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Article: Ethics of Aboriginal Research

Brant Castellano, M. (2004). Ethics of Aboriginal research. Journal of Aboriginal Health: Victoria1(1), 98-114


This paper proposes a set of principles to assist in developing ethical codes for the conduct ofresearch within the Aboriginal community or with external partners. It places the discussion ofresearch ethics in the context of cultural world view and the struggle for self-determination aspeoples and nations. It affirms that Aboriginal Peoples have a right to participate as principals orpartners in research that generates knowledge affecting their culture, identity and well-being. Toprovide context and rationale for the principles presented, the paper outlines features of thecurrent public dialogue on research ethics, how ethics are framed in Aboriginal cultures, and howAboriginal perceptions of reality and right behaviour clash with norms prevailing in westernresearch. Current initiatives of Aboriginal communities and nations, research granting councils andinstitutions to establish ethical guidelines for Aboriginal research are highlighted as evidence thatthe development of workable ethical regimes is already well begun


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