Our Research Programs
Dechinta’s research program is committed to Indigenous knowledge creation and dissemination on topics and issues pertinent to the North. We are working towards the creation of an employment and research training ecosystem that is central to the development of a northern research economy, with work that contributes to critical topics such as climate change and Indigenous Knowledge, Indigenous law and governance, Indigenous cultural resurgence and arts, and Indigenous language revitalization and preservation.
Our research is led by Indigenous place-based pedagogies and intellectual practices
Our research centers non-traditional forms of knowledge and knowledge dissemination
Our research is created by, and accountable to Northern communities
Dechinta carries out research in a variety of ways. Below are the main components of our current research programming
Our Research Praxis
Dechinta is a sought-after partner in research innovation and collaboration. We have been approached by leaders in Education, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences to design and delivery training programming in the areas of governance and research design.
Dechinta hosts outreach events and workshops that aim to disseminate research findings and knowledge that directly benefits Indigenous communities. In turn, many of these events are a form of community engaged research.
We hold our own Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Grants. As of Fall 2018, we successfully applied for and received four SSHRC research grants. Find out more about these research projects below.
Community Research Partnerships
Community Research Projects
Community members are the backbone of these projects, bringing unique perspectives and practices to the table that further critical conversations in the field of land-based research. We take a wholistic approach to knowledge creation, and outputs from these research endeavours do not always take the form of traditional academic research papers.
One of the hallmarks of university programming is research informed teaching. Our core academic faculty are recognized as leading researchers in their respective fields. Guest instructors are invited from leading research institutions across Canada with innovative research programs of their own. Our faculty and staff have published our research findings in peer reviewed journals and presented our results at international academic conferences and annual meetings.
There is a growing recognition of the importance of land-based research and post-secondary programming amidst the ongoing political, social and cultural context of decolonization and reconciliation. Despite this, significant challenges have emerged in re-centering Indigenous voices and ways of knowing in Indigenous-led research and education programs. Dechinta aims to support best practices in conducting Indigenous research, generating knowledge from and with the land and in close relationship to the communities it aims to serve.
Mission & Values
Part of our research program at Dechinta also involves advocacy work. Led by community input, Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning also connects community governments in a non-partisan collaboration. We have the ability to leverage resources across a range of partners, including Foundations, Federal Governments and academic partners.
We are an active leader in education policy, shaping legislative change with our territorial government, and advocating for evidence-based education investments and policy around post-secondary education at the territorial and national level. We are positioned to become central to an ecosystem of training and research programming, including Guardians Trainging programming, Indigenous Protected Area Strategies, and Innovations in Indigenous Law and Governance.
Research that is informed by place-based commitments and an ethical relationship to communities has a central role in our ongoing research creation. Centering non-traditional forms of knowledge dissemination and research praxis is an important part of reframing what Indigenous-centred research can be. We understand that it is important to make space for research projects that require a slow collaboration building, and where research outputs do not always take the form of peer reviewed publications but the long-term creation of ethical and reciprocal relationships between communities. We believe that community members are the experts of their own lives and knowledge and must be in control of setting the research agenda for Dechinta.
Dechinta believes it is our responsibility to continue to develop research and educational programming that responds to the needs and aspirations of Indigenous communities in the North. We support the accessibility of research practices to non-academics and community members, and support research projects that contribute to long-term capacity building and sustainable change in Northern communities. We draw from Indigenous paradigms and ways of knowing/being in order to carry out this work, prioritizing the specific methodologies of communities in the North.
We also follow the requirements of the Tri-Council Policies on Ethical Research and Ownership, Control, Access and Possession guide to First Nations Governance of Information.