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Language Revitalization & Research Projects - Sample Documents

The following resources are provided as templates for protocol documents for projects involving linguists, anthropologists, or other academics who may wish to do research in aboriginal communities.

These templates are intended as a starting point for you to work from to develop your own protocol documents. Please feel free to download them, add the name of your community or organization, and amend the documents as needed to make them appropriate for your particular project. The First Peoples’ Cultural Council cannot guarantee the legal effect of a First Nations community or organization completing, adapting, and using the templates, and recommends that any user obtain legal advice on the use of these agreements in the particular circumstances they are considering.

Many thanks to the Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre and the Language Revitalization In Vancouver Island Salish Communities project for sharing their protocol documents for the development of these templates!

For further information on protocols for language projects, check out the Australian Guide to Community Protocols for Indigenous Language Projects.

An Indigenous researcher's perspective is provided by Linda Tuhiwai Smith of the International Research Institute for Maori and Indigenous Education, in her book :

Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples
ISBN: 1-85649-623-6

Research Evaluation Checklist
A suggested checklist of questions for evaluating research proposals that will involve researchers interviewing or working with elders and community members. You may want to consider these and other questions before you decide to approve a researcher’s proposed project.

Guidelines for Researchers
A suggested set of guidelines to make sure that the relationship between visiting researchers and host aboriginal communities is fair, open, and clearly documented. If you adopt these guidelines, or a modification of them, researchers should be made aware of them as soon as they approach you about a potential research project.

Sample Contract
between an aboriginal community or organization and a researcher or institution.

Sample Memorandum of Understanding
between an aboriginal community or organization and a researcher or institution.

These types of agreements are intended to make sure that information collected by visiting researchers is shared with your community and used for the benefit of the community, and not taken away and left inaccessible in a library or archive. (The information gathered by researchers might include field notes, audio and/or video recordings, research papers and publications produced from the research, or other documents.) These kinds of agreements may also include a formal statement that certain aspects of your language, culture, or teachings are sacred and not to be documented or witnessed by people from outside the community.

Participant Consent Forms
These can be adapted for use as consent forms for elders and community members who will be sharing their knowledge for a research project. Consent forms are a way of formally documenting that the people taking part in a research project understand what the project is about and what they will be asked to do, and give permission for their knowledge to be used for the project.

The general version of the Participant Consent Form is a basic template for developing this kind of form. A more specific form template for Language Revitalization projects is also provided. This version could be used when elders or fluent speakers are going to be interviewed, recorded, or videotaped by a researcher for a language revitalization project.



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