Call to Action # 65: Actions and Commitments

University Actions Towards Research Practices

June 26, 2020

Dalhousie University

The Wabanaki-Labrador Indigenous Health Research Network (WLN) will be hosted at Dalhousie University in partnership with Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik, Inuit and Innu communities and organizations and with academic institutions stretching across all four Atlantic provinces. WLN will receive $3.5M in operational funding for 5 years with possibility of renewal for a further 10 years.

June 30, 2022

Lakehead University opens Anishinaabe Kendaasiwin Institute

Launch of the Anishinaabe Kendaasiwin Institute. “Anishnaabe knowledge systems” – is central to the mandate of AKI, which seeks to support mino-bimaadiziwin among Anishinaabe peoples, nations and territories through research that is situated in Anishinaabe Kendaasiwin and good relationships.

The Institute seeks to privilege Anishinaabe ways of knowing and being in research, to advance research excellence defined by Anishinaabe peoples and principles, to expand and support Indigenous governed and driven research and to support community building and mobilization between Indigenous peoples

December 7, 2021

McGill University

The McGill Tribune – Gerald Rimer, BCom ’56, and his three sons, Daniel, David, and Neil Rimer, made a $13-million donation to the university that will go toward renovating the Leacock building and creating a new Institute for Indigenous Research and Knowledge (IIRK). In 2017, the Provost’s Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education released a report that contained 52 calls to action for improving McGill’s Indigenization and decolonization efforts—one of which included the creation of an institute for Indigenous studies and community engagement. T The Institute will have three main focusses: Language, Land and governance.
The IIRK will include an Indigenous language lab, an on-site knowledge centre, and a physical location that will serve as the centre for the Indigenous Studies Program.

July 28, 2020

Memorial University

The university’s Board of Regents recently approved Memorial’s “Research Impacting Indigenous Groups” policy – the first of its kind known in Canadian universities. The policy is designed to ensure Memorial University researchers are accountable to the existing research, priorities and ethics processes of Indigenous groups. It requires researchers to engage with Indigenous groups at the very start of research to put them on a good path as projects develop. It meets and exceeds the Tri-Council Policy Statement on the Ethical Conduct for Research, Chapter 9, Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada.

June 16, 2022

Assoc. Of Atlantic Universities

MOU renews commitment to economic development opportunities and prosperity for Indigenous people in Atlantic Canada.

The signing of an MOU between the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat(APCFNC) and Atlantic Canada’s post secondary institutions signals a renewed commitment to economic development opportunities and prosperity for Indigenous people in Atlantic Canada.

The MOU was signed at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia with members of the academic
community, APCFNC, the Atlantic Indigenous Economic Development Integrated Research Program
(AIEDIRP), and representatives from the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU).

“Our Chiefs are pleased to be here once again to renew a commitment from post secondary institutions to
improve the lives of Atlantic Indigenous people,” says Chief Bob Gloade, co-chair, APCFNC and Chief of
Millbrook First Nations. “We are especially pleased that colleges have now expressed interested in participating in this opportunity. We look forward to working towards strong relationships with all colleges in Atlantic Canada on research initiatives moving into the future.” “The renewal of the MOU continues a very long working relation between our organizations and the Atlantic universities and now the Nova Scotia Community College. Our continuing efforts are to build strong relations and greater opportunities for our Indigenous researchers.” noted Chief Shelley Sabattis Co-Chair APCFNC.

In addition to 15 Atlantic Canadian Universities, Nova Scotia Community College will be signing the MOU for
the first time.

“The Renewal of the AIEDIRP Memorandum of Understanding marks the continuation of an important research partnership between the region’s universities and First Nations and Inuit communities and their economic development organizations,” says Dr. Rob Summerby-Murray, President and Vice-Chancellor, Saint Mary’s University and a member of the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU) Executive Committee. “The MOU is also a model for ongoing communication and collaboration with Indigenous communities and it signifies the great opportunity for reconciliation and a renewed relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in our region.”

In addition to the MOU, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) has
announced that APCFNC has been granted institutional eligibility access to all programs open to Indigenous
not-for-profit organizations.

“We know education is a powerful tool in combatting inequities and lifting individuals and communities,” says John Paul, Executive Director of APC. “This renewal, paired with access to SSHRC programs will allow critical research to continue which informs and improve services and programs for Indigenous people.”
This is the third memorandum of understanding signed between the AAU and APCFNC. The landmark MOU
was first signed in 2011 and renewed in 2016.

