UNESCO Chairs in Canada, Discussion on Indigenous Research in Higher Education


The UNESCO Chair in Urban Landscape recently participated in a discussion alongside several Canadian UNESCO Chairs in order to discuss the integration in research of traditional indigenous knowledge. This virtual meeting which took place on October 12, 2021 and gathered various First Peoples scholars and academic experts was aimed at addressing several topics relating to the decolonization of knowledge and the improvement of research collaboration practices with First Peoples. This meeting constitutes the first of a series of discussions pertaining to these questions which are being organized with the support of The Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

Several findings and recommendations have emerged from this discussion in relation to these issues. The acknowledgement of Indigenous knowledge as a science constitutes one of the most constructive elements of this meeting. With this end in mind, increased collaborations between indigenous and western institutions based on an ethical co-construction of research protocols with First Peoples must constitute a priority action for researchers and funders of research alike. 

Beyond a need for researchers to adopt a humble and transparent approach that is based on a willingness to listen and understand, further concepts must be applied namely bibliodiversity, multilingualism and data sovereignty. These concepts also provide the UNESCO Chair in Urban Landscape with tools regarding current and future research projets, more specifically when it comes to projects relating to the St-Lawrence River.