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The Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres joins as a new CBRCanada member

The OFIFC recognizes that research approaches rooted in Indigenous Knowledge help to lead researchers and communities to a place where they will have enhanced their capability to collectively identify a research process that has real and immediate impacts. This approach involves recognizing the importance of maintaining and creating positive relationships. If good relationships do not exist or are not cultivated, it is easy for the research process to take on a ‘clinical’ feel which results in participants feeling isolated or disengaged. In the OFIFC’s research with Friendship Centres specifically, this means that research methodologies are flexible so that they can support communities in self-determining strengths-based concepts grounded in their own realities.

Mainstream funders often determine their research priority areas for Indigenous people by statistics that focus primarily on health and social disparities. Friendship Centres recognize the strengths in cultural approaches and intentionally created space to include culture-based understandings that guide existing programs and services. Conceptual shapeshifting involves contextualizing the conversation from one that is deficit based to strengths based (centralizing community culture-based knowledge). In such contexts, community members guide the re-search process from start to finish.

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