October 4, 2021

The Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue and the Université du Québec en Outaouais

The Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC), the Université du Québec en Outaouais in collaboration with DIALOG Network – announce the publication of the 3rd edition of the Toolbox of Research… this reference tool intended for First Nations and Inuit, the academic world and the various practice milieus, by adding two new content sections to the Toolbox.
The Toolbox, the first edition of which was launched in 2014 and the second in 2018, was designed to meet the evolving needs of the various stakeholders concerned with ethical issues in indigenous contexts… Various themes are addressed in these new reference articles, including:

  • ethics in archaeology
  • information governance
  • evaluation of ethics in research with Indigenous peoples
  • research as a community leverage or social participation of the Elders.

October 28, 2020

Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT)

The Canada Research Chairs Secretariat has awarded $500,000 to UQAT to fund the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Women’s Issues, which is held by Suzy Basile, a professor at UQAT’s School of Indigenous Studies. The Research Chair aims to highlight, document and map the experiences of Indigenous women from various parts of the world in governance, relations to the land, and research and knowledge on the environment. 

The Chair’s research program will focus on the decolonization efforts necessary for the full and complete participation of Indigenous women in land governance, the strengthening of their capacities through the study of their relationship to the environment and the advancement of their society.

In addition to the funding provided by the Government of Canada, the Chair benefits from significant support from the UQAT Foundation through a five-year financial contribution of $100,000 entirely dedicated to scholarship.

May 31, 2021

University of Alberta: Rupertsland Centre for Métis Research

Métis Nation of Alberta and the University of Alberta renew a long-standing partnership to provide quality education, training and research to the Métis people of Alberta. The Memorandum of Understanding honours the ongoing relationship between the MNA, RLI and the U of A, while also commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Rupertsland Centre for Métis Research (RCMR), which was established May 31, 2011 at the U of A as the research arm for the RLI and the MNA, and as Canada’s first Métis-specific academic research centre.

The new agreement will advance several post-secondary goals, including:

  • continuing to conduct research specific to Métis concerns through the RCMR
  • supporting Métis students in attaining post-secondary education
  • goal of becoming a post-secondary institution offering courses and certification, to result in credit transfer agreements with the U of A
  • Increasing the number of Métis academics, fellowships and employees at all levels of the U of A through partnership agreements between the U of A and RLI, as well as Métis course development.

The agreement also enables the RCMR to continue taking on high-calibre research projects and creating events that build knowledge about Métis peoples for both Métis and non-Métis audiences. Supported in this next phase by funding from RLI and the MNA, the RCMR serves as an expansive academic research program specifically designed for Métis concerns, including historical research and Métis rights, research and analysis capacity on general policy areas such as health, labour, land use and resources, and contemporary Métis issues.

“The new MOU not only strengthens the relationship that already exists between the MNA/RLI and the University of Alberta, as well, it ensures the sustainability of the RCMR as a leading-edge research unit engaged on a research journey that deconstructs old research frameworks and supports the co-creation of knowledge with the Métis nation,” said Nathalie Kermoal, Director of the RCMR and U of A Faculty of Native Studies‘ associate dean academic. Since its inception, the RCMR has focused on forging local, provincial and national connections with Métis communities, building research capacity to advance Métis-specific research, and training and employing student researchers.

August 31, 2020

University of British Columbia

NationTalk – On August 11, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and an Indigenous Knowledge Protocol Agreement (IK Protocol) were signed by the Tŝilhqot’in Nation and the University of British Columbia. says Chief Myers Ross. A key feature of the MOU and IK Protocol is to ensure that research is undertaken with cultural safety, an approach that recognizes and addresses systemic power imbalances and fosters a culture free of racism and discrimination, thus creating a safe arena for Indigenous partners. In addition, the agreements recognize the intellectual property rights of the Tŝilhqot’in knowledge and solidify the Nation’s data ownership and control. Further, the MOU establishes a foundation for future research collaborations that incorporate Tŝilhqot’in knowledge, community needs and sustainable environmental practices and opportunities within Tŝilhqot’in Nen (lands).

  • the Indigenous Research Support Initiative (IRSI) at UBC provides professional research support and services to Indigenous communities and university researchers in order that they may undertake collaborative projects based on community-led interests, reciprocal relationships, and principles of mutual accountability and understanding.

