Conducting Research with Northern Communities

Documented Practices and Resources for Productive, Respectful Relationships Between Researchers and Community Members

Scientific research in the Arctic necessitates good communication and cooperation with northern communities. The following list is a compilation of resources, recommendations, and "best practices" from a variety of organizations. This webpage is intended to be a living resource and will be updated as new information becomes available. Each community has a unique set of requests for researcher conduct and level of desired inclusivity. As such, direct communication and relationships with community leaders should be the highest priority.

Please contact Lisa Sheffield Guy (lisa [at] arcus.org) or Helen Wiggins (helen [at] arcus.org) with:

  • Comments or additional resources for this page;
  • Suggestions for tools or activities that would foster collaboration between researchers and Arctic community members;
  • Ideas to advance inclusion of Indigenous communities in research; or
  • Help finding contacts and representatives in northern communities.

We are grateful to the following people for providing feedback and additional resources: Carolina Behe (Inuit Circumpolar Council - Alaska), Vera Metcalf and Julie Raymond-Yakoubian (Kawerak, Inc.), Karen Pletnikoff (Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Inc.), and Kaare Erickson (UIC Science, LLC).

This webpage is supported by the National Science Foundation - Arctic Sciences Section through Cooperative Agreement PLR-1304316.

Documented Practices and Resources: Across Northern Communities

Working with Northern Communities to Build Collaborative Research Partnerships

Working with Northern Communities to Build Collaborative Research Partnerships
Arctic Institute of North America
Web: http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic67-3-419.pdf
Citation: J.M.E Tondu, A.M. Balasubramaniam, L. Chavarie, N. Gantner, J.A. Knopp, J.F. Provencher, P.B.Y. Wong and D. Simmons, Working with Northern Communities to Build Collaborative Research Partnerships: Perspectives from Early Career Researchers. Arctic Institute of North America, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 2014. 11 pp.

  • Recommendations for actions to facilitate collaborative research partnerships

Draft Guidelines for Improved Cooperation Between Arctic Researchers and Northern Communities

Guidelines for Improved Cooperation between Arctic Researchers and Northern Communities
National Science Foundation – Office of Polar Programs
Web: https://archive.arcus.org/guidelines/overview.html
Citation: Draft Guidelines for Improved Cooperation between Arctic Researchers and Northern Communities. National Science Foundation – Office of Polar Programs, Arlington, Virginia. 2004. 23 pp.

  • Information and suggestions to improve the way researchers work with communities in the Arctic

Principles for the Conduct of Research in the Arctic

Principles for the Conduct of Research in the Arctic
National Science Foundation – Office of Polar Programs
Web: https://www.nsf.gov/geo/opp/arctic/conduct.jsp#implementation
Citation: Principles for the Conduct of Research in the Arctic. National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia. 2005. 3 pp.

  • Guidance on maintaining mutual respect and communication between scientists and northern residents

Ethical Principles for the Conduct of Research in the North

Ethical Principles for the Conduct of Research in the North
Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies
Web: http://acuns.ca/en/ethical-principles/
Citation: Ethical Principles for the Conduct of Research in the North. Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 2003. 9 pp.

  • Principles for respecting northern communities and cultures

Documented Practices and Resources: Alaskan Communities

Sample Code of Research Ethics

Alaska Native Knowledge Network
Web: http://www.nativescience.org/communities/code.htm

  • This document is a fillable template for researchers and communities to come to a clear understanding of ethics, protocols, and partner obligations

Guidelines for Respecting Cultural Knowledge

Guidelines for Respecting Cultural Knowledge
Alaska Native Knowledge Network
Web: http://www.ankn.uaf.edu/publications/knowledge.html
Citation: Guidelines for Respecting Cultural Knowledge. Alaska Native Knowledge Network, Fairbanks, Alaska. 2000. 33 pp.

  • Addresses issues of concern in the documentation, representations, and utilization of Indigenous Knowledge

Research Processes and Indigenous Communities in Western Alaska: Workshop Report

Research Processes
Kawerak, Inc.
Web: http://www.kawerak.org/socialsci.html
Citation: Raymond-Yakoubian, B. and J. Raymond-Yakoubian. 2017. Research Processes and Indigenous Communities in Western Alaska: Workshop Report. Prepared by Sandhill Culture.Craft and Kawerak Social Science Program. Kawerak, Inc., Nome, AK. 24pp.

