Back to top

Ambitious project at the crossroads of Indigenous and scientific knowledge receives $2.5M from SSHRC 

June 28, 2022 | Sophie Laberge

Update : June 28, 2022

A partnership spearheaded by the INRS will support the acquisition, transmission, and mobilization of indigenous knowledge.

A team led by Professor Carole Lévesque of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) has been awarded a major $2.5 million grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to implement a new partnership entitled “Piiskuutamakuunipiijuu: Co-constructing the New Territorialities of Knowledge”.

Professor Lévesque, Director of DIALOG network, will share the leadership of this new partnership with her colleagues: Professor Suzy Basile (Professor at Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue), Édith Cloutier (director of the Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre), Caroline Desbiens (Professor at Université Laval), Nathalie Kermoal (Professor at the University of Alberta and director of the Rupertsland Centre for Métis Research), and Nicole O’Bomsawin (Professor at the Kiuna Institution). Professors Stéphane Guimont Marceau, Magalie Quintal-Marineau, and Nancy Wiscutie-Crépeau, from the INRS Urbanisation Culture Société Research Centre will also collaborate on the project.

This ambitious seven-year project (2022-2029) is at the crossroads of Indigenous and scientific knowledge, in line with the principles of community-based participatory research approach with Indigenous communities.

“We adopt a decolonial posture, and our activities are based on a social justice requirement. Our actions are about reconciliation and contribute to the explicit recognition of Indigenous knowledge systems.”

Carole Lévesque

Supporting, implementing… co-constructing

The objective of this partnership is to support, implement, and characterize the research capacity of various urban Indigenous communities and organizations, as well as the Anicinape, Atikamekw Nehirowisiw, Cree/eeyou, Innu, Naskapi, and W8banaki Nations in Québec. It involves 16 community-based initiatives from these authorities and organizations, each supporting in various ways and according to different objectives the acquisition, transmission, and mobilization of Indigenous knowledge.

“Real collaboration, embodied in all stages of the knowledge process, is at the heart of the project. We have brought together researchers, knowledge holders, leaders and Indigenous intellectuals from Québec, Canada, and abroad. We are working closely with some twenty Indigenous organizations in Québec that are also partners in the project.”

Carole Lévesque

In total, the team formed by Carole Lévesque is made up of 46 people and relies on the collaboration of 6 universities: Université de Montréal, Université Laval, Université Sherbrooke, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, University of Alberta, and the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris).

Main objectives:

  • Renew and revitalize the community anchors that underpin Indigenous knowledge systems
  • Contribute to a better positioning of Indigenous partner organizations within the new national and international governance instruments that include indigenous knowledge
  • Channel their actions towards the creation of new bodies of Indigenous and scientific knowledge
  • Document the potential for community influence and social innovation of Indigenous knowledge systems

This new partnership builds on the DIALOG Network’s previous work and renews its commitment towards reconciliation. For two decades, DIALOG has been distinguished by its broad understanding of the driving role of co-construction in the advancement and mobilization of knowledge, its mode of operation based on openness to multiple forms of knowledge, its parity-based governance, its cooperative nature, its long-term existence, and its international reach.