Working with us
To help communities assess their strengths and goals, we have created two short guides that are designed to be used together:
I. Getting Started: Assessing Strengths in Community
Do you have one or more of the following resources in or near your community?
- Are there elders or other people in your community who speak, or are learning to speak, your language or languages?
- Are there elders or other people in your community who know, practice, or are learning about their laws, ceremonies, practices, and protocols?
- Are there elders or other people in your community who have personal or life experiences solving problems, resolving disputes, or managing conflicts?
- Are there elders or other people in your community who spend time on the land, with the water, or in the bush and learn from nature?
- Are there elders or other people in your community who know stories or oral histories about how people or animals solved problems, dealt with harm or danger, resolved disputes, mended relationships, or made peace?
- Are there recorded interviews, transcripts, publications, or other records that contain stories about how people or animals solved problems, dealt with harm or danger, resolved disputes, mended relationships, or made peace?
- Are there language resources (dictionaries, websites, books, videos, language circles) in your community?
- Are there cultural gatherings or other events used for teaching and practice in your community?
II. Starting Points for Indigenous Legal Research
This list is designed for ILRU researchers to use when talking with communities about potential research projects.
What are the community’s research purposes or goals?
What research outcomes does the community hope to achieve?
Does the community have one or more of the following resources?
- Published Materials? (For example, story collections, anthropological and historical publications, language materials)
- Publicly available Materials? (For example, external governance documents, maps, court or legal documents, exhibits, Traditional Land Use studies, Environmental Assessments)
- Non-public/Confidential Materials? (For example, community files, professional reports, interview transcripts, past projects, archival materials, internal governance information)
- Experiential/Non-textual information: Are there places, objects, music, dances, ceremonies, gatherings, practices or images the ILRU research team should see and learn about for this project? What are these locations or items, and who will explain them?
- New Interviews/Focus Groups: Does the community want the ILRU research team to conduct interviews and focus groups with community members? If yes, can the community recommend 10-15 elders or knowledgeable people for us to have conversations with?
“Working with our stories, we see pathways to the wisdom of our older ways. We are strengthening our relationships to land and water and air, in ways that help us to walk gently and take care of each other. In holistic ways, we are building webs of connection.”
“Researching our history and discovering different aspects of our laws was a very rewarding experience for me. I am thankful for all the hard work and dedication the ILRU team has shown. They helped me to recognize our traditional laws throughout our oral and written history. It was a real eye opener. I would highly recommend working with ILRU. They are a wonderful group of people.”