Call to Action # 65: Actions and Commitments

CRCC Strategic Plan 2019-2022

December, 2019

Canada Research Coordinating Committee

Setting New Directions: Canadian Research Coordinating Committee Strategic Plan 2019-2022

In 2017, the Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC) was created to improve the coordination efforts of Canada’s granting agencies—SSHRC, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)—as well as the Canada Foundation for Innovation. As one of its five priorities, the CRCC has reaffirmed the agencies’ commitment to responding to the TRC’s calls for action and has prioritized the need for a national dialogue to co-develop, with First Nations,Métisand Inuit communities, an interdisciplinary, Indigenous research and research training model that contributes to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

The strategic plan is published by the federal research granting agencies — the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council — and fulfills a priority of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee to co-develop with Indigenous Peoples an interdisciplinary research and research training model that contributes to reconciliation.

Key Issues and Concerns

  • Decolonizing research
  • Data governance and Intellectual Property rights
  • Research ethics and protocols
  • Funding eligibility and accessibility
  • Research partnerships and community-led research
  • Supporting Indigenous students
  • Indigenous leadership and representation

Four Strategic Directions for Strengthening Indigenous Research Capacity

1. Building relationships with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples

Objective: A commitment to sustained engagement with Indigenous peoples


  • Offer funding opportunities to support relationship building between Indigenous communities, organizations, researchers and students in developing, undertaking, and reporting on research projects; and for Indigenous partners to promote learning and sharing of research and research practices.
  • Create effective tools and resources to facilitate access for Indigenous communities, collectives and organizations to connect with researchers and students involved in Indigenous research, as well as to help identify potential researchers with whom they may wish to collaborate.

Intended Outcomes

  • Researchers enabled to develop mutually respectful research relationships with Indigenous Peoples
  • Environments created to promote capacity-building and development of research communication networks with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities
  • Research partnerships created between Indigenous communities, the granting agencies, and the broader re- search community
  • Indigenous students have greater access to the work of Indigenous scientists and scholars

2. Supporting research priorities of Indigenous Peoples

Objective: A commitment to the revision and development of the federal granting agencies’ guidelines for Indigenous research


  • Revise and introduce new merit review criteria to ensure that researchers are accountable to Indigenous communities, and that First Nations, Métis and Inuit knowledge systems (including ontologies, epistemologies and methodologies) are recognized and contribute to scientific/scholarly excellence.
  • Champion and support Indigenous data management protocols to ensure community consent, access and ownership of Indigenous data and protection of Indigenous intellectual property rights.
  • Strengthen adherence to Indigenous ethics and protocols to recognize the role of Elders in guiding and mentoring Indigenous research projects, and recognize the importance of regional engagement and consent.

Intended Outcomes

  • Increased leadership of Indigenous Peoples in research
  • Recognition of Indigenous ways of knowing as an integral part of valid and authoritative research
  • Support for Indigenous-led strategies and structures that address respectful and mutually beneficial data management and intellectual property rights in Indigenous research
  • Establishment of clear guidelines for engaging respectfully with Indigenous communities, Elders and knowledge keepers
  • Increased accountability of researchers to Indigenous communities

3. Creating greater funding accessibility to granting agency programs

Objective: A commitment to greater accessibility to funding


  • Revise eligibility guidelines to ensure equitable access to re- search funding and infrastructure support for Indigenous organizations with a clear research man- date.
  • Offer funding opportunities for Indigenous students providing increased and flexible support through scholarships and fellowships, including undergraduate research skills training and mentoring opportunities.
  • Create effective tools and resources to build and strengthen understanding and user-friendliness of granting agency programs, including simplifying language, administration and application processes.

Intended Outcomes

  • First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples lead re- search projects for the benefit of their communities
  • Successful education and career pathways enable Indigenous student success
  • Specific tools in place that meet the needs of Indigenous Peoples
  • Increased awareness, understanding and leadership of Indigenous researchers, students and community in research

4. Championing Indigenous leadership, self-determination and capacity building in research

Objective: A commitment to reconciliation and the decolonization of Indigenous Research


  1. Offer funding opportunities to strengthen capacity among Indigenous communities.
  2. Promote leadership of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in guiding and determining Indigenous research and research training.
  3. Require Indigenous cultural safety training at the federal granting agencies to strengthen understand- ing and respect of Indigenous perspectives, histories and worldviews within these agencies.
  4. Establish greater Indigenous representation at the federal granting agencies to include Indigenous voices in decision-making, notably at management levels.
  5. Create an Indigenous Leadership Circle to guide the implementation of the strategic directions outlined in this document

Intended Outcomes.

  • Decolonization of Indigenous research through the development of clear structures and resources for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to build research capacity
  • Indigenous leadership in decision-making and guidance to the granting agencies on Indigenous research issues
  • Establishment of a sustainable and culturally safe space for Indigenous employees, ensuring employees have the necessary sensitivity, knowledge, and skills for more effective Indigenous relationship building
  • Successfully addressing gaps in Indigenous representation at all levels through the establishment of sustainable hiring, retention and career progression strategies

Other Actions and Commitments By Theme

University Actions Towards Research Practices

Read more

National Inuit Strategy on Research

Read more

SSHRC Objectives and Guiding Principles

Read more