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Technical Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Research of the Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics (PRE-TACAR)
2006 - 2008

 (Summer 2006)

Bannister, Kelly
Director, POLIS project on Ecological Governance, Law and Environmental Studies, University of Victoria
(British Columbia)

Member of the CIHR Aboriginal Ethics Working Group, Dr Bannister is Director of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, Law and Environmental Studies and an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria (BC). She is interested in the interface between research ethics and intellectual property issues as it relates to research involving Aboriginal cultural knowledge and heritage. As an interdisciplinary researcher, she has been involved in the SSHRC dialogue and is currently also involved in an international policy initiative on Access and Benefit Sharing. She is a member of the International Society of Ethnobiology, amongst others.

Brant Castellano, Marlene, Professor Emeritus, Trent University
Chair of PRE-TACAR


A Mohawk of the Bay of Quinte Band, Marlene Brant Castellano held a faculty appointment in Trent 's Native Studies Department from 1973 to 1996, providing leadership in the development of the Department and in the emerging discipline of Native Studies. From 1992 to1996 she served as Co-Director of Research with the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), responsible for an integrated research plan, directing social-cultural, historical and community-based research. She contributed to major portions of the final report under the direction of Commissioners, and facilitated the drafting of RCAP's Ethical Guidelines for Research, a widely-used reference for ethical research in Aboriginal contexts. Her teaching, research and publications are deliberately bicultural, promoting discourse between the worlds of Aboriginal knowledge and experience and the language and protocols of academics and policy makers. More recently her writing has focused on respectful treatment of Aboriginal knowledge in research, including her paper in inaugural issue of the Journal of Aboriginal Health (published NAHO), on "Ethics of Aboriginal Research" (2004). Professor Castellano has served on various boards and has received various honours including the Order of Canada.

Desbiens, Caroline
Assistant Professor, Canada Chair, Historical Geography of the North; Department of Geography, Université Laval

A bilingual Canada Research Chair in Historical Geography of the North, Dr Desbiens often works with northern Aboriginal communities. Her research interests are the impact of colonial history on cooperation between Aboriginal communities and university researchers, studying the processes of Aboriginal humanization of the Canadian North and the social and environmental issues surrounding changes in the region and its resources, and the need to establish clear parameters for both researchers and communities involved in research. A former Women’s Studies professor (University of Georgia, U.S.A.), she is acquainted with feminist approaches to research ethics and gender dynamics. She is a recipient of federal (SSHRC & CFI) and provincial grants (FQRSC).

Elias, Brenda
Assoc. Director, Manitoba First Nations Center for Aboriginal Health Research, University of Manitoba

Dr Elias is the Associate Director (Research) and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. Her current and past experience in ethics includes collaboration on ethical and policy guidelines with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Health Information Research Committee, the Manitoba Métis Federation, and the University REB seeking to negotiate respect for indigenous methodologies and ways of knowing. Her experience also includes large scale health databases as well as urban Aboriginal populations. She is the recipient of major grant awards.

Ermine, Willie
Ethicist/Researcher, Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre, First Nations University of Canada

Member of the Sturgeon Lake First Nation, Assistant Professor Willie Ermine (Education) brings extensive university and community experience and knowledge to the understanding of the intersection where Indigenous and Western peoples meet. Willie Ermine has developed the concept of “ethical space” of cross-cultural research practice, hence his writing and articulation of an ethical perspective in cross-cultural research. He is a member of the Saskatchewan ACADRE and led a team that prepared a literature review and bibliography for the PRE initiative on The Ethics of Research Involving Indigenous Peoples (2004).

Grey, Minnie
Chief Negotiator for Nunavik Self-Government, Makivik Corporation

Raised in Nunavik (Northern Arctic Québec), Ms Grey is an Inuk whose extensive community values and experience have enhanced culturally relevant research ethics, allowing Inuit to actively participate in research. Recently, she has been involved in the evaluation of the CIHR Draft Guidelines, is familiar with the ethics review structure and process at the local level through the land claims corporations and contributes currently to the Canadian Council on Learning.

Jovel, Eduardo
Director of the UBC Institute for Aboriginal Health, University of British-Columbia
(British Columbia)

As a scientist and an Aboriginal person (Latin America), Dr Jovel’s interests lie in building multidisciplinary and scientifically rigorous processes inclusive of research ethics policies. Trained in forestry sciences and biochemistry, he seeks to facilitate, nationally and internationally, the development of Aboriginal community protocols, Aboriginal capacity building and increased awareness within universities and the research community of culturally relevant, open and transparent research. Dr Jovel is an UBC ACADRE PI and has been involved at the provincial level in ethics initiatives.

Maaka, Roger
Professor & Head of the Native Studies Department, University of Saskatchewan

A Maori, former Head of the Maori Studies department at the University of Canterbury (NZ), and a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, Professor Maaka is actively involved in the development of ethics guidelines and research protocols at the University of Saskatchewan. His research interests focus on urban Aboriginal people, Maori and Indigenous development, theoretical issues encompassing the construction of contemporary Indigenous identities and Indigeneity as a global social movement. He is deeply involved in the Canadian research community, e.g. SSHRC Relevance Committee, development of an Aboriginal and Indigenous Graduate Studies and Research Institute or Chair of the CINSA 2007 Conference.

Palys, Ted
Criminology, Simon Fraser University (BC) & Member of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Ethics Working Committee, Ex Officio

He has taught research methods and ethics for more than twenty years, and conducted research involving a broad array of qualitative and quantitative methods. His primary research and writing interests include research methods and the sociology of science, with particular expertise in the law and ethics of research confidentiality. His book concerning social science research methods and the sociology of science, Research Decisions: Qualitative and Quantitative Perspectives, is used as a text in universities and colleges across the country, the fourth edition of which is now in preparation and will be available in 2007.

Valaskakis, Gail
Director of Research, Aboriginal Health Foundation

Professor emeritus Valaskakis was an Aboriginal academic, a former Dean of Arts and Sciences and the director of a nation-wide program of research for the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. In addition to her extensive research administration experience, she was an outstanding scholar interested in the social and cultural change of Aboriginal peoples, as well as an active member in the Aboriginal and cultural communities. She served on CIHR-IAPH Institute Advisory Board and chaired the adjudication committee for SSHRC's Aboriginal Research program. Professor Valaskakis passed away in summer 2007.