and simple checklist. Throughout the project, NCH maintains keen awareness of the information that needs to be protected for the community. NCH adheres to ethical practices on confidentiality.
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