Indigenous researchers need purposefully designed research ethics processes: Opinion


In a recent Nature article, University of British Columbia Assistant Professor and Nlaka’pamux woman of mixed ancestry Jennifer Grenz discusses how ethics boards fail Indigenous researchers and communities. Grenz writes that even though some ethics boards have tried to decolonize, many of the processes and assessment criteria used are primarily created for non-Indigenous researchers. Imposing these processes, she explains, can alienate Indigenous researchers from their People. The author calls for institutional research-ethics review processes that are designed specifically for Indigenous researchers conducting research alongside Indigenous communities and argues that Indigenous academics should be able to answer solely to their communities. “[O]ur accountability is greater,” writes Grenz. “Breaking trust is the worst thing that could happen.”