- We commit to egalitarian and representative knowledge processes. We believe in combining indigenous and academic knowledge disciplines to address complex environmental issues through a unifying transdisciplinary approach.
- We uphold our communities and their lands. We respect our partners’ histories, traditions, and knowledge systems and commit to their sovereignty through genuine relationship-building, inviting feedback and critique, and establishing open systems of collaboration.
- We conduct research that is with and for our communities. Our collaborative approach centers the communities’ needs and wants in every step of the research process and aims to produce tangible long-term results that are easily accessible to the broader community.
- We acknowledge the unfairness of past research trends and the legacies that western scientific methods have left on our native communities. We commit to practicing fair and transparent research that is co-developed, co-created and co-owned by the communities themselves.
- We promise to keep learning. We recognize that institutional change is an iterative process and wholesome transdisciplinary research requires innovation, assessment, and reflection.
Community-Driven Collaborative Research
- We believe that collaborative research is an important way to advance environmental justice. We are dedicated to first learning about our community partners; community priorities for research aims and processes are our priorities. We are dedicated to keeping our research process transparent so we can reach joint expectations and ensure that the results are beneficial for all parties. We walk into research partnerships with humility and respect knowing that our work can only be accomplished through honest conversation, listening, and collaboration. We are committed to the communities we serve.
- We commit to co-developing and co-producing research from start to finish to address the needs of our partner communities. We seek tangible results that include meaningful input from all of our collaborators (our initial research team and community partners). We constantly reevaluate our work and are open to critique so we can continue to improve our research methods and process. Finally, we understand that our work doesn’t end at the conclusion of a particular research project but should instead be designed to provide long-term benefits beyond an individual collaboration.
- We recognize that the university resources we have access to must be open and accessible to communities who have been traditionally excluded from such institutions. We believe that our community partnerships must provide access to institutes of higher learning to the community and seek to generate other forms of educational and vocational advancement opportunities for our community partners. Finally, we promise to write and publish in ways legible to a broad audience. We will share our findings with our community partnerships openly, prior to publication, and make sure that community members are a part of the creation of knowledge we publish and are credited as such. We are committed to creating open systems of collaboration.
- We recognize that Settler-Colonial power structures (traditionally hierarchical and closed) are both exclusionary and disempowering. We are attentive to the colonial legacies of which the academy is a part and recognize higher education’s history of disregard for native rights and customs. We are committed to understanding how our partner’s power structures work and respecting these institutions. We aim to work with our partners to create egalitarian and representative systems where we are united in our aims and execution of goals. In forging genuine partnerships, we strive to be attentive to our own group dynamics and seek to create models which are supportive, open, and egalitarian in nature. We know that while we seek positive conclusions through our research, the process by which we reach those conclusions is as important as the results: to this end we believe in collaboration through the creation of genuine partnerships that foster community creation at every step of our process.
- We believe that institution change requires transdisciplinary work. In this we are committed to full community partnerships with wide opportunities to bring in members of both the indigenous and academic communities we serve. We believe this is critical to challenge the hegemonic disciplinary thinking which runs across universities and will help us to create new ways of generating knowledge which are fairer and more just for all members of our research. Finally, we view young voices as critical to this process and strive to include students, young scholars, and youth community members into our work.