Community consultation is a vital part of the licensing procedure: a licence application will not be processed if appropriate community consultation has not taken place. The community organization(s) with which you need to consult will depend on the nature of the study. Please take careful note of the following section.
If your project will involve residents of the NWT as subjects or informants, Aurora Research Institute requires written confirmation that you have discussed your plans with the agency(ies) and/or community(ies) affected and that you have their support to proceed. In addition, the following information will be required in your online application:
- How are you obtaining informed consent from participants in the study? You are required to submit a copy of any consent form that you will be using.
- How will participant confidentiality be maintained in your research?
- Long- and short-term use and storage of data collected from participants.
- How will your research be reported to participants and the community?
- Whether you have applied for an ethics review and, if so, by whom.
If your research does not directly involve NWT residents, it may still have a significant impact on the community(ies). For example, you may be planning to stay in or travel through an area of cultural or economic significance to the community.
Confirmation of support will be required from the appropriate community organizations (such as members of the local Hunters and Trappers Committees and Social and Cultural Institutes). If you have been corresponding with community groups or other agencies prior to submitting your application, it will be helpful to attach a record of that correspondence to your application. If you have already received ethics approval for your project (for example, from a university), you can attach confirmation of that approval to your online application or fax it to the Manager, Scientific Services at the Aurora Research Institute.
Start the process of consultation at least three months before the date on which you require your licence. Early consultation allows for such considerations as mailing time, scheduled community meetings, and the screening process. If your application arrives at a time when many community residents are on the land, you may encounter delays in receiving your confirmation of support. If all of the elements of your application are not yet complete (for example, you may still be waiting for an ethics review, or you will be designing a consent form in collaboration with the community, or you are not yet sure of exact site locations), and time is short before your proposed fieldwork, it is better to submit your application anyway, duly noting which aspects are still “in progress” and informing the reader that the communities will be consulted again when more information is available.
You may also contact the Manager, Scientific Services at Aurora Research Institute for guidance and assistance
Ethical Principles for Conducting Research
Researchers are expected to follow ethical principles. You are advised to review one or more of the following resources for more information.
Involving Northern Residents in Research Projects
Local residents and visiting researchers have much to offer each other. Northern people have an intimate knowledge of their community and the land. Their knowledge of local conditions and problems, and their access to traditional knowledge, may suggest new directions for research.
In addition, the North has changed rapidly and significantly over the last decade. Many residents of the NWT communities possess high levels of scientific training and knowledge and can provide valuable information and assistance to visiting researchers.
As a researcher, you can share your knowledge by speaking at community council meetings, giving talks at schools or providing non-technical posters to display at local libraries or community centres. Alternately, you can produce a short, informal video of your research with emphasis on your field work and results.
Also, you should consider including residents in field trips or hiring them to assist with your research. If you plan on hiring assistants, Aurora Research Institute staff may be able to provide you with local contacts who do, or have done, scientific work in related disciplines or who have specific knowledge in your field.
By communicating your enthusiasm for your research and/or involving residents in your field work, you may motivate local people to participate in science. Providing residents with an opportunity to participate in or comment on your research not only improves relations between researchers and residents, but also fosters a research-oriented community in the North (see Community Perspectives on Research).