Talking Circles

Talking or Sharing Circles have long been a tool used by Indigenous peoples as a customary way to make decisions through a group process, to discuss a topic, for healing, and as a way of bringing people of all ages together for the purpose of teaching, listening and learning. Today, researchers use Talking/Sharing circles as a culturally appropriate tool to gather stories from participants in a respectful and culturally safe way. In Talking circles, an eagle feather, or another object is passed from one person to the next. When that person holds the eagle feather or other object, this is their turn to talk about their educational journey. During that time, the group is asked to maintain silence until that person has finished speaking. When finished, that person will pass the eagle feather on to the person beside them. Everyone will have a chance to answer the Guiding Research Question. During the second round, and additional rounds if needed, each person will have the opportunity to answer any of the sub-questions as outlined in the Research Questions document.



This participatory research project involves gathering the stories of Indigenous postsecondary students (past, present and future).Based on the First Nations principles of OCAP. and the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project’s (KSDPP) Code of Research Ethics, this Indigenous-lead research incorporates Indigenous research methodologies and conducts respectful ethical research with Indigenous peoples within the province of Quebec.We acknowledge the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project (KSDPP) for their guidance and research expertise in participatory research methods, and for use of the KSDPP Code of Research Ethics.

Community Advisory Boards

Collaboration with Community Advisory Boards(CAB) is foundational part of the project’s ethics and research process. CAB members guided the development of interview and talking circle questions to ensure they are relevant to Indigenous students, families and communities. Consultation with, and feedback from CABs has informed the thematic analysis arising from storytelling sessions with Indigenous students and families. Ongoing CAB consultation will inform the research findings and be brought back to the students, families and communities who shared their stories. Working with CABs is in line with OCAP® standards that establish how data obtained through research with Indigenous peoples should be collected, protected, used, or shared.