Historically, interactions between scientists and aboriginal groups in Canada have been marked by varying degrees of success when attempting to develop both relationships and shared knowledge. Establishing and maintaining these strong partnerships, however, is essential in meeting the challenges posed by long-term, complex problems facing Canadian (and global) communities. This paper considers several contemporary case studies in which outside scientists have endeavoured to
work with indigenous populations on research and adaptation projects. By applying concepts from the field of social epistemology, including research on trust, expertise, and informal collaboration, the varied levels of success experienced during these partnerships can be investigated. I argue that such an epistemological analysis can help in developing practical ways to both improve the communication essential to the success of similar scientific endeavours and ensure ethically responsible research partnerships. Not only can considering these epistemological perspectives increase the quality of the scientific practice and product, but this applied investigation can
also offer valuable critiques of the methods and assumptions present in traditional epistemological analyses.
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Scientific collaboration with Canadian aboriginal communities
Epistemic lessons in communication and responsibility

Eric Kennedy   Candidate for Bachelor of Knowledge Integration, Centre for Knowledge Integration, University of Waterloo

Historically, interactions between scientists and aboriginal groups in Canada have been marked by varying degrees of success when attempting to develop both relationships and shared knowledge. Establishing and maintaining these strong partnerships, however, is essential in meeting the challenges posed by long-term, complex problems facing Canadian (and global) communities. This paper considers several contemporary case studies in which outside scientists have endeavoured to
work with indigenous populations on research and adaptation projects. By applying concepts from the field of social epistemology, including research on trust, expertise, and informal collaboration, the varied levels of success experienced during these partnerships can be investigated. I argue that such an epistemological analysis can help in developing practical ways to both improve the communication essential to the success of similar scientific endeavours and ensure ethically responsible research partnerships. Not only can considering these epistemological perspectives increase the quality of the scientific practice and product, but this applied investigation can
also offer valuable critiques of the methods and assumptions present in traditional epistemological analyses.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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