Between 2017- 2021 the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre (FENFC) and Brock University developed a research collaboration to respond to questions about employment, as identified by Indigenous community members and leaders in Niagara. The first stage of this collaboration sought to understand barriers to employment engagement for Indigenous residents of Fort Erie as well as programs, supports, or resources that would assist Indigenous individuals to apply for, obtain, and remain in employment. This project arose out of a series of meetings between the FENFC, and Brock University’s SJRI and Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Education and Research. A team of Brock University researchers, in collaboration with peer researchers from the FENFC, conducted four focus groups/sharing circles (two with youth and two with adults) and interviews with two local employers. The research was guided by a methodological approach that combined the team’s experience with Indigenous methodologies/epistemologies/ontologies, community-based research, and ecological approaches to knowledge-making and narrative analysis. It was funded by the Ontario Human Capital Research and Innovation Fund (OHCRIF). This funding included a Cultural Competency Training program hosted by the Ontario Federation of Friendship Centres for the project research team as well as over 30 members of the Brock University community and a Harvest Social to celebrate the completion of this research project.
Click the images above to learn more about these members of the research team.