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-1928794.
Documented Practices and Resources: Across Northern Communities
Local and Indigenous Community Engagement and the Co-Production of Knowledge in NSF-Funded Arctic Science and Research
The National Science Foundation – Office of Polar Programs
- This web resource for Arctic Community Engagement (ACE) provides a starting place for NSF-funded researchers, Arctic residents, Indigenous communities, and collaborators to better understand how the Foundation is supporting work and expanding collaborations.
Co-creating Research Projects - Some Personal Experiences from Saami Council and Arctic Researchers
The Saami Council
- This web-based public report shares successful approaches the Saami Council has used for co-creating and co-designing research products.
University of Alaska Fairbanks, Geophysical Institute Graduate Student Association
- Traditional Ecological Knowledge Talks is a lecture series with focus on understanding of Indigenous peoples & cultures, clarifying terminology, and sharing resources. A link to the first talk in the series is shared below.
TEK Talk 1 - Cross-Cultural Miscommunication
Recorded Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3-6lTjPfhA
Achieving Equity and Representation for Indigenous Peoples in Arctic Research
University of Alaska Fairbanks - Center for Arctic Policy Studies
Citation: Carlo, Nikoosh. 2020. Achieving Equity and Representation for Indigenous Peoples in Arctic Research. Policy Call. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Center for Arctic Policy Studies. 2 pp.
- This policy call outlines ways for researchers and institutions to address inequity and improve representation of Indigenous Peoples in Arctic research.
Developing Best Practices for Working in Arctic Communities
Woodwell Climate Research Center
Web Resource: https://www.woodwellclimate.org/developing-best-practices-for-working-in...
- This web resource provides twelve principles for working with northern communities and additional resources.
Report of the Working Group on Culturally Responsive Science Outreach and Engagement
Citation: Report of the Working Group on Culturally Responsive Science Outreach and Engagement: A report to the North Pacific Research Board, Alaska Sea Grant, and ARCUS. May 2019. Anchorage, Alaska.
Web: Download Full Report (PDF - 537 KB)
Improving Dialogue Among Researchers, Local and Indigenous Peoples and Decision-makers to Address Issues of Climate Change in the North
Citation: Callaghan, T.V., Kulikova, O., Rakhmanova, L. et al. 2019. Improving Dialogue Among Researchers, Local and Indigenous Peoples and Decision-makers to Address Issues of Climate Change in the North. Ambio. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-019-01277-9.
- Challenges and recommendations for working together from local and Indigenous peoples and researchers in Siberia.
Different Ways of Knowing: Successful Examples of Knowledge Co-production in Arctic Research
IARPC Collaborations Webinar - 16 February 2018
Working with Northern Communities to Build Collaborative Research Partnerships
Arctic Institute of North America
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
Related webinar: Working with Northern Communities to Build Collaborative Research Partnerships: Perspectives from an Early Career Researcher
Association of Polar Early Career Scientists
The Power of Multiple Perspectives: Behind the Scenes of the Siku-Inuit-Hila Project
Citation: Huntington, H.P., Gearheard, S., and Kielson Holm, L. 2010. The power of multiple perspectives: Behind the scenes of the Siku-Inuit-Hila Project. in SIKU: Knowing Our Ice. pp. 257-274.
- A new approach for collaborative research with Inuit and scientific knowledge.
Draft Guidelines for Improved Cooperation Between Arctic Researchers and Northern Communities
National Science Foundation – Office of Polar Programs
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
National Science Foundation – Office of Polar Programs
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
Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies
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
Navigating the New Arctic Program Comment Letter
Kawerak, Inc., Association of Village Council Presidents, Bering Sea Elders Group, and the Aleut Community of St. Paul
- This brief letter shares collective concerns regarding the National Science Foundation's Navigating the New Arctic Program.
Qikiqtaġruŋmiut (Native Village of Kotzebue) Research Protocol & Questionnaire
Qikiqtaġruŋmiut – Native Village of Kotzebue
Download: Native Village of Kotzebue Research Protocol (PDF 127 KB)
- This document lists principles adopted by the Native Village of Kotzebue to provide guidance for researchers in any and all fields.
