Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Research and AMC

By Samantha Clarke, 1st year MDP student

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs has been a tremendous learning experience. Located in downtown Winnipeg, I have been privileged to be a part of a variety of meetings, projects and collaborate with some amazing and knowledgeable people. Not only has being able to work at AMC been beneficial to my overall experience in the MDP program, but the practice has demonstrated the activism of the governing body that maintains and preserves First Nations solidarity in accordance to the collective will of the First Nations’ themselves. In class, we continually learn the importance of one fundamental principle of successful development and prosperity for the future of Indigenous communities; to support and foster collaboration and initiative at the community level. 

In terms of projects I have been involved in while at the AMC include: the First Nations Regional Health Survey (FNRHS), First Nations Regional Early Childhood, Education and Employment Survey (FNREES), and the Upskilling Project. Moreover, I have had first hand experience of seeing the implementation and upholding to the O.C.A.P.™ principles which are fundamental to the way ethical research is required to be conducted to move forward with research involving First Nations peoples. 
Apart of my work with the REEES surveys, I was given the opportunity to collect data in the field. Currently, I am preparing to assist with the facilitation of a two day workshop on training field data collectors from various First Nations communities across Manitoba. Next, I will travel to two different tribal councils to conduct focus groups in order to collect data using a strength-based approach on what has been previously occurred in communities and how they imagine successful research could be conducted for the future. 

Ultimately the Upskilling project tool kit will be created (with the direction of the community) and will assist in the implementation, ownership and control of research being conducted by/for the community(s) involved.
Working at the AMC has fostered the opportunity for collaboration and continues to offer valuable feedback for various projects and initiatives that work towards positive change on not only a regional level, but nationally as well. Being a part of this organization is nothing short of an amazing opportunity and I am grateful and enjoying every minute of it. For more information on the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs please refer to their website: Thank you.

Leona Star, AMC (L), Samantha Clarke (C), Jaime Cidro, UWinnipeg professor (R)

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