Statement on Indigenous identifiers in the CLSA

Monday, September 14, 2020

In consultation with leaders in the field of Indigenous health research and members of the Indigenous community, the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is currently reviewing its policies and procedures related to the governance and use of Indigenous identifiers in the CLSA.

Within the CLSA, approximately 3.7% of participants self-identified as Indigenous during baseline data collection between 2010 and 2015.

One of the guiding principles of the CLSA platform is to support research that benefits all people living in Canada.  The CLSA is committed to working with Indigenous partners to ensure that all research involving First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples is conducted in a manner that respects Indigenous data governance principles and rights.

Articles 9.1 and 9.2 of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans outline the requirement of community engagement in Indigenous research, including for research in which Indigenous identity is used as a variable for the purpose of analysis of the research data. The CLSA is committed to working with Indigenous researchers and partners to abide by the requirements of this policy.

All approved data users can expect changes in the coming months that include:

  • Updates to how Indigenous identifiers are coded in the CLSA dataset.
  • Updates to the data application process involving requests for data that will include analyses using Indigenous identifiers.
  • Changes to how projects requesting Indigenous identifiers are assessed.
  • Updates to the CLSA Publication Policy, including changes to the review process for manuscripts, presentations or other knowledge-based products that use Indigenous identifiers.

Please note that all current users of the CLSA data should not undertake specific analyses related to Indigenous populations within the CLSA unless those analyses are consistent with the objectives of their approved research project. In addition, the CLSA Publication Policy requires all pre-publication manuscripts be sent to the CLSA for review at least 15 working days prior to submission to a journal. 

The CLSA thanks Dr. Jennifer Walker, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Health at Laurentian University, the Native Women’s Association of Canada, the First Nations Information Governance Centre and the CIHR Institutes of Indigenous Peoples’ Health, Aging, and Population and Public Health for sharing expertise, contributing to an ongoing dialogue, and helping the CLSA learn more about respectful research conduct involving First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.