Located in Syilx Okanagan Nation territory at UBC’s Okanagan campus, the Centre for Environmental Assessment Research (CEAR) at UBC supports research about environmental assessment (EA) processes and methods and helps integrate this information into practice. Research conducted and supported by CEAR contributes to resource development by furthering knowledge about the role that EA plays in helping to advance natural resource management practices that benefit Canadians.University of SaskatchewanUniversity of VictoriaDalhousie UniversityMemorial UniversityUniversity of CalgaryUniversity of Alberta: Rupertsland Centre for Métis ResearchUniversity of GuelphOfficial Federal Government Response: Sept, 5, 2019

October 30, 2020

University of Calgary

Indigenous Research Support Team (IRST) is an advisory entity that provides guidance on Indigenous research and scholarship as well as opportunities that support culturally responsive and collaborative research. IRST will be the first point of contact for all UCalgary researchers doing any work within the broader Indigenous landscape.

August 13, 2021

University of Guelph

Global News – A new Indigenous research lab to be situated in its arboretum is believed to be the first of its kind at a Canadian university. Nokom’s House will be a permanent, Indigenous land-based and community-engaged space with wellness and good relationships in its core, the university said. “Nokom” is abbreviated from “nokomis” — an Ojibway word that means “my grandmother.”

The university has approved a budget of $2.4 million for the project and a fundraising campaign is also underway, with over $53,000 already committed. Construction is expected to begin in 2022.

August 29, 2022

University of Northern BC to create Indigenous Research Ambassador program

Prince George, B.C. – A new set of research internships and scholarships at UNBC will equip Indigenous students with the skills to introduce respectful, culturally sensitive and collaborative community-based research tools to fellow students using Indigenous and non-Indigenous research methodologies.

The Indigenous Research Ambassador Program and the Mitacs Indigenous Research Award are being offered in association with Mitacs, a national not-for-profit research organization, which in partnership with companies, government and academia develops the next generation of innovators with vital scientific and business skills through unique research and training programs.

The Mitacs-supported initiatives will create 10 six-month internships and 12 Indigenous student awards.

“Mitacs is demonstrating valuable leadership in cultivating research capacity and fostering diversity in those who conduct that research,” said UNBC President Dr. Geoff Payne. “Partnerships on such critical areas of need are vital to advancing Truth and Reconciliation while also providing rich, experiential learning opportunities for UNBC students.”

The Indigenous Research Ambassador program will engage students in research and experiential learning opportunities, connect them with researchers and communities, facilitate leadership and mentorship opportunities and celebrate and promote research and cultural connection to the natural world. UNBC is also providing participants with laptops to assist with digital equity.

“Mitacs is pleased to be collaborating with UNBC on this important initiative that will offer experiential learning opportunities to Indigenous students while also developing more diverse, community-oriented research tools,” said John Hepburn, CEO, Mitacs. “We look forward to seeing the difference these ambassadors are sure to make.”

The ambassadors will participate in a wide range of activities, including the following:

  • Working with Indigenous researchers and knowledge holders for an introduction to research.
  • Advising fellow students about research-related opportunities at UNBC.
  • Providing advice to the Office of Research and Innovation and Office of Indigenous Initiatives on how to improve student programming, celebrate research and get students involved in research.
  • Assisting with the creation of digital content related to student and faculty research.
  • Establishing an Indigenous “science fair” during Research Week.
  • Working with external partners to build connections within the research community.

Contact Information

UNBC students wanting more information can contact Indigenous Research Ambassador Program lead Marion Erickson.

Here is the link to the Indigenous Research Ambassador Program application form.


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August 17, 2021

University of Saskatchewan

The Indigenous Strategy, ohpahotân | oohpaahotaan (“Let’s Fly Up Together”) will be gifted in a ceremony on Aug. 20 to the University of Saskatchewan (USask) on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples who informed and validated the process as a companion to the University Plan 2025. The ceremony marks a historic event for USask as it celebrates the first Indigenous Strategy that has been solely created by Indigenous people at a Canadian U15 research institution.

April 1, 2020

University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Caroline Tait, a USask medical anthropologist and member of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S), has been awarded $1.5 million from CIHR to lead the national centre that will co-ordinate health research and training with the leads of the eight other regional Indigenous health research networks. 

As well, with $3.5-million from CIHR over five years and in-kind support from the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) and MN-S, Tait will lead the Saskatchewan NEIHR network to foster health research within Indigenous communities, working in partnership with the FSIN, MN-S, the Whitecap Dakota First Nation, and a team of more than 60 researchers and community partners.

