From Theory to Practice: Methodological and Ethicial Issue for Research with First Nations Communities


This paper will review methodological and ethical concerns in two research projects that focused on issues for First Nations people. The first study included a file review, process evaluation, and follow-up study with a First Nations substance abuse treatment centre. The file review was the first of its kind for the centre, and a client profile was developed outlining demographic information and substance consumption patterns. This study was developed based on community needs and was designed to determine the effectiveness of the program. Key issues in this study pertained to community partnership, ownership of data, and capacity building. The second project focused on educational status and its association with risk and protective factors for First Nations youth. This study was also community driven, and key issues involved capacity building, negotiating a contract between the researcher and community, obtaining informed consent and providing meaningful dissemination of the results. This paper will end with a discussion on research and ethical concerns. Issues such as who develops and benefits from the research, who owns the data, how capacity building can be included in the project, protecting community values and traditional knowledge, participation,
and responsibility will be considered.

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