Back to Search Results

Ethical considerations for community-based participatory research with Sami communities in North Finland

Heidi Eriksen, Arja Rautio, Rhonda Johnson, Catherine Koepke, Elizabeth Rink

2021 Finland

This study examines the perspectives of Sami community members and university researchers regarding the ethical considerations for engagement in Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) with Sami communities in northern Finland. Key informant interviews were conducted with Sami people from Finland who were exposed to or participated in research in their communities as well as with researchers who have conducted research with the Sami in Finland across diverse topics. Five themes were identified: establishing trust, research preparation, research comprehension, research ethics, and inclusion in research. The differences in participant perspectives were compared based on their community versus researcher roles. Our findings emphasize the need for (1) strategies to develop and maintain trust between Sami communities and researchers; (2) methods to bridge concepts of bias projected onto Sami communities and researchers by the others’ differing world views and beliefs about research; and (3) increased education in community-engaged methods for social and natural scientists working with Sami communities. This study supports the need for the development of formalized ethical protocols for conducting community-based engaged research with and for Sami people in Finland that ensure mutually beneficial research for all involved.

Arctic; Community-based participatory research (CBPR); Indigenous communities; Research ethics; Sami.