March 14, 2019

University of Saskatchewan

The Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre (IPHRC) and the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR) have developed an in-person training module for Health researchers, ”Building Research Relationships with Indigenous Communities” (BRRIC), is the first of its kind in Canada. It seeks to provide researchers with the basic tools and knowledge to build meaningful research relationships in a good way with Indigenous peoples and their communities. BRRIC also incorporates traditional Indigenous knowledge and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. It is designed to provide researchers with the necessary policies, frameworks, and Indigenous ethical standards needed to respectfully engage with Indigenous communities and patients including

  • the history of Indigenous health and research in Saskatchewan;
  • existing policies and frameworks guiding research with Indigenous communities such as OCAP™, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, Tri-Council Policy Statement Chapter 9 and
  • protocol on how to respectfully and meaningfully engage communities in research projects

October 17, 2021

University of Toronto

The Varsity – Led by Dr. Suzanne Stewart, director of Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health, the Indigenous Research Network (IRN) is a new Indigenous research initiative launched on September 29 and supported by the Division of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (VPRI). The IRN’s mission is to create a community of academically interconnected researchers in an effort to inspire Indigenous research at U of T.
The goal of the IRN is to establish a framework of participatory Indigenous research that respects and preserves the cultures, histories, and ways of knowing of Indigenous communities, and endeavours to undo the harms of colonization.
One of the IRN’s core missions is therefore “[to] help support Indigenous research sovereignty and self-determination which are important aspects of reconciliation.” The IRN joins together Indigenous researchers and scholars across all three U of T campuses. “It is designed to evolve as needs of the community change as the network is there to help contribute to help provide support, build networks and connections,” the IRN wrote.

April 20, 2020

University of Victoria

University of Victoria

The BC Network Environment for Indigenous Health Research (NEIHR), based at the University of Victoria, aims to increase and accelerate Indigenous-led research through key partnerships, programs and supports. 

Charlotte Loppie, an internationally recognized leader in Indigenous health and professor with UVic’s School of Public Health and Social Policy, was awarded $3.5 million over five years from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, which is funding nine networks across Canada. The network will support an environment where First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples can set their own research priorities, have equitable access to funding and work collaboratively with researchers, while foregrounding Indigenous knowledge systems and approaches to research.

September 8, 2022

Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship releases draft summary Reconnection Vision and Action Plan

NationTalk: The Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship is stewarded in partnership between the Council of Yukon First Nations, Assembly of Yukon First Nations – Yukon Region, Youth climate Lab, RIVER and Yukon University.

The Fellowship is co-lead by Yukon University’s Indigenous Knowledge Research Chair Jocelyn Joe-Strack and RIVER co-lead Jodi Gustafson.

The Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship has released a Draft Summary Reconnection Vision and Action Plan (RVAP) for Engagement along with a short film about the plan and an engagement survey to hear from northerners about their relationship to reconnection in their lives and communities.

The 20-month Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship is comprised of 13 Yukon First Nations youth fellows from across the territory and aims to decolonize climate policy in the North by empowering youth to lead the charge.

Since January 2021, the Fellows who see themselves as the ‘Children of Tomorrow’ have been working diligently on the RVAP. The short film about the plan, available at was made by fellow Jared Dulac and shares the philosophy, work and reconnection journeys of the Fellows.

The launch of the RVAP – Draft Summary for Engagement marks an important milestone for the Fellowship and a major accomplishment for the Children of Tomorrow. Through sharing conversations, ceremony, art, storytelling, they have deeply explored important questions about disconnection, reconnection, barriers to reconnection, climate action and the Yukon First Nation Final Agreements.

As the RVAP describes, “…the heart of climate change lies within our disconnection from Spirit, Self, Each Other and Earth. This disconnection is at the foundation of the systems we live, learn and work within. This is the root cause of climate change and what we must focus on changing and taking action upon”. The RVAP presents the philosophy of ‘Reconnection is Climate Action’ and the theory of change – where the Children of Tomorrow are developing a climate action plan rooted firmly and solely in the traditional values and teachings held sacred by Yukon First Nations. The goal of this action plan is to encourage all people in the Yukon, Canada, and beyond towards their own reconnection journey. The draft RVAP is a vision of what could be if we were all able to live whole and connected lives.

The Fellows are currently engaging with Yukon First Nation communities, governments, knowledge holders and grassroots organizations. Next steps include the launch of a Working Group of community leaders and visionaries to help the Fellows refine the RVAP and develop actions for the final plan. The final plan will be released in early 2023 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of ‘Together Today for our Children Tomorrow’ and the two-year anniversary of the Yukon First Nation Climate Action Gathering that was held in 2020.

The Draft Summary for Engagement along with an engagement questionnaire can be found on the Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship website at

Other Actions and Commitments By Theme

National Inuit Strategy on Research

Read more

CRCC Strategic Plan 2019-2022

Read more

SSHRC Objectives and Guiding Principles

Read more