Week 12:

Hi Everyone,

Every lecture of the course has helped me develop my research question and design. My research project has evolved from simply analyzing existing publicly available databases to gathering information with survey, interview and site visits. I am not only designing the research to reach optimal result, but also enhancing the quality of my research from the reviewers’ perspective.

Since I am treating my research topic as a pilot project to fit the scope of the course, there are some sub-questions can be explored further. For example, how can broadband technology help Aboriginal communities to preserve their language and cultural heritage? how can broadband technology narrow the knowledge gap between Aboriginal people and the rest of Canadians?

After learning various research methods in this course, I decide to use survey, interview, and site visit to gather data. I believe using combination of different methods can enhance data quality and research result.

After all, the most challenging part in my research project is to gain access and trust of Aboriginal community members and authorities. I would be greatly appreciated if you guys can give me some tips and advice on how to approach Aboriginal people.

Thank you.

Liz

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Week 12:

  1. According to Professor Hartel, the aim is to understand the native perspective (of your research subject). The goal is not to create new ideas, it is to understand THEIR ideas. She outlined the following:

    -EMIC perspective (insider perspective): try to capture/document this perspective.
    -ETIC perspective (outsider): need to bracket their concepts to allow for the subject’s story to come out. For example, don’t ask about library use (even though that’s what you’re interested in).

    I think before you enter the field a thorough understanding of Aboriginal values, struggles, barriers, lifestyles, school system (on and off reserve), stigma, etc., is definitely required. Especially with studying such a vulnerable population.

    I think the best way of entry would be to develop a close contact with someone who can develop trust, and this then will be your in.

    Victoria Grant

  2. tracymatos

    Hi Liz,
    You really gathered my interest when you mentioned that you’re enhancing the quality of your research from a reviewer’s perspective. I think this is really important to do, and what all of us should consider with our research proposals. We had a whole class solely dedicated to peer review, and I think the questions peer reviewers ask when looking over articles that Professor Galey provided to us can really help.

    Also, I completely understand how the most challenging part in your research project is to gain access and trust of Aboriginal people. I think this is difficult to do because they are considered a vulnerable group, as are children. I only know this because I learned about the difficulties in researching with children in my undergraduate studies. I learned that as researchers, we have to accept that they will perhaps never consider us as an insider or part of their culture because we are not children and we cannot fully comprehend their culture. I think acknowledging and accepting this will certainly help when approaching Aboriginal people.

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