Communicating with Communities
Communicating with communities is a vital part of the research licensing process in the North, and you have a very important role in it.
Certain research licences or permits will not be issued if appropriate communication with the community has not taken place. The level of involvement, and which community organization(s) you need to contact, will depend on the type, scope, location and potential impacts of your research. Here are some helpful notes:
- Communicating effectively with communities involves not only appropriate language and cross-cultural awareness, but also taking the initiative to approach the local organizations throughout the research project – from developing your study idea and submitting your application, to conducting fieldwork and presenting results (from preliminary data to final conclusions).
- It is important to remember that many community organizations in the NWT do not have staff with sufficient technical knowledge to assess scientifically-written research proposals. In addition, these organizations review applications from a broad scope of scientific fields, and the technical language varies from one field to the next. Plain language is the key to effective communication.
- This website provides material containing instructions on Plain Language Writing, as well as reports on community perspectives of research.
- Expect to involve residents and visit communities well in advance of your fieldwork if your research project is large, and/or if it is likely to generate either controversy or environmental or socio-cultural impacts (or to be perceived that way).
You can find updated contact information for community organizations on the website of the Government of the NWT, Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations (DAAIR) at www.daair.gov.nt.ca. Go to the left-hand side menu and click on Contacts»NWT Aboriginal Government Directory, or Contacts»NWT Métis Local Directory for an up-to-date contact list for these organizations.