Press Release

2nd Seminar on the Ethics of Research with Aboriginal Peoples

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2nd Seminar on the Ethics of Research with Aboriginal Peoples
Advancement of Knowledge with Due Regard for Aboriginal Cultures

Val-d’Or, September 21, 2011 – Sixty-five persons participated yesterday in the 2nd Seminar on the ethics of research with Aboriginal Peoples at Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT). The Aboriginal communities and organizations, the researchers, the professors and the students who attended the seminar identified possible solutions to address the proposals formulated in Chapter 9 of the 2010 edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, related to Aboriginal Peoples. The aim of this seminar was to determine how to concretely apply the recommendations in the Policy Statement while meeting the needs, wishes and expectations of Aboriginal communities and organizations.

In the past several years, research initiatives in Aboriginal environments have notably increased in Canada. Some approaches have not proven beneficial for the communities or for the advancement of knowledge. "At UQAT, the vision has always been to work in partnership with the various nations. We can rightly say that the objectives of this second seminar have been attained. Together we identified concrete ways to fulfill and satisfy the principles of research ethics in a manner respectful of the needs of Aboriginal communities. The action initiated yesterday will move forward with the addition of a section on the ethical conduct for research involving Aboriginal Peoples to the UQAT Research Ethics Policy. This should contribute to consolidate our know-how and expertise in this field," specified Manon Champagne, President of UQAT’s Research Ethics Board.

Dr. Marlene Brant Castellano offered an inspiring lecture on Chapter 9 of the Tri-Council Policy Statement. Recognized worldwide as an authority on matters related to research ethics, Dr. Castellano provided the participants with solid foundations for discussions throughout the day.

The participants in the 2nd Seminar on the ethics of research with Aboriginal Peoples have come to a number of revealing conclusions. Each community and each project require specific conditions, stressing the importance of establishing a dialogue where all stakeholders are on equal footing. Furthermore, identifying and mobilizing partner(s) from inside or outside the communities remains a major challenge. It is thus essential to educate researchers and Aboriginal Peoples about the main principles of research ethics and on existing tools to facilitate their implementation.

Once again, UQAT has proven that it is solidly established within its community and responsive to the concerns of the various stakeholders involved in research. "I am very satisfied with the outcome of this seminar. In our 2009-2014 Development Plan, we committed to the orientation that First Peoples must significantly contribute to research endeavours. Based on rigorous ethical rules, our collaborations allow us to develop projects consistent with community needs and respectful of their cultural heritage. UQAT is a leader in research related to its niches of excellence, particularly with Aboriginal Peoples. This is further evidenced by the results of the seminar, which was part of the priority actions we have initiated to create forums of discussion between First Peoples and non-Aboriginal communities," said Johanne Jean, President of UQAT.

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Pamela Kell, Information Officer
Communication and Recruitment Service
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
1.877.870.8728 ext. 6527

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Last update : 2 août 2011