Guiding Values and Principles

Through guiding BC NEIHR structures, relationships and processes in the following values and principles, we hope to address systemic oppression and celebrate Indigenous values, knowledge systems, and research approaches.

Self-Determination in Research: The principle of self-determination in research is foundational to the BC NEIHR. Self-determination in research fosters the right of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples to set their own research priorities as well as facilitating and promoting equitable access to funding and support for ICCOs (Indigenous communities, collectives, and organizations), Indigenous students and researchers. It also strengthens accountability and respect for Indigenous ethics and protocols in research, which promotes the benefits and impacts of research.

Indigenous Knowledge: The BC NEIHR entrenches culturally appropriate Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing in all network endeavours. This principle is also enacted through our structure, with Elders and Knowledge Holders guiding the Governing Council, and with traditional teachings that ground us in core values.

Wholistic Population Health and Wellness: We promote wholistic frameworks, which provide a foundation for understanding how the wellness of Indigenous individuals, communities and nations is shaped by dynamic interactions at the interpersonal, organizational, cultural, spiritual, community, and socio-political levels. As well, we foster a wellness-focused approach, engaging ICCOs and other in the development of wellness-based research resources.

Indigenous and/or Decolonizing (ID) Methodologies: Indigenous and decolonizing (ID) research approaches both emphasize Indigenous knowledge systems and construct research plans that are responsive to Indigenous contexts. The BC NEIHR models and promotes the use of ID methodologies, which are grounded in local contexts, enhance Indigenous research leadership, and generate findings that benefit Indigenous peoples.

Ethics in Indigenous Research: We ensure that all Network members have access to training and resources, which help to ensure that research involving Indigenous peoples in BC is ethical by both Indigenous and western standards. Through the work of the Governing Council and our capacity bridging initiatives, we support the creation of a BC Indigenous Community Research Ethics Board/Committee. As well, through our institutional and government partnerships, we encourage REBs to engage local Indigenous peoples in the review of applications.

Implementation Research: Within the BC NEIHR, we promote the benefits of learning from one another about wise practices in Indigenous health promotion by encouraging, but not requiring, ICCOs to consider implementation research projects and funding Indigenous researchers to pilot test such promising practices in Indigenous health.

Intersectionality: We encourage research relationships inspired by unique perspectives, gendered experiences and distinct cultural knowledge. Particular consideration and examination of sex and/or gender influences are included in all network initiatives, informed and supported by our Sex and Gender Champion, Dr. Billie Allan.

Equity, Transparency and Cultural Safety: The principles of equity, transparency and cultural safety are paramount to the work of the BC NEIHR, to ensure the investments in Indigenous health leadership and capacity bridging are accountably managed, that resources are equitably distributed, and that decision-making processes are transparent.