Research Proposal Checklist

Aug 15th, 1996 | By | Category: 8-2: Cultural Property Rights, Features, Research

The following checklist was developed by the Association of Aboriginal Post-Secondary Institutes in British Columbia, Canada. The checklist has been requested by many First Nations bands since its publication in February 1996. (In Canada, the term “reserve” is used instead of “reservation” and “band” or “First Nations” instead of “tribe.”)

As self-governing Indian nations, the band council and cultural research committee has the right to make rules and laws to protect the integrity of their culture, language, and people. A research proposal consent form, allowing the research to be conducted within the boundaries of the reserve, could contain the following information:

  1. Researcher’s full name, address (work and personal), phone, fax number and e-mall address.  Education qualifications and where earned, i.e., BA, MA, or Ph.D. i.e., University of British Columbia.
  2. Familiarity and understanding of Native peoples issues and with the specific Native band/group involved.
  3. Personal and professional references.
  4. It should have a clear statement or explanation of the purpose(s) of the research, such as a) expected duration, start and end date (be as specific as possible); b) extent of the band or individual participation; and c) description of the procedures that will be followed.
  5. Description of any benefits to the band. You should ask the researcher: How is it advantageous to the band to allow you to conduct this research on the reserve? This area must be as specific as possible.
  6. A description of the extent of confidentiality of the information and the specific purposes of the use.
  7. What materials will be generated from this research, i.e., book, article, monograph.
  8. If appropriate, the band should be given co-ownership of the data and information generated from this endeavor.
  9. The researcher must be willing to provide the ownership of the copyright to the band, if appropriate.
  10. Who is sponsoring the research? (i.e., a college, university, public or private institution to contact for more specific answers)
  11. Are you being funded to conduct this research, the amount, and will any of this be allocated to the band?
  12. Who are you going to be interviewing, the records you will be using, and the topics you will research.
  13. If interviewing persons such as elders or cultural and spiritual people, the researcher should get their written permission and the band’s written permission to proceed.
  14. There has to be an option for the band or the individual to decline participation if they desire.
  15. Who will receive royalties from the publication of this material?
  16. What are the specific uses of this research? How? Where? When? and by Whom?
  17. Other information that is specific to your band.

Excerpted from “Copyright Law and Traditional Indigenous Knowledge of First Nations Peoples: A Resource and Information Guide” by Lyle W. Frank (Blackfeet/Cree). This publication also reviews a number of historic and contemporary Native American concerns with research data and reviews current Canadian legal definitions and standards for copyright. It was developed with financial assistance from Native Programs, Legal Services Society of British Columbia.

Copies of the entire 18-page document can be obtained for $10 in U.S. funds (including shipping and handling). Contact the Association of Aboriginal Post-Secondary Institutes, Education Resource Centre, 2nd Floor, 2280-B Louie Drive, Westbank, BC V4T 1Y2, CANADA. Call (604) 768-5488. Fax (604) 768-5496. E-mail:

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