  • Report details Indigenous community concerns with the way scientific research in Alaskan communities is typically conducted and ways forward to build stronger relationships between these groups

Indigenous Knowledge Systems/Alaska Native Ways of Knowing

Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Alaska Native Ways of Knowing
Alaska Native Knowledge Network
Web: http://www.ankn.uaf.edu/curriculum/Articles/BarnhardtKawagley/Indigenous...
Citation: Barnhardt, R., & Kawagley, A. O., Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Alaska Native Ways of Knowing. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 36(1), pp. 8-23. 2005.

  • Article on Indigenous Knowledge and western science "ways of knowing"

What is Traditional Knowledge?

What is Traditional Knowledge?
Alaska Native Science Commission
Web: http://www.nativescience.org/html/traditional_knowledge.html
Citation: What is Traditional Knowledge? Alaska Native Science Commission, Anchorage, Alaska. 2004.

  • Includes list of issues to consider when acquiring, using, or disseminating traditional knowledge; also includes the Alaska Federation of Natives Board Policy Guidelines for Research, shared below

Alaska Federation of Natives Board Policy Guidelines for Research

  • Advise those Native people who will be affected by the study of the purpose, goals and time frame of the research, the data-gathering techniques, the positive and negative implications and the impacts of the research
  • Obtain informed consent of the appropriate governing body
  • Fund the support of a Native research committee appointed by the local community to assess and monitor the project and ensure compliance with the expressed wishes of Native people
  • Protect the sacred knowledge and cultural/intellectual property of Native people
  • Hire and train Native people to assist in the study
  • Use Native languages whenever English is the second language
  • Include Native viewpoints in the final study
  • Acknowledge the contributions of Native resource people
  • Inform the Native research committee in a summary report, in non-technical language, of the major findings of the study
  • Provide copies of the study to the local people

Leadership and Strength

Leadership and Strength
Web: http://www.leadershipandstrength.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Leadersh...
Citation: Zanotti, L., Carothers, C., Apok, C., Huang, S., and Ambrozek, C. 2017. Leadership and Strength Project Report. 29 pp.

  • This report includes a practices section for researchers working on the North Slope and particularly in Barrow, Alaska. A Climate of Change.

Kindea Labs

  • Suggestions for researchers working in North Slope, Alaska

A Bering Strait Indigenous Framework for Resource Management: Respectful Seal and Walrus Hunting

Kawerak, Inc.
Web: http://www.kawerak.org/forms/nr/Respectful%20hunting%20article.pdf
Citation: Gadamus, L. and Raymond-Yakoubian, J. 2015. A Bering Strait Indigenous Framework for Resource Management: Respectful Seal and Walrus Hunting. Arctic Anthropology 52: 87-101.

  • Outlines different approaches and conflicts between western resource management and local resource-use traditions

A Primer for Marine Scientists Planning Shipboard Work in Alaskan Arctic and Sub-Arctic Waters

A Primer for Marine Scientists Planning Shipboard Work in Alaskan Arctic and Sub-Arctic Waters
United States Coast Guard
Web: http://icefloe.net/community-primer
Citation: United States Coast Guard. A Primer for Marine Scientists Planning Shipboard Work in Alaskan Arctic and Sub-Arctic Waters. A project of the Arctic Icebreaker Coordinating Committee. 2012.

  • Guidelines for efficient, effective, and conflict-free interactions with Arctic communities

Cultural Awareness Training

Cultural Awareness Training
Fairweather Science, LLC.
Web: http://www.fairweathersciencellc.com/cultural-sensitivity-training-progr...

  • Cultural sensitivity training and resources for working in rural Alaska

Documented Practices and Resources: Canadian Arctic Communities

Negotiating Research Relationships with Inuit Communities: A Guide for Researchers

Negotiating Research Relationships with Inuit Communities: A Guide for Researchers
Inuit Knowledge Centre
Web: http://www.inuitknowledge.ca/content/negotiating-research-relationships-...
Citation: Scot Nickels, Jamal Shirley, Gita Laidler (eds.), Negotiating Research Relationships with Inuit Communities: A Guide for Researchers. Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Nunavut Research Institute, Ottawa and Iqaluit. 2008. 38 pp.

