We acknowledge that our work takes place on the unceded ancestral lands of the xʷməθkw əy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Acknowledging the unextinguished sovereignty and ongoing resistance and resilience of the Indigenous peoples of these lands is a crucial background to this work. Harmful research practices have long been a source of betrayal, and disrespect in Indigenous communities. Research has long-functioned as a tool of colonialism, and colonial research practices continue in the ways that researchers exploit, exhaust, and extract from Indigenous and other marginalized communities.
The Downtown Eastside (DTES) “Community Research Ethics Workshop” (CREW) is a group made up of some of the co-authors of Research 101: A Manifesto for Ethical Research in the Downtown Eastside (DTES). We all have very close connections to the DTES, in many different capacities. We are activists, board members, workshop facilitators, writers, journalists, researchers, beekeepers, and public speakers. We also have lived experience of many things that researchers who come to the DTES are interested in studying: using illicit substances, poverty, sex work, criminalization, stigma and most of all, being a part of the DTES community.
The CREW builds on the work of the “Community Ethics in Cultural Production” project initiated by Hives for Humanity and SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. We want to extend the guidelines laid out in the Manifesto for more ethical and respectful research in the DTES by working to develop a local ethics review body that can provide oversight, suggestions, requests for revision and accountability for research taking place in, or on, our DTES community. This body will primarily consist of DTES community members like us with lived experience of the topics and identities researchers are interested in studying. We want to develop a community review model that empowers community members to review and offer suggestions on research proposals in collaboration with researchers. Ultimately, we want to work towards reducing the harms associated with research and making it easier for researchers to collaborate in our community in a positive, respectful way.