Research Overview

The OFIFC has been practicing community-driven research for most of its history. In 2012, we developed the USAI Research Framework to guide all Aboriginal research projects conducted by the OFIFC.  In a community-driven research model (as opposed to a community-based or placed models), communities have full control over research priorities, research processes, resources, methodologies, decision-making, and any actions coming out of research.  The USAI Research Framework emphasizes four principles: UTILITY, SELF-VOICING, ACCESS, and INTER-RELATIONALITY, and welcomes principled partnerships, ethical cooperation, and meaningful collaboration, providing guidelines to protect the integrity of Indigenous knowledge from the community perspective.  We engage in research projects that recognize the principles behind the framework and agree to follow our research criteria and protocols.
 

 
History of Research at the OFIFC
 
The OFIFC has been practicing community-driven research for most of its history. In 2012, we developed the USAI Research Framework to guide all Indigenous research projects conducted by the OFIFC.
 
The OFIFC recognized and welcomed changes in mainstream social sciences’ approaches to research with Indigenous communities, including a variety of Participatory Action Research (PAR) models. PAR models promote collaboration, recognize different types of knowledge, and understand that research must lead to action that is immediately meaningful to the communities in which research is conducted in. Based on years of experience working with urban Indigenous communities and with its core values rooted in multigenerational Indigenous knowledge, the OFIFC saw the need to go further than most PAR models: to recognize and practice communities’ inherent rights to exercise full control over any research project in which they are involved.
 
In a community-driven research model (as opposed to a community-based or placed models), communities have full control over research priorities, research processes, resources, methodologies, decision-making, and any actions coming out of research. The USAI Research Framework emphasizes four principles: UTILITY, SELF-VOICING, ACCESS, and INTER-RELATIONALITY, and welcomes principled partnerships, ethical cooperation, and meaningful collaboration, providing guidelines to protect the integrity of Indigenous knowledge. We collaborate with allies who recognize the principles behind the framework and agree to follow our research protocols.
 
The OFIFC’s Research operates with policies and procedures, grounded in Indigenous praxis and respectful of relevant academic practices, in the areas of collaboration, data collection management, as well as intellectual property and authorship. The OFIFC’s Research Department is guided by Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers who oversee all aspects of our work.
 
Since 2012, OFIFC has published a USAI Training Manual, numerous publications, and implemented the USAI Research Series. The USAI Series is a seasonal publication that demonstrates how the principles of USAI can be operationalized in research.
 

 
Research Priorities
 
The OFIFC’s research priorities are aligned with the OFIFC’s Long-Range Strategic Plan. 
 
  1. Based on these priorities, the OFIFC designs and conducts studies that address the following:
  2. Indigenous community-driven research
  3. Indigenous community-driven evaluation approaches
  4. Indigenous understanding of prosperity and responses to local poverty reduction
  5. Cultural determinants of health
  6. Wise Practices from culture-based programming
  7. Wholistic cultural approaches to child support
  8. Trauma-informed institutions and practices
  9. Cultural approaches to service delivery
  10. Indigenous approaches to leadership
  11. Police responses to sexual violence
  12. Indigenous approaches to Institutional Ethnography
  13. Ending violence against Indigenous women and girls
  14. Indigenous understandings of gender and masculinities