18 Missing the mark

Even with TCPS2 ethics approval, research is not guaranteed to be done in a good way.


Anishnabekwe scholar Autumn Varley reflect on this tension in Learning to Unlearn: Building relationships in Anishinaabeg Territory “although I asked approved questions and used sanctioned methods, I managed to hinder trust and negatively impact relationship” (Srigley, K. & Varley, A., 2018, p. 53).

Autumn Varley is reflecting on Opaskwayak Cree scholar Shawn Wilson’s work, when he notes “concepts or ideas are not as important as the relationships that went into forming them” (Wilson, 2008, p. 74). While Autumn Varley was keen to follow the best practices, as identified by the Government of Canada, as an Indigenous scholar Varley notes that she missed the mark. As a researcher it is important to be sensitive and cognizant of the community you are working with and how they respond to your research. When rifts occur, researchers can alter their course to repair relationships. Relationships do not form simply by checking boxes on a list, so it is important to be responsive.



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