Responsible Research Commitment

All IndEcol-associated research will maintain the highest standards of ethics and responsibility, the cornerstone of high-quality, high-impact, and innovative research.
Research Integrity & Transparency

We embrace calls within Indigenous studies to “decolonize” the academy, by which we mean rejecting colonial hierarchies and habits, and putting alternatives into practice for the benefit of academic integrity and social viability. Such efforts include challenging the illusory belief that colonial categories of thought are universal and timeless, treating Indigenous peoples as fellow producers of knowledge rather than as objects of inquiry, and approaching Indigenous knowledge production with Indigenous needs. IndEcol will also train researchers on the ethical and methodological issues involved in approaching Indigenous knowledge—discussing protocols for sharing knowledge, and how to recognize and respect sacred knowledge. IndEcol will work with Indigenous communities in a way that highlights accountability and responsibility in Indigenous research and a recognition of the reality and utility of multiple ways of knowing. IndEcol will protect all information about individuals and other sensitive materials. In many parts of the world, Indigenous peoples are still vulnerable to persecution and violence. Therefore, utmost care will be taken to ensure that all information that collaborators or interviewees provide anonymously will remain anonymous. In extreme cases, where it is needed to protect Indigenous communities, IndEcol will seek out alternative case studies for research. In less extreme cases, it will ask consent from collaborators and interviewees to use the information provided. In some cases, as needed to preserve the ethical foundations of its research, it will seek the consent of tribal councils or tribal governments. Research and interviews will be conducted using University of Helsinki’s ethical guidelines and also guidelines of the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity, following also best practices of ethical Indigenous Studies noted above. Furthermore, since the research takes place in multiple countries, researchers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with and to follow the ethical research guidelines of the countries in which they are working. IndEcol draws strengths from the diversity of its team members, collaborators, and partners. It will also directly engage Indigenous communities through its summer/winter schools, workshops and conferences. While the PI will lead the management of the entire project, all partners and team members will have a voice in decision-making, and some responsibility in managing the overall project, and equal resources to pursue respective research projects. To ensure this, IndEcol will develop equality and nondiscrimination protocols for decision-making processes that will include diverse perspectives, experiences, and identities. In this regard, IndEcol aims to lessen discrimination and further equality in all aspects of its research.

Open Access

IndEcol will adhere to Open Access. Research results will be published in Green Open Access format or above, although some materials (i.e., religious or ceremonial) may be sensitive and require special attention. University of Helsinki offers financial support for Open Access fees. IndEcol will structure its data according to the guidelines for FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data use. The project will design its data for inclusion in the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD). The data will be stored using a secure virtual server hosted by the University of Helsinki or at CSC’s ePouta environment. IndEcol is devoted to sustainability in both its research focus and its logistical implementation. 

Green Initiative

While the scale of this research requires travel, IndEcol members and partners will, for example, not travel internationally for a one- or two-day conference; they will instead combine research or archival work with conferences and winter/summer schools and workshops. For travel in Scandinavia, IndEcol researchers will prefer trains and other forms of public transport instead of traveling by air. When possible, IndEcol will utilize online or hybrid conferences. We will also seek to partner with local, Indigenous-owned and operated businesses for research-related goods and services.