Volume 34, 2019 - Special Issue

EvalIndigenous Origin Story: Effective Practices within Local Contexts to Inform the Field and Practice of Evaluation

Authors :
Proactive Information Services Inc.
Nicole Bowman
University of Wisconsin
This advance online version may differ slightly from the final published version.
Abstract: EvalIndigenous began in November 2015 as a global network of Eval-
Partners. This origin story of EvalIndigenous is shared to describe some of the work
being carried out today by Indigenous evaluators in the Global North and South.
EvalIndigenous is rooted in tribal critical and Indigenous theories and methods, as
well as the legal and political distinctions of Indigenous peoples and Tribal/First Nations.
EvalIndigenous shares how evaluation is done “by us and for us.” Th e article
concludes by highlighting key strategies that the fi eld of evaluation can consider in
the future when working with Indigenous populations and sovereign Tribal/First
Nations governments and communities.

Indigenous Evaluation in the Northwest Territories: Opportunities and Challenges

Authors :
Hotıì ts’eeda: NWT SPOR SUPPORT Unit
This advance online version may differ slightly from the final published version.
Abstract: There is increasing interest by governments and other service providers
in the potential for Indigenous evaluation methods and approaches to support the
evaluation of programs and services in a way that is culturally appropriate and
responsive. Indigenous governments and organizations are using Indigenous evaluation
methods and approaches to inform their own program and service delivery.
This article explores the current status of Indigenous evaluation in the Northwest
Territories, the opportunities for expanding the use of Indigenous evaluation, and
some of the challenges that must be addressed.

Indigenous Health Service Evaluation: Principles and Guidelines from a Provincial “Three Ribbon” Expert Panel

Authors :
St. Michael’s Hospital
Cheryllee Bourgeois and Sara Wolfe
Seventh Generation Midwives Toronto
Susan Snelling and Heather Manson
Public Health Ontario
Constance McKnight and Jeanne Hebert
Aboriginal Health Access Centre
Roger Boyer II
Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services
Wayne Warry
University of Minnesota
Vicki van Wagner
Ryerson University
This advance online version may differ slightly from the final published version.
Abstract: A group of Indigenous health and social service evaluators called the
“Three Ribbon” panel came together in Toronto in 2015/16 with the goal of informing
a set of evidence-based guidelines for urban Indigenous health and social service and
program evaluation. The collective knowledge and experiences of the Th ree Ribbon
panel was gathered through discussion circles and synthesized around the following
areas: barriers to conducting Indigenous health and social service evaluation;
decolonizing principles and protocols that support community self-determination
and centralize Indigenous culture and worldviews; and guidelines to inform health
and social service evaluation moving forward. The wisdom and contributions of
the Three Ribbon Panel creates space for Indigenous worldviews, values, and beliefs
within program evaluation practice and has important implications for evaluation
research and application.

Section 35 Legal Framework: Implications for Evaluation

Authors :
Carleton University
This advance online version may differ slightly from the final published version.
Abstract: Developments in Canada’s constitutional and legal framework since 1982
set the stage for the current Liberal government’s nation-to-nation policy, which recognizes
Indigenous rights and seeks to build a relationship of respect and partnership
through reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. These developments have important
implications for those engaged in policy and program evaluations who are now called
upon—not only by their own professional ethics but by the legal principles fl owing
from Section 35—to reimagine their approach and work as partners with Indigenous
nations based on the recognition of Indigenous rights, reconciliation, and the Crown’s
duty to act honourably in all of its dealings with Indigenous peoples. There are no
off-the-shelf answers for how this can be done. Evaluation professionals will need to
be guided by these key legal principles and the progressive view set out in the Liberal
government’s Principles respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with
Indigenous Peoples

Reflections on Being a Learner: The Value of Relationship-based Community Evaluations in Indigenous Communities

Authors :
Western University
This advance online version may differ slightly from the final published version.
Abstract: Drawing on Donna M. Mertens and Amy T. Willson’s work on transformative
paradigms in program evaluations, together with the author’s experience
working in partnership with First Nations communities in Ontario, this paper
explores the lessons learned from the process of moving between assumptions and
application using the transformative paradigm in First Nations evaluations; explores
the relationships between power, discourse, and paradigms in the relationship between
Western and Indigenous ways of knowing and being; and asks what steps an
can evaluator take to ensure that local epistemological and ontological perspectives
are respected and captured.


