All research requests made to Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, whether in reference to our history, society, current land use and traditional territory, are handled by a small group of individuals who also have many other responsibilities. Our main focus is to support the needs and work of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in citizens. Other requests mean additional work and sometimes it is simply not possible to address all research inquiries.
Ask yourself a few questions: ‟Why am I doing this?″ ‟What are the eventual products of my work and how might they be used?″ ‟Will the results of my work be beneficial to Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in?″
If your research adds to our knowledge and is helpful to us, we will be more inclined to support your research.
Begin by checking other sections of this website which will steer you to a variety of useful resources. Also check out archival records and publications as well as reports prepared by and for the First Nation. You may find your answers in these resources without requiring the services of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in staff.
Otherwise, begin by contacting the Heritage Department to complete a research agreement.
Do not go knocking on the doors of citizens or elders and start asking questions. Any contacts should be arranged by staff at the Heritage Branch who can inform you of protocols, if your inquiries are appropriate, the best person to ask, and any issues with timing and health.
There are issues of copyright, ownership and intellectual property rights that you need to fully understand and respect.
The Association of Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) developed a set of ethical guidelines for people doing research in the North. While these were developed for university researchers, they apply to anyone doing research. You can find these in our Resource Bank.
In summary, all research work should be done in a respectful way. This means giving full credit to your sources, sharing any products from your work and ensuring that people fully consent to your use of their stories.