First Light is committed to supporting collaborative research that honours and respects the urban Indigenous community’s diversity, knowledge, culture, and aspirations. Under the direction of its Research & Strategic Partnerships Division, First Light works with a variety of partners to advance community-driven and community-led research that benefits urban Indigenous people living in St. John’s.

How We Define Research

It is important to note that First Light deliberately defines research in broad terms as “any intentional collection or creation of knowledge that is done by engaging members of First Light staff and/or the urban Indigenous community through First Light for the purposes of transmitting such knowledge to other parties.”

You are likely proposing that First Light engage in research if you are seeking our participation in or support of any of the following:

  • Serving on a coordinating or advisory committee;
  • Conducting focus groups aimed at members of the urban Indigenous community;
  • Developing academic papers or other primary research products;
  • Creating works of art that draw on Indigenous knowledge and traditions;
  • Student practicums or placements;
  • Etc.

A more detailed description of our definition of research can be downloaded here.

Our Research Policy Framework

To ensure that all projects that fall within our definition of research are carried out in an ethical and responsible way, First Light has adopted a comprehensive Research Policy Framework. This document describes the minimum standards according to which First Light as an organization will – and will not – engage in research. Prospective research partners are expected to familiarize themselves with this document. Moreover, because First Light prioritizes projects and initiatives that help to advance truth and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in St. John’s, prospective research partners are strongly encouraged to review the First Voice Calls for Change and then consider how their projects may align with these objectives.

A full version of the Research Policy Framework can be found here.

Research Spaces

The First Light Research Policy Framework is meant to be flexible and adaptable depending on the exact circumstances under which research is being carried out. We refer to these circumstances as “research spaces”. While most projects tend to fall within the External Research Space, others may fit more appropriately within either the Educational or Advisory Research Spaces. First Light recommends that prospective research partners familiarize themselves with our research spaces and be able to identify the most appropriate one for their proposed project prior to reaching out to us with requests or invitations to participate in research activities.

Submit a Proposal

All prospective research partners are required to submit a project proposal to First Light for review in order to secure our participation in any activities that fall within the above Research Spaces. Proposals are reviewed on a rolling basis and may be submitted here.

To improve the likelihood of approval, prospective researchers are strongly encouraged to submit proposals as early on in the research process as possible. Ideally, this would be done prior to identifying specific research outcomes or soliciting third-party funding.

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