Indigenous Research Ethics

Proper ethics in research are important to me, especially in work being done with Indigenous peoples and Indigenous communities. Too often, academic research with Indigenous communities has been extractive in nature and has done harm to both individuals and communities. To that end, I support the right of Indigenous peoples to vet and regulate research being done in their communities, including tribal IRBs and other formal or informal mechanisms. I work extensively with the tribal IRBs or similar institutional review mechanisms in order to ensure that my research aligns with community standards and goals.

Proof of IRB approval from the communities that I am working with can be made available by request, with the consent of the community in question.

I also recognize that formal governmental approval is not the final determining factor for individual consent, therefore I follow a policy of obtaining consent to interviews and oral histories on a person-to-person basis, beyond governmental consent.

Many people have approached me about good articles, book chapters, essays, etc. to read on how to do ethical research with Indigenous communities and how to understand the long and complex history that academia has had with Indigenous/Native communities, particularly in the United States. I’ve provided a reading list that can serve as a good starting point–feel free to download it and begin diving into the pieces!

Additionally, here are the guiding principles that guide the GIF Lab’s engagement with Indigenous research projects. Feel free to download and use as you see fit, but please credit us if you plan to adapt it from its original form.

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