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Research Guidelines

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Indigenous, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Communities, suggested practices, research guidelines, research practices, ethical research


“Research is important to reconciliation in the creation of a national memory” (Senator Murray Sinclair, National Dialogue, 2019).

This document is designed to provide Sheridan faculty, staff and students with suggested practices to guide their research when working with Indigenous Peoples and to establish a set of standards to ensure that all research activities are undertaken with care and respect.

When it comes to research, colonialism and cultural genocide have created a history of mistrust for Indigenous Peoples in relation to the intentions of non-Indigenous Peoples. These factors have led us to develop guidelines, applications and processes in order to ensure that research projects involving Indigenous Peoples will be conducted in a safe, collaborative and positive manner. For For the purposes of these guidelines, the term “Indigenous Peoples” will be used to represent any person who self-identifies as being First Nation, Inuit, or Métis. These guidelines are to be followed when research includes Indigenous Peoples in any way, regardless of the overall focus of the research. Indigenous research is research that includes a major Indigenous component such as:

  • Research conducted on First Nations, Inuit, or Métis lands;
  • Projects where Indigenous identity is a criterion for research participation;
  • Research that seeks input from participants regarding Indigenous culture, heritage, artifacts, traditional knowledge or unique characteristics of Indigenous Peoples;
  • Research in which Indigenous identity or membership in an Indigenous community is used as a variable for the purpose of data analysis;
  • Projects where interpretation of data results refers directly to Indigenous communities, peoples, language, history or culture; and,
  • Research that is likely to affect the welfare of Indigenous Peoples. (TCPS 2; Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2018).

These Guidelines have been compiled based on a review of the literature, the Tri-Council policy on ethical research practices with human participants, and existing protocols and best practices for ethical and appropriate research practice when working with Indigenous Peoples from other organizations and post-secondary institutions. While cultural traditions, languages, customs, laws and their meanings are unique and specific to each individual nation, we are basing these guidelines more broadly on the common traditions and values of Ontario First Nations communities. However, it is imperative that researchers ensure they familiarize themselves with the culture, values and traditions of whichever community with whom they are working. Sheridan’s

Sheridan’s Centre for Indigenous Learning and Support provides a host of different resources that may be useful for those interested in research with Indigenous Peoples, in combination with these Guidelines (

In addition, there are other resources which can also provide a comprehensive overview of information to support better understanding and education about Indigenous cultures (


Sheridan Research & Inclusive Communities


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.