New role enhances Indigenous research at Waterloo

Sara AndersonTo help support the unique cultural context for Indigenous research, the Office of Research recently created a new role. In January 2021, Sara Anderson stepped into this role as Manager, Research Program Development and Partnerships, Indigenous Initiatives.

Sara supports the University’s three Indigenous Canada Research Chairholders, other Indigenous researchers on campus, and non-Indigenous faculty and students who want to do research with Indigenous communities. Her work includes helping to write and review grant proposals to highlight the unique considerations required for Indigenous research.

Often, proposals for Indigenous research require additional elements,” Anderson says. “I help faculty members understand what unique elements to include in these applications.”

Along with support, Sara does consultations and training across campus on many aspects of Indigenous research. For example, Indigenous communities have their own data sovereignty principles, so researchers must sign agreements with them outlining how their research data will be used. Over 400 faculty members and students have attended Sara’s training initiatives since January.

Sara also emphasizes the importance of building relationships with Indigenous communities.

“Historically, research was done on Indigenous people as subjects,” she says. “We need to move away from this and do research with Indigenous communities.”

This new role is funded by the Government of Canada’s Incremental Project Grant.

September 2021