FAQ & Glossary

Based on the enquiries received by the Education Research Consultant, the following frequently asked questions are provided for clarification. In addition, the glossary of terms and translations from the KEC Research Policy & Code of Ethics is included on this page for convenience. For any further information or additional questions, please email: [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Education Research Committee (ERC)?
The ERC & Coordinator implement the new policy system-wide. The Education Research Consultant Chairs the committee and leads the meetings. Applications and requests are reviewed once a month. Decisions/recommendations are made by consensus. Members of the ERC are mainly KEC staff. Please review the KEC Research Policy & Code of Ethics for more information.

Why create a new policy & committee?
The ERC and this new policy was created to address a number of needs in the education system including: reducing/eliminating risks of harmful research practices, aligning our research partnerships and collaborative activities with our staff needs and strategic goals, and protecting the time and resources of our schools and staff. Our objective is to continue protecting the integrity of our students, staff, and community by applying the highest ethical standards to research and partnerships.

What does the ERC do?
The ERC reviews applications by researchers (post-secondary students, universities, government agencies, organizations) for research and research-related partnerships at the KEC. Priority is given to KEC staff requests, Graduate students from Kahnawà:ke, and any partnership that addresses a need for our students and schools. There is a higher degree of scrutiny for requests related to three specific areas: Onkwehonwehnéha (language), sensitive or traumatic issues (ex: Indian Residential/Day Schools), direct access to our students/children.

How do I contact the ERC?
The general email address for the ERC is: [email protected].

How do I know if my request needs to be submitted to the ERC?
When anyone requests access to information, to come into the schools, or work directly with KEC staff or students (activities, workshops, etc.), we have measures in place to go through HR for background checks, and/or school administration for permission. A change is that for research-related or funded collaborations, the ERC may also need to get involved as an added measure. If we get involved, and to what extent, is determined by a number of factors. Feel free to check with the Education Research Consultant if you are unsure if a review is required for your request. Here are some examples of what we review, and what is not in our mandate:


What happens if my request does require ERC approval?
The Education Research Consultant will request information from you and the group or individuals that wish to work in your school/classroom, and may request a meeting. The Consultant will then present the new request/application to the ERC. The ERC discusses the request and decides (by consensus) if it is approved, and what conditions the people coming in must follow. We track the project from start to finish, and ensure that everyone is accountable. If there are any issues, we are here to support you.

What say does KEC staff have in the ERCs decisions?
We work collaboratively with KEC employees and greatly respect their time and expertise. Most requests come from employees that believe a project or partnership would provide a great learning opportunity for our students. Teaching staff plan what takes place in their classrooms, with support from the curriculum team. We are here to support KEC staff and students, first and foremost. Keep in mind that school administration has the authority to decide what activities and guests are permitted within the schools, and when. The ERC facilitates open communication between all parties.

What do you mean by review? What is the ERC looking for?
We review requests or applications to determine if the research, project, or activity meets a need we have in the education system, if it’s well thought out and planned, and to determine how much of the KEC’s time and resources are needed. The more time and resources it takes, the more questions we ask and conditions we place on it. Our responses are typically either: yes, no, or not now.

Does this mean the KEC will be doing more research than before?
No. We are not planning to increase research-related work, and we are not closing our doors to these partnerships either. Our focus is to use these opportunities as effectively as possible, to maximize the benefits of ethical research for our community stakeholders.

Glossary & Translations

The following glossary of terms and Kanien’kéha translations can be found in the KEC Research Policy & Code of Ethics.

Community: Referring to the community of Kahnawà:ke.

Collaborative Activities: Projects, partnerships, and activities conducted with the Kahnawà:ke Education Center or at the schools under its administration. See also: research activities & research-related.

Consensus decision-making process: Rotinonhsión:ni peoples traditionally make collective decisions through a consensus decision-making process. Within the context of the ERC, this means that all committee members have equal opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns, reaching decisions collectively. Every effort is made for all parties involved to reach a consensus on decisions concerning research (including collaborators), the aim being to prioritize the well-being of present and future generations. Consensus can sometimes mean recognizing differences of opinion but agreeing to move forward, with a clear understanding that all parties are accountable.

Haudenosaunee or Rotinonhsión:ni: in Kanien’kéha means the ‘People of the Longhouse’.

Kahnawà:ke Education Community: The community of Kahnawà:ke, in the context of this policy, represented by the KCSC and includes the KEC, the Education Research Committee and Coordinator.

Kahnawa’kehró:non: refers to the people of Kahnawà:ke (community members or residents).

Kanien’kéha: The language or ways (culture) of the Kanien’kehá:ka.

Kanien’kehá:ka: is the proper name of the people of Kahnawà:ke. It means “people of the flint/spark”, a.k.a “Mohawks”.

Meaning Making: Kathy Absolon (2011) uses “meaning-making” instead of “data analysis” to decolonize the process of knowledge production in Onkwehón:we research. Meaning-making is a relational term that reflects the nature of decolonial research as a process of searching for knowledge, making meaning of it, and sharing with others.

OCAP®: (Ownership, Control, Access, Possession) is a registered trademark of the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC).

Onkwehón:we: means the ‘original or real people’, referring to the peoples Indigenous to Turtle Island. This word in Kanien’kéha is often used as an alternative to “Indigenous”.

Onkwehón:we: / Indigenous Research: meant to reflect what our community and people specifically view as 'research' and its purpose. An expression of the ways Onkwehón:we explored and transmitted ancestral knowledge. This practice of seeking out knowledge is inherent to our identity and cultural practices and not something introduced to us through colonial academic theories or systems.

Research Activities: Research activities include: requests for community ethics reviews, graduate research, grant co-applications, university partnerships, school-based research projects, and other initiatives that involve research, data collection, sampling, and/or knowledge production. See also: research-related.

Research Collaborators: Research institutions, researchers, other organizations, individuals or community members who wish to collaborate on research or projects with the KEC.

Research Related: Research activities involve direct research whereas research related requests may not require direct research or data collection but have one of the following components: led by a researcher, funded by research/grant dollars, funded by a government grant, or involve a research institution. Examples of research related activities include: projects conducted in partnership with a research institution (ex: university), school-based projects in partnership with a university professor and/or students (course work), projects funded by research dollars or a government grant as they require some level of data collection and reporting.

Settler Colonialism/Colonization: Settler colonialism (the process of colonization) is a system of oppression that is based on assimilation, acculturation, and/or genocide that displaces the original population, Nation, or people (usually Indigenous to the area) and replaces them with a new society, settlement, and settler population. Colonialism is the policy and act/process of gaining control over another nation, people, or country and establishing a colony or foreign power that then socially, politically, and economically exploits the appropriated territory, land, and resources. Settler colonialism is one of the systems or processes of colonialism.

Turtle Island: Turtle Island is drawn from the Kanien’kehá:ka Creation Story which illustrates the creation of the world when Sky Woman falls and is placed on the back of a great turtle. This term is used in different contexts, it can refer to North America, the Americas, or to all of Mother Earth. Turtle Island is also used in resistance to referring to our lands as Canada and/or the United States.

Tsi Niionkwarihò:ten: refers to our way of life, the reasons/matters that make us who we are.

Wholistic: refers to the importance of recognizing and committing to maintain balance between the spiritual, mental, physical and emotional aspects of all beings and Creation. In this case, it is a term for how researchers can participate in research partnerships willing to respect and nurture every relationship in the research, and in this way ensure health and wellness of all partners, participants and community.

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