Table 2:

Quotes supporting primary themes

Theme; subthemeRepresentative quote
1. Relationships with Indigenous communities are foundational to the research process
Partnership and Indigenous leadership“[We] involved input from the community right from day 1, both in terms of what are the research questions that we should be asking, what are the focuses we should be looking at, and also when we’ve got the results, how do we interpret the data, what do we do with these data, what’s the context that these data should be interpreted in.” (P03)
Mutual respect“Don’t rush into things with assumptions. Be respectful and pay attention to group norms.” (P07)
Reciprocal exchange“I have the research background and … I bring a certain skill set, but I recognize that my skill set is not [enough]. … I was not trained as an Indigenous researcher or a researcher of Indigenous health. So I’ve tried to partner with people who have that expertise and bring my expertise and learn, but I don’t want to assume things.” (P08)
2. Indigenous research is a personal journey for non-Indigenous researchers
Allyship and privilege“You’re going to have people that are uncomfortable with a non-Indigenous person … and you have to just go with it. People have varying levels of comfort about having an ally.” (P05)
Reconciliation“I do Indigenous health research cautiously and I do it in the spirit of reconciliation.” (P02)
Resilience and burnout“There are not a lot of Indigenous researchers … it’s always the same people, everyone is burnt out.” (P02)
3. Accepted knowledge frameworks in Indigenous research are familiar to most but are inconsistently applied
Historical and current context“If anything, [community engagement has] provided some context [or] validation of what we thought would be the context.” (P03)
Indigenous knowledge“You always have to have an elder involved from the beginning and at every meeting preferably. They ground the project. They ground the people. Ceremony is important, as much as possible.” (P02)
4. Institutional structures as barriers to and facilitators of the ethical conduct of Indigenous research
Institutional identity“We have signed relationship protocols with a promise to work with [communities] and continue to engage with them to try our best to answer their research questions. The director here has really formalized that process.” (P07)
Institutional barriers“I went to my research institute and said that we want a partnering agreement and [they] said, ‘we don’t do that’.” (P02)