Funding and Ethics in Métis Community Based Research
The Complications of a Contemporary Context
Recent ethical guidelines developed by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research along with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans stress the importance of Aboriginal community engagement in research. Although these are positive changes meant to ensure respectful and responsive research relationships between communities and researchers, the understanding of 'community' employed by the new guidelines is problematic. In this sense, the guidelines rely on hegemonic understandings of what it is to be an Aboriginal person in Canada, as well as white spatial imaginaries of Aboriginal geographies. In this way, the guidelines codify Aboriginality and its spatiality as that of well-structured, landed, bounded and distinct rural communities. However, the contemporary Métis communities with whom the authors have worked rarely fit into hegemonic imaginaries of Aboriginality and its geographies in Canada. Rather, Métis communities are often institutionally weak, geographically dispersed and sociologically complex. Thus, we argue that the guidelines instantiate a territorialisation of society and space that risks re-marginalising Métis communities.