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Qualitative Health Research Involving Indigenous Peoples: Culturally Appropriate Data Collection Methods

Amy L. Wright, Olive Wahoush, Marilyn Ballantyne, Chelsea Gabel, Susan M. Jack

2016 Canada

Historically, health research involving Indigenous peoples has been fraught with problems, including researchers not addressing Indigenous research priorities and then subsequently often failing to utilize culturally appropriate methods. Given this historical precedence, some Indigenous populations may be reluctant to participate in research projects. In response to these concerns, the Government of Canada has developed the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS2): Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada, which stipulates the requirements for research collaborations with Indigenous communities. Utilizing this policy as an ethical standard for research practices, this paper describes, critiques and synthesizes the literature on culturally appropriate oral-data collection methods, excluding interviews and focus groups, for use with Indigenous people in Canada. Results suggest that photovoice, symbol-based reflection, circles and story-telling can be methodologically rigorous and culturally appropriate methods of collecting data with this population. Suggestions are made for researchers wishing to use these methods to promote respectful and collaborative research partnerships with Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Research Methodology, Qualitative Research, Data Collection Methods, Indigenous