The history of conducting western scientific research on Aboriginal communities has destroyed relationships between Aboriginal communities and non-Aboriginal academics. Using personal research experience involving searches for unmarked graves at the Brandon Indian Residential School as a case example, this presentation explores the complicated and largely unspoken process of how to begin the conversations that create the opportunities to do meaningful research with a community. From this relational starting point, this presentation details the importance of ongoing consultation and collaborative research design grounded in the community’s interests, needs, objectives and concerns. In this way, we can begin the process of creating a strong relationship with an Aboriginal community, capable of fostering respectful research and building alliances.SPEAKER BIOKatherine Nichols is an anthropologist who obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandon University and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba. Katherine is currently a doctoral student at Simon Fraser University. Her research interests include forensic search methods, oral histories, and archival research.
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