Community-Based research

Community-based research (CBR) is a participatory approach where research projects are driven by community priorities and the community is involved throughout the entire research process: from writing the project proposal to analyzing the results to taking action using the research outcomes. In the Yukon, community-based research is built on respect, caring, and sharing where communities, practitioners, and researchers have mutual goals and excitement about the work and recognize one another's strengths and contributions. In 2012, the Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research (AICBR), in collaboration with others with a vested interest in northern community research, developed a list of principles and values that reflect the nature of community-based research in Canada's North.

Read more about community-based research here


An ethical approach that is grounded in the principles of northern Indigenous culture is an important aspect of AICBR's approach to research, projects, and people. By understanding research processes and taking charge of reviewing the plans of researchers coming to the community, northern Indigenous communities can take control of how research is conducted in their communities. In collaboration with others, AICBR drafted an ethics guide entitled, "Doing Good Health Research in Northern Indigenous Communities: A guide to Research Review". The purpose of this resource is to assist communities in ensuring that research is conducted ethically and according to community values. The booklet may be used as a resource for both northern Indigenous communities and outside researchers coming to work in the North.

AICBR also follows what is called the OCAP® Principles, which stands for, Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession. The OCAP® principles are a set of ethical standards that outline how First Nations data should be collected, protected, used, or shared. For more on OCAP®, please visit: In adherence with other federal research standards, AICBR is also compliant with the framework as set out in Chapter 9 of the most up-to-date Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2), which outlines the guidelines for ethical conduct of research involving Indigenous peoples in Canada. Most importantly, when we work with communities, we are also guided by the standards, ethics and traditional protocols set out by each of the communities with whom we work with.

In an ongoing effort to refine and reinforce its ethical standards, AICBR has been and continues to be involved in efforts and events related to northern-based ethics.

Knowledge Translation

The Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research (AICBR) works towards building research capacity in the North. Ensuring that research findings are relevant to northerners is a part of this undertaking. AICBR works to identify and use promising practices of knowledge translation (KT) as they relate to key audiences in the North, including Indigenous communities, the public at-large, health practitioners, policy-makers, and program planners. The North needs particular attention in terms of identifying and developing KT practices to suit its particular geographical, organizational, cultural, and demographic characteristics.

[PDF] - More information about knowledge translation

Capacity Building

Capacity building has many different definitions and interpretations. Capacity is "the actual knowledge, skill sets, participation, leadership and resources required by community groups to effectively address local issues and concerns". By building capacity through the development of skills and the strengthening of resources, the sustainability and effectiveness of an organization and its partners are increased.
Key principles for capacity building are rooted in a community-based foundation and include:

  • Trust and relationship building

  • Adaptability and flexibility

  • Inclusivity of local context

  • Collaboration and partnership

[PDF] - More information about capacity building

Intersectoral Collaboration

Intersectoral collaboration is the coming together of different people, organizations and sectors to work together to understand and solve complex issues. These partnerships are mutually beneficial relationships that bring together different perspectives, knowledge and skills for increased effectiveness, efficiency, quality and sustainability. With an enhanced capacity to resolve complex health and social issues, intersectoral collaboration can result in significant and sustainable change.

[PDF] - More information about intersectoral collaboration