Brenda Knights Narrative
If you have resistance to an idea and it’s an important issue or a high-cost item, that’s where investing in research is important. We have 11 entities, and we had an issue around cost charges. I suspected that the way these costs were being allocated wasn’t fair and they were based on people’s impressions rather than reality. So I did my own quantitative research. I had all the staff track their time in a Harvest report. I was able to go back and show that over the course of these months, here’s how people are spending their time. It was easy for people to see. And that lessened the resistance.
Another example of research where it’s incredibly important to get that scholarly perspective is when we’re dealing with rights and title claims. We have to prove our historical use of that land. Having that arms-length person who can come in and do the scholarly research, look at ethnographic accounts, maps, journals and elder interviews makes everything more credible. In that case, these are significant settlements, so that makes research absolutely necessary.