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Protocols Project of the Clayoquot Alliance

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Protocols Project of the Clayoquot Alliance for Research, Education and Training

The Clayoquot Alliance for Research, Education and Training is a partnership of the University of Victoria (UVic) and the First Nations and non-First Nations communities of the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve region, supported through the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust. The Clayoquot Alliance seeks to build community-university collaborations in ways that facilitate mutually-beneficial social and environmental research occurring in this region. The partnership is funded for three years by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) under its Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) program. Among the several projects under development or in progress with community partners is the "Protocols Project".


The purpose of the Protocols Project is to develop consensus on protocols/guidelines for community-based research in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve region. The protocols/guidelines are being developed under the guidance of a working group that is comprised of members of the local community and the central region Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. The protocols/guidelines are meant to guide subsequent Clayoquot Alliance-sponsored research and provide a basis for project-specific research agreements and letters of consent. To the greatest extent possible, the protocols/guidelines will reflect the interests of all Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve region communities and a representative spectrum of all researchers. The overall aim is to ensure the protocols/guidelines are acceptable to the First Nations involved in the research, the community partner organisations, the CURA funder (SSHRC), the researchers and the University of Victoria.

There is a both a practical and policy-related purpose to the Protocols Project. The practical goal is to agree on how the research ought to be conducted and to draft written text that accurately describes this agreement. The protocols/guidelines will be seen as a starting point for discussions and mutually-beneficial research relationships, not a final agreement. It is important that whatever is agreed to be subject to continual reflection and revision as new situations or concerns arise. That is, the agreed document will be a 'living text'.

The policy related goal is to learn from the process of developing these protocols/guidelines, so that this information can be shared with other community- and university-based organisations that seek to develop similar tools. An analysis of the process and outcomes will be used to make policy recommendations to relevant agencies involved in funding or otherwise supporting community-university collaborative research initiatives. Examples include university administrations, federal funders (SSHRC), the BC and national parks authorities, and others.

To date, the process has included:

  • Archival research
  • Hiring a local community liaison
  • Formal and informal meetings with many community groups and individuals in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve region.
  • Meetings with First Nations Band Councils
  • Three presentations to the Nuu-chah-nulth Central Region Chiefs (April 2001, July 2001, and November 2002).
  • Meetings with the UVic Office of the Vice-President Research.
  • Setting up a community Working Group in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve region to draft text articulating the protocols/guidelines.
  • Establishment of a listserve to facilitate discussion between workshops and meetings.

Expected Outcomes:

A review of existing research guidelines, protocols and recommendations relevant to community-university research collaborations in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve region.

A working set of agreed research protocols/guidelines that has been widely circulated and discussed within the First Nations and non-First Nations communities of the region, and is acceptable to the steering committee and partners of the Clayoquot Alliance for Research, Educations and Training, the Nuu-chah-nulth Central Region First Nations, and the University of Victoria Office of Vice-President Research. These research protocols/guidelines should serve as terms of reference for the subsequent development of project-specific research agreements and letters of consent.

A report that documents and assesses the process of developing the research protocols/guidelines, to be made available (in printed and electronic forms) to affiliated community organisations, First Nations, universities, funding bodies and other interested agencies or communities.

Time Frame:

The Protocols Project began in Fall 2001 and is ongoing as of November 2002.

Contact Information
Project Facilitator : Dr. Kelly Bannister
Phone: (250) 472-5016
Fax: (250) 472-5060
Email: kel@uvic.ca
Mail: Community-University Connections
c/o POLIS Project on Ecological Governance
Faculty of Law & School of Environmental Studies
University of Victoria
University House 4
Box 3060, Victoria, B.C., Canada V8W 3R4
Community Liaison: Mr. Gerry Schreiber
Phone: (250) 726-7263 ext. 25
Fax: (250) 726-7269
Email: gerry@island.net
Mail: Box 579
Ucluelet, BC
V0R 3A0

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