Indigenous peoples have long critiqued the harmful effects of Eurocentric research processes upon Indigenous cultures and communities. This paper—which is grounded in the author’s knowledge and experience as an Aboriginal Australian academic—examines three threshold considerations relevant to non-Indigenous scholars who seek to enter into respectful research relationships with Indigenous peoples or knowledges. The first is the question of whether the research should be conducted at all. The second is positionality and how this affects research.
Te Mata Ira was a three-year research project (2012–2015) that explored Māori views on genomic research and biobanking for the development of culturally appropriate guidelines. A key component of this process has been to identify Māori concepts that provide cultural reference points for engaging with biobanking and genomic research. These cultural cues provide the basis for describing the cultural logic that underpins engagement in this context in a culturally acceptable manner.
The study of Indigenous peoples and their cultures has in the past raised serious ethical questions within the academic sphere as well as in the Aboriginal community. This paper examines culturally appropriate and sensitive research ethics within urban Aboriginal communities in Canada, through the lens of the research guideline of Ownership, Control, Access and Possession, and the more recent Utility, Self- Voicing, Access and Inter- relationality framework created by the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres.
Recently, Indigenous scholars have raised a number of concerns with the activities of Research Ethics Boards (REBs) and their members, including the preference of REBs for Eurocentric conceptualizations of what does or does not constitute “ethical research conduct”, and the privilege accorded liberal notions of the “autonomous individual participant”.