Reconciliation and Energy Democracy

Authors :
Kishk Anaquot Health Research
This advance online version may differ slightly from the final published version.
Abstract: Indigenous clean-energy leaders are moving Canada’s sustainable development
agenda along at an impressive rate and are setting the stage for the localization
of goods and services. Indigenous communities that do not yet have enough
energy security should be the first recipients of green infrastructure investments in
order to bolster equity as a tenet of Canadian nationalism. A series of key policy
drivers to amplify Indigenous inclusion in the energy transition are offered as well as
a number of performance indicators that can determine the extent to which Canada
is advancing on reconciliation and energy democracy.

Reflections on Evaluating in Indigenous Contexts: Looking to the Future

Authors :
Carleton University
This advance online version may differ slightly from the final published version.
This special edition on evaluation in Indigenous contexts had two purposes:
to understand the differences between Indigenous and Western ontologies and
epistemologies as these relate to research and evaluation; and to highlight the
experiences and insights of researchers and evaluators who work routinely in or
with Indigenous communities on research initiatives that incorporate evaluation.
Creating a volume of this nature builds on the ideas of several in the fi eld who
propose that context matters where effective and relevant Indigenous research
and evaluation are concerned (Cram, Chilisa, & Mertens, 2016; Cram & Mertens,
2015). Equally important, however, is our view that there is a dearth of research
and reflection on the actual practice of evaluation in these contexts. Although
there is an acknowledgment that attitudes, behaviours, and methods must be different,
there is little writing on the substance and implications of these diff erences
on evaluation practices. In this regard, explorations about how evaluators, both
Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are working in and with Indigenous communities
was the main insight we were looking for from the papers.
The special edition was divided into two main parts: the first part, including
the introduction, contains papers that explore the legal and aspirational obligations
for evaluating in Indigenous contexts; the second part relates evaluator
and researcher experiences working in Indigenous contexts on actual projects.
The latter set of papers provides some initial reflections on experiences with an
emphasis on the challenges encountered when attempting to bridge Indigenous
and Western ways of knowing. They highlight methodological challenges and the
practical realities of designing and implementing projects that are meaningful to
Indigenous communities. We observe three common themes emerging from the
seven papers that comprise this edition.

Evaluation in Indigenous Contexts: An Introduction to Practice

Authors :
Carleton University
This advance online version may differ slightly from the final published version.
Indigenous evaluation as a field of inquiry and fi nding culturally appropriate and
responsive ways to evaluate Indigenous programs and services are receiving in-
creased attention ( Cram, Tibbetts, & LaFrance, 2018 ). One important catalyst has
been the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s admonitions regard-
ing the cultural damage caused by residential schools, where recommendations
focus on the need for governments to pay greater attention to culturally relevant
approaches to research, including program evaluations ( TRC, 2015 ). More gen-
erally, Western governments are struggling to evaluate programs in Indigenous
communities in ways that serve both governmental interests in accountability and
quality assurance, while at the same time serving Indigenous needs and interests
for program eff ectiveness and respecting local autonomy ( Shepherd, 2018 ).

Identifying Key Epistemological Challenges Evaluating in Indigenous Contexts: Achieving Bimaadiziwin through Youth Futures

Authors :
Carleton University
This advance online version may differ slightly from the final published version.
Abstract: The evaluation field’s understanding of Indigenous ontologies and epistemologies
must improve in ways that do not serve to privilege Western ways of knowing
or governmental priorities for accountability. The literature has not identified
ways to bridge these in practical ways, or to move the field to balance community
and government needs. This article describes some prevailing epistemological and
methodological issues related to evaluation and then identifies practical challenges
bridging Western and Indigenous approaches, using the example of the Indigenous
Youth Futures Partnership project (IYFP), a seven-year SSHRC-sponsored grant.
It is suggested that there are approaches that work well in these contexts but that
agency is vitally important to establish reciprocity.