AINA PhD Students Initiate Collaborative Exchange Between Inuit and U of C Ethics Board.
From 14 to 16 November 2018, four residents of Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Shelly Elverum, Ena Maktar, Alexandra Anaviapik, and Michael Milton, visited the University of Calgary to begin work on what it means to conduct ethical research in Inuit communities. They were joined by Eric Solomon, director of Arctic programs for the Vancouver Aquarium, who has been working with northern communities for several years. These five have a tremendous amount of experience working with southern researchers through their Ikaarvik Group, which aims to help youth bridge the gap between Western science and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Indigenous Knowledge). This event was organized and facilitated by Kent Spiers, a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology and Archeology, and Vinay Rajdev, a PhD student in the Department of Geography, both working through the Arctic Institute of North America.
During their three days at the University of Calgary, the participants met one-on-one with Dr. John El lard, the Chair of the Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board, as well as several other members of the board, to discuss the university's process for granting ethics permission for research in Inuit communities, the challenges to conducting research in the High Arctic, and ideas for tailoring an ethics review process to better reflect Inuit and their community values. They also held a panel discussion with several graduate students and faculty members to share their experiences working with southern researchers. They stressed their hope that researchers from all disciplines will start including community members in the research process in more meaningful and engaging ways. Planning has begun for a follow-up visit to the community of Pond Inlet in the future with the aim of developing a code of ethical conduct.
Caption: Ikaarivik meeting participants. Standing from left: Eric Solomon, Kent Spiers, Shelly Elverum and Alexandra Anaviapik. Seated from left: Ena Maktar, Michael Milton and Vinay Rajdev.