Indigenous Research at Memorial

Memorial is committed to strengthening Indigenous research, including establishing methods to ensure appropriate consultation and engagement with Indigenous communities and government leaders prior to and during the initial stages of research on both community-identified and outside researcher-led initiatives.

Indigenous research, whether research on Indigenous peoples and Lands done by settler researchers or by Indigenous researchers, is a focal point for expression, concern, attention and most importantly, action, for truth and reconciliation.

Memorial recognizes the critical role of educators, researchers, and university administrators in the work of truth, reconciliation and a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples, including with our own Indigenous faculty, staff and students. We recognize that research processes and results bear significantly on the lives of Indigenous students, families, communities and governments.

The resources on this webpage focus on research with, by, for, and on Indigenous peoples that emphasizes engagement based on understanding and respect. At the same time, we work to move beyond individual respect and understanding towards structural, ideological, institutional, and methodological change. We follow Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami’s National Inuit Strategy on Research, University Canada’s Twelve Principles for Indigenous Education (of which Memorial is a signatory), the Ethical Principles for the Conduct of Research in the North, Memorial’s own Office of Aboriginal Affairs’ in-progress Indigenization Strategy and other Indigenous-led directives to guide us through these changes.

Please note: the above FAQs are living documents and will be updated.


Open consultation sessions on new Indigenous research consent requirement
Members of the university community are invited to attend open consultation  sessions focused on Memorial’s new Indigenous research consent process, hosted by Dr. Max Liboiron, associate vice-president (Indigenous Research) pro tempore.

The sessions will take place on:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 12; 9-10:30 a.m. 
    Location: Room A-1043, Arts and Administration Building, St. John’s Campus
  • Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2:30-4 p.m.
    Location: Room AS-2016, Arts and Science Building, Grenfell Campus
  • Thursday, Jan. 17, 1-2:30 p.m.
    Location: Room EN-4002, S.J. Carew (Engineering) Building, St. John’s Campus
  • Wednesday, Jan. 23, 3-4:30 p.m.
    Location: Aboriginal Resource Centre, Room 121, College of the North Atlantic, Happy Valley-Goose Bay
  • Monday, Feb. 4, 12-1:30 p.m.
    Location: Hampton Hall, Marine Institute
  • Thursday, Feb. 7, 1-2:30 p.m.
    Location: The Landing, Room UC-3018, University Centre, St. John’s Campus

As announced on Dec. 3, Memorial will be updating research application and awards processes across the university starting July 1, 2019. This update will entail ensuring that researchers have consent from Indigenous governing bodies and/or Indigenous ethics approval for research done on Indigenous land and/or on Indigenous peoples, languages, and cultures.

As this will impact many researchers, the Office of the Vice-President (Research) will be hosting open question and answer periods to help researchers and research administrators with any questions or concerns they have. Additionally there is an FAQ resource to supplement the in-person sessions.

Indigenous research already necessitates consent, as outlined in Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (Article 9.2), United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Articles 11.2, 31.1, 31.2), as well as at the request of many Indigenous groups that Memorial University partners with regularly. The only change is that Memorial will now require documentation of that consent.



230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000