  • Practical advice to assist researchers who plan to work with Canadian Inuit communities

Coastal Monitoring Indigenous Knowledge Holders Meeting Report

Coastal Monitoring Report
Inuit Circumpolar Council
Web: https://www.arcus.org/files/publication/27519/ik_holder_workshop_report_...
Citation: Coastal Monitoring Indigenous Knowledge Holders Meeting Report. 2016. Inuit Circumpolar Council and Polar Knowledge Canada, Ottawa, Canada.

  • Report from a workshop including Indigenous Knowledge holders expressing the importance and practice of respect and trust when conducting research

Conduct of Traditional Knowledge Research - A Reference Guide

Conduct of Traditional Knowledge Research
Wildlife Management Advisory Council North Slope
Web: http://catalog.northslope.org/catalog/entries/4802-conduct-of-traditiona...
Citation: Armitage, Peter and Stephen Kilburn. 2015. Conduct of Traditional Knowledge Research - A Reference Guide. Whitehorse, YT: Wildlife Management Advisory Council (North Slope).

  • Guidance and best practices that should be fully considered by anyone contemplating, undertaking, and applying traditional knowledge research

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Guidelines for Research in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
Web: https://nwtresearch.com/sites/default/files/inuvialuit-regional-corporat...

  • An introduction to the Inuvialuit Research Policy and a guide to how researchers should approach Inuvialuit communities to establish and undertake research projects

Working Together Towards Relevant Environmental Monitoring and Research in the NWT

Working together
Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (CIMP) and Aurora Research Institute (ARI)
Web: http://www.sfu.ca/northern-studies/GuidetoResearchInNWT.pdf

  • A guide to building relationships in Northwest Territory for effective and respectful research

Ottawa Traditional Knowledge Principles

The Arctic Council
Web: http://www.saamicouncil.net/fileadmin/user_upload/Documents/Eara_dokumea...

  • A working definition of Traditional Knowledge as well as principles to uphold ethical work

Sambaa K’e Dene Band Policy Regarding the Gathering, Use, and Distribution of yúndíit’õh (Traditional Knowledge)

Sambaa K’e Dene Band
Web: https://nwtresearch.com/sites/default/files/sambaa-k-e-dene-band.pdf

  • Principles regarding yúndíit’õh (Traditional Knowledge), research procedures when using yúndíit’õh, and a definition outlined by the Sambaa K’e Dene Band

Conducting Traditional Knowledge Research in the Gwich'in Settlement Area - A Guide for Researchers

The Gwich’in Tribal Council
Web: https://nwtresearch.com/sites/default/files/gwich-in-social-and-cultural...

  • Provides suggestions on courteous and respectful behavior when conducting research in the Gwich’in Settlement Area

Giving Traditional Ecological Knowledge its Rightful Place in Ecological Impact Assessment

Canadian Arctic Resources Committee
Web: http://www.carc.org/pubs/v22no1/know.htm

  • Essay on including traditional knowledge in ecological impact assessments in Canada

Resources for Community-Based Monitoring

Community-Based Monitoring and Indigenous Knowledge in a Changing Arctic: A Review for the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks

Community-Based Monitoring and Indigenous Knowledge in a Changing Arctic
Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks
Web: http://www.inuitcircumpolar.com/uploads/3/0/5/4/30542564/cbm_final_repor...
Citation: Noor Johnson, Carolina Behe, Finn Danielsen, Eva-Maria Krümmel, Scot Nickels, Peter L. Pulsifer, Community-Based Monitoring and Indigenous Knowledge in a Changing Arctic. Inuit Circumpolar Council, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 2016. 62 pp.

  • This review focuses on an online atlas of community-based monitoring (CBM) projects and highlights good practices

Best Practices for Community-based Observing: A National Workshop Report

Best Practices for Community-based Observing: A National Workshop Report
University of Idaho, Center for Resilient Communities
Web: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305501828_Best_Practices_for_Co...
Citation: Lilian Alessa, Andrew Kliskey, Peter Pulsifer, David Griffith, Paula Williams, Matthew Druckenmiller, Heidi McCann, Brit Myers, Grace Beaujean, Lisa Jackson, Best Practices for Community-based Observing: A National Workshop Report. University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho. 2016. 30 pp.