Understanding the Arctic Through a Co-Production of Knowledge
Inuit Circumpolar Council Alaska, Pew Charitable Trusts, and Kawerak, Inc.
Citation: Behe, C., Daniel, R., Raymond-Yakoubian, J. 2020. Understanding the Arctic Through a Co-Production of Knowledge.
- A brief article, downloadable graphic, and full recorded presentation on co-production of knowledge in Arctic research share perspectives on brining together multiple knowledge systems in research.
Full video presentation:
Different Ways of Knowing: Successful Examples of Co-production of Knowledge in Arctic research
Food Sovereignty and Self Governance - Inuit Role in Managing Arctic Marine Resources
Inuit Circumpolar Council-Alaska
Citation: Inuit Circumpolar Council Alaska. 2019. Food Sovereignty and Self Governance Collective Meeting: Food Sovereignty and Self Governance - Inuit Role in Managing Arctic Marine Resources. Anchorage, Alaska.
- This report provides a synthesis of frameworks for Inuit management and co-managment of marine food resources, including case-studies and food sovereignty objectives.
Sample Code of Research Ethics
Alaska Native Knowledge Network
- 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
Alaska Native Knowledge Network
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
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
Alaska Native Knowledge Network
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?
Alaska Native Science Commission
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
Improving Local Participation in Research in Northwest Alaska
University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Northwest Arctic Borough
Citation: Improving Local Participation in Research in Northwest Alaska. 2013. Final Workshop Summary and Workgroup Recommendations. 38pp.
- Report from a workshop to identify research priorities and identify best practices for involving local communities.
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
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.
- Suggestions for researchers working in North Slope, Alaska
A Bering Strait Indigenous Framework for Resource Management: Respectful Seal and Walrus Hunting
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
United States Coast Guard
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
Fairweather Science, LLC.
- Cultural sensitivity training and resources for working in rural Alaska
The Ocean is Always Changing
Citation: Fienup-Riordan, A., and E. Carmack. 2011. “The ocean is always changing”: Nearshore and farshore perspectives on Arctic coastal seas. Oceanography 24(3):266–279.
- An essay outlining Yup'ik and Inuit views of the coastal environment and a strategy for integration of local observations.
Documented Practices and Resources: Canadian Arctic Communities
ScIQ: Science and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit: Research and Meaningful Engagement of Northern Indigeous Communities, 2018.
Ikaarvik Youth ScIQ Summit
- Recommendations for meaningful engagement and effective incorporation of Indigenous Knowledge into research.
APECS Canada Community Collaborative Research Resources
Association of Polar Early Career Scientists
- A webpage compiling key resources for early career researchers who are interested in community collaborative research in northern Canada .
Negotiating Research Relationships with Inuit Communities: A Guide for Researchers
Inuit Knowledge Centre
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
Inuit Circumpolar Council
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
Wildlife Management Advisory Council North Slope
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
- 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
Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (CIMP) and Aurora Research Institute (ARI)
- A guide to building relationships in Northwest Territory for effective and respectful research
Ottawa Traditional Knowledge Principles
The Arctic Council
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks
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
University of Idaho, Center for Resilient Communities
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
Alaska Sea Grant
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
Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)
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
The Center for Native Health Partnerships
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
Weaving Indigenous and Sustainability Sciences to Diversify our Methods
Citation: Johnson, J.T., Howitt, R., Cajete, G., Berkes, F., Pualani Louis, R., Kliskey, A. 2016. Weaving Indigenous and sustainability sciences to diversify our methods. Sustainability Science 11: 1-11.
- A special edition of papers focusing on the importance of Indigenous observations and perspectives in collaborations with sustainability scientists.
San Code of Research Ethics
South African San Institute
- Brief code of ethics for researchers working with the San community in South Africa
Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
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
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.
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
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
- 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
- Tribal participatory research conceptual model for collaborative projects