Critical Analysis of Contemporary First Nations Research and Some Options for First Nations Communities

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Source: 
Brian Schnarch, First Nations Centre, National Aboriginal Health Organization
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Year: 
2004

Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession (OCAP) or Self-Determination Applied to Research: A Critical Analysis of Contemporary First Nations Research and Some Options for First Nations Communities

The principles of ownership, control, access and possession (OCAP) crystalise themes long advocated by First Nations in Canada. Coined by the Steering Committee of the First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey, the principles are discussed as an expression of self-determination in research. The key notions outlined in this paper relate to the collective ownership of group information; First Nations control over research and information; First Nations’ management of access to their data and physical possession of the data.

Following a critical review of colonial research practices and recent institutional efforts to improve ethics in Aboriginal research, this paper highlights policies and strategies adopted by First Nations organisations – approaches which offer a way out of the muddle of contemporary Aboriginal research and the ethical dilemmas that characterise it. The benefits of OCAP are described including the rebuilding of trust, improved research quality and relevance, decreased bias, meaningful capacity development, and community empowerment to make change.

The contents include:

  • Introduction: Ownership, Control, Access, Possession
  • Where Research Has Gone Wrong
  • How Research Has Tried to Right Itself
  • New Ethical Guidelines
  • Aboriginal Rights and Jurisdiction
  • Defining the Researcher
  • Capacity and Quality
  • OCAP in Practice: Resistance, Strategies, First Nations Research Policy, Data Ownership and Data Sharing
  • The Benefits of OCAP

You can download this 16 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.