A lasting commitment

At Carleton event, SSHRC outlines new initiatives supporting Aboriginal research

On May 27, 2015, as part of Carleton University’s C2UExpo 2015, SSHRC launched new initiatives to support and promote Aboriginal research and talent development.

At a session during the three-day expo, representatives outlined how SSHRC’s commitment to Aboriginal research is reflected in the launch of three documents: its Aboriginal research statement of principles, guidelines for the merit review of Aboriginal research, and revised Aboriginal research definition.

Collectively, these initiatives ensure that Aboriginal perspectives, knowledge, methodologies and approaches are integrated across SSHRC’s Talent, Insight and Connection programs, funding opportunities and research-related activities. They also serve to recognize that Aboriginal research—which includes a wide range of unique theoretical and methodological approaches—supports SSHRC’s commitment to scholarly excellence.

As part of the launch at C2UExpo 2015, SSHRC also held an interactive discussion at the Ojigkwanong Centre for Aboriginal Culture and Education. The Carleton event also served as an occasion for SSHRC to acknowledge and thank its Aboriginal Advisory Circle, whose collaboration, advice and wisdom have been essential throughout the development of these initiatives.

Opening remarks were made by SSHRC President Ted Hewitt and Carleton University Director of Equity Services Karen Green. Opening and closing prayers were offered by Elder and Sacred Fire Keeper of the Kitigan Zibi of the Anishinabeg First Nation, Peter Decontie, as well as by Elder Josee Whiteduck. Closing remarks were by Craig McNaughton, special advisor to SSHRC’s vice-president, Research Programs. Éric Bastien, deputy director, Research Grants and Partnerships Division, was emcee for the event.

The panel was moderated by Katherine Graham, professor emerita at Carleton University, and chair of SSHRC’s Aboriginal Advisory Circle. Participants included newly appointed SSHRC Executive Vice-President Brent Herbert-Copley; Gail Zboch, senior program officer, Research Grants and Partnerships Division; and Aboriginal Advisory Circle members Marlene Brant Castellano, professor emerita, Trent University; David Newhouse, associate professor and business administration chair, Indigenous Studies, Trent University; and Cecil Chabot, lecturer, Crandall University.

Held every two years, C2UExpo is a Canadian-led international conference designed to showcase best practices in community-campus partnerships worldwide; create a space for collaboration around key issues; and foster ideas, connections and frameworks, with the purpose of strengthening communities. This year’s event, hosted at Carleton University, featured over 200 presenters.