Applications to the CLSA and considerations for access/use of Indigenous-identified data

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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 ensuring all research involving First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples is conducted in a manner that respects Indigenous data governance principles and rights, including researcher responsibilities to uphold those same principles and rights in their research activities.

Within the CLSA, approximately 3.7% of participants self-identified as Indigenous during Baseline data collection between 2010 and 2015. Persons living in the three territories, on federal First Nations reserves, or on other Indigenous settlements were excluded from the sampling frame. 

Building upon a consultation process with Indigenous researchers that began in 2019, the CLSA has revised its data access process for requesting and using Indigenous-identified data collected by the CLSA, as well as made changes to how these projects are assessed.

Effective March 2023, researchers can submit applications to access Indigenous-identified data through Magnolia, the CLSA’s online data access application system.

As part of this process, researchers will be required to describe how they intend to use Indigenous identifiers in their analyses and how they will involve Indigenous organizations, people and governing bodies in their project.

A webinar, Applications to the CLSA and Considerations for Access/Use of Indigenous-Identified Data, was presented March 22, 2023, by Dr. Jennifer Walker, a member of the Six Nations and an associate professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact at McMaster University. The presentation provided prospective applicants with more information about the CLSA's expectations and guidelines on their requests to access and use of Indigenous-identified data collected by the platform.

Researchers are encouraged to review Articles 9.1 and 9.2 of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, which 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. 

Additional resources for researchers are available below: