Co-construction of a data collection tool: A case study with Atikamekw women.
Suzy Basile, Hugo Asselin, Thibault Martin.
Gendered knowledge, roles and responsibilities in Indigenous cultures have historically been based on reciprocity and complementarity. By excluding Indigenous women from decision-making, colonial policies have reduced the knowledge base on which decisions are made. Indigenous women’s voices have also been largely excluded from research, and researchers have played a substantial role in their marginalization. It is within this context, and in a research decolonization effort, that we present a case study of the process of co-constructing a data collection tool with Atikamekw women. While preparing a research project on Indigenous women’s roles in the governance of land and natural resources, we worked with three Atikamekw women who gave particularly high importance to the process of obtaining participant consent. We designed the consent form together, so that it would address their concerns about trust, transparency, and community involvement throughout the research process. If research is to be decolonized, research tools should not be developed within university offices, but through meaningful collaboration with research participants.