  • Provides a framework to ensure that communities, practitioners, and agencies have access to the best available science and knowledge about community based observing

Community-Based Monitoring of Alaska’s Coastal and Ocean Environment

CBM AK Coastal
Alaska Sea Grant
Web: https://seagrant.uaf.edu/bookstore/pubs/SG-ED-78.html
Citation: Community-Based Monitoring of Alaska’s Coastal and Ocean Environment - Best Practices for Linking Alaska Citizens with Science. 2015. Marilyn Sigman, Ed. Alaska Sea Grant. 42 pp.

  • Provides guidance on establishing and managing a successful community-based monitoring project

Community Based Monitoring Handbook: Lessons from the Arctic and Beyond

Community Based Monitoring Handbook: Lessons from the Arctic and Beyond
Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)
Web: http://www.caff.is/community-based-monitoring/community-based-monitoring...
Citation: Victoria Gofman, Community Based Monitoring Handbook: Lessons from the Arctic and Beyond, CAFF CBMP Report No.21. CAFF International Secretariat, Akureyri, Iceland. 2010. 52 pp. ISBN 978-9979-9778-4-1.

  • Written to enhance the role of community-based observations in Arctic research projects, includes discussion of main principles of community-based monitoring activities, such as inclusiveness and respect for and recognition of knowledge-holder rights

Resources from Outside the Arctic

Walk Softly and Listen Carefully: Building Research Relationships with Tribal Communities

Walk softly
The Center for Native Health Partnerships
Web: http://www.ncai.org/attachments/PolicyPaper_SpMCHTcjxRRjMEjDnPmesENPzjHT...
Citation: NCAI Policy Research Center and MSU Center for Native Health Partnerships. 2012. Walk Softly and Listen Carefully: Building Research Relationships with Tribal Communities. Washington, DC, and Bozeman, MT. 35 pp.

  • Guidance on the learning process needed to build trust and effective relationships with diverse Tribal nations for research partnerships

San Code of Research Ethics

South African San Institute
Web: http://trust-project.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/San-Code-of-RESEARCH-...

  • Brief code of ethics for researchers working with the San community in South Africa

Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans

Ethical conduct
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Web: http://www.pre.ethics.gc.ca/eng/policy-politique/initiatives/tcps2-eptc2...
Citation: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, December 2014.

  • Policies to promote the proper conduct of research involving humans; touches on a variety of situations, including consent, fairness, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, etc.

Knowledge for the Twenty‑first Century: Indigenous Knowledge, Traditional Knowledge, Science and Connecting Diverse Knowledge Systems

United Nations Environment Programme
Web: http://www.ipbes.net/plenary/panama-2012-second-session-plenary-meeting-...
Citation: Knowledge for the Twenty‑first Century: Indigenous Knowledge, Traditional Knowledge, Science and Connecting Diverse Knowledge Systems. 2012. United Nations Environment Programme. UNEP/IPBES.MI/2/INF/9. Panama City, 16-21 April 2012. 24 pp.

  • Suggestions to build relations between knowledge systems in order to address critical issues

Model Tribal Research Code

American Indian Law Center, Inc.
Web: https://ccph.memberclicks.net/assets/Documents/CBPRCurriculum/AppendixF/...
Citation: Model Tribal Research Code - With Materials for Tribal Regulation for Research and Checklist for Indian Health Boards. Third Edition, September 1999. American Indian Law Center, Inc. Albuquerque, NM. 28 pp.

  • An explanation and outline of the model tribal research code to ensure proper treatment of American Indian communities

The Handbook of Ethical Research with Ethnocultural Populations and Communities

Ethical Research
Web: https://books.google.com/books?id=_lDu8IbqbRkC
Citation: The Handbook of Ethical Research with Ethnocultural Populations and Communities. 2006. Trimble, J.E. and Fisher, C.B., (eds.), Sage Publications, Inc. 357 pp.

  • Provides guidance to researchers on responsible, ethical conduct of research and culturally sensitive decision-making strategies

Supporting Local and Traditional Knowledge with Science for Adaptation to Climate Change: Lessons Learned from Participatory Three-Dimensional Modeling in BoeBoe, Solomon Islands

Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08920753.2015.1046808?journal...

  • A case study of community-based adaptation to climate change utilizing local knowledge

Theory and Practice in Participatory Research: Lessons from the Native Elder Care Study

Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3095653/

  • Tribal participatory research conceptual model for collaborative projects