The Hub Podcast series explores ethics of research with Indigenous communities and respecting cultural values

Podcast series explores ethics of research with Indigenous communities and respecting cultural values

kikapekiskwewin is an 8-part series led by Athabasca University’s Dr. Josie Auger  

A new podcast explores why cultural values are so important to Indigenous Peoples involved in research. 

kikapekiskwewin (pronounced kickah-peek-skwee-win) is a Cree word meaning “to have a future conversation.” This 8-episode limited series resulted from a 2-day hybrid international conference held in the town of Athabasca in June 2022.  

Featured guests

Featured in the podcasts are Sharon Loonskin, Lorraine Cardinal, Makayla Lesann, Dr. Erica Neeganagwedgin, Dr. Susan Manitowabi, Dr. Tiffany Prete, Gail Leicht, Dr. Melissa Jay, and Dr. Paul Jerry  

The podcast series includes an introduction, a conversation on parallel pathways, a sharing of Indigenous ways of thinking. It also introduces a First Nations research ethics board on Manitoulin Island, shows how building relationships with research ethics boards may assist the universities. It also offers the experience through the perspective of the graduate student. Tracy Powell and David Powell provided technical support for the 2-day hybrid event and podcast.  

“The podcast will help listeners understand the natural laws surrounding the Indigenous People. It will help the research community as well as the Indigenous People, who are co-creators of research projects as well,” said project lead Dr. Josie Auger.    

“The podcast will help listeners understand the natural laws surrounding the Indigenous People.”

– Dr. Josie Auger

Indigenous culture and protocols inform research

A member of Bigstone Cree Nation, Auger is an associate professor of Indigenous Studies in AU’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. She said the podcast is a follow-up to the June 2022 conference. 

The idea for the conference stemmed from Auger’s research into the invasion of sexual boundaries of Indigenous women. She wanted to use Indigenous research methodology to guide her conversations with 11 Indigenous women but ran into barriers getting research ethics approval for her project.   

She said the experience showed a disconnect between university research ethics boards, which are rooted in settler-colonial practices and policies, and Indigenous research methodology, which considers cultural values, customs, and beliefs of specific communities involved in research.    

“We’re a part of the solution. Understanding who we are—that research is a healing process in a sense.”

– Dr. Josie Auger

Indigenous culture and protocols inform research

“We’re a part of the solution. Understanding who we are—that research is a healing process in a sense,” Auger explained. “Research is about affirming our existence in the context of our nations but also in the context of the universe and of the Earth.”  

Auger worked with AU’s Dr. Nisha Nath, Myra Tait, and Dr. Carolyn Greene to apply for Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and AU funding to host, prepare, and organize the conference. With the help of graduate student Makayla Lesann, they invited people with similar areas of interest working with Indigenous communities.   

“The podcast will serve people who are interested in self-determination and sovereignty because ethics, understanding the cultural values will help people to understand our treaty federalism.”

Including community in ethics reviews  

The Manitoulin Anishinaabek Research Review Committee was created in consultation with local First Nation leadership and community members to help communities decide if a research project is ethical.   

Auger said she would like to explore a similar idea with Indigenous Peoples in Treaty 8 where she is from, and other Indigenous nations. Such a board would help ensure cultural protocols are followed and that researchers are respectful of the culture and traditions of the people they are engaged in research with. She hopes that the conversation goes on, and that kikapekiskwewin continues. 

“The podcast will serve people who are interested in self-determination and sovereignty because ethics, understanding the cultural values will help people to understand our treaty federalism.”   

Auger said she is grateful for the allies she has found on her journey, particularly those within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the AU community who supported the project.   

Listen to episodes of kikapekiskwewin.  


Podcast featured on Real Talk with Ryan Jespersen

Listen to Auger talk about the podcast on Real Talk with Ryan Jespersen.

Published:
  • September 25, 2023
Tagged In:
indigenous learners,