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Note-taking Protocols

These guidelines for documenting partnership meetings were drafted in summer 2018 in consultation with representatives of the Indigenous communities with whom we have been developing partnerships. We thank them for all their help thinking this through and we welcome further advice and feedback from workshop participants. A pdf version of this page is available here.

We are committed as a cluster to documenting the formation of working partnerships with Indigenous communities in a way that will allow us to reflect on and assess this process but also be respectful of the sensitive and privileged information discussed during meetings and interviews. To this end we will ensure that, for every meeting we have with Indigenous community representatives, Chief and Council, Elders and knowledge holders, we designate at least one person to serve as observer and note-taker, and that we draft up notes following a consistent format. We will also ensure that our Indigenous partners are consulted on what information can and cannot be recorded and/or shared. Here are the guidelines for this we’ve settled on thus far – open to revision and amendment as we proceed and as appropriate to context. 

Ideally we will designate one note-taker and one observer at each meeting with Indigenous representatives and partners: one to take detailed notes that track the flow of conversation, and the other to observe more generally the dynamic of the meeting.

Wherever possible we will develop two sets of notes for each meeting: the note-taker will typically write up notes that record the course of the meeting that specify who said what; the observer, or another participant in the meeting, will write up a conceptual synthesis of the topics covered, outcomes, and action items arising from the meeting. 

In the interests of transparency and accuracy we will forward meeting notes to all parties present for review and revision.

To ensure appropriate confidentiality, we will ask Indigenous partners to advise on what can be recorded and/or shared and with who, with respect to each set of meeting notes.

We will develop security protocols for meeting notes with Indigenous partners that address their concerns and meet UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board (BREB) guidelines. These could include, for example:

- storing meeting notes on limited computers with password access;

- ensuring that notes are not stored on US-based cloud servers;

- not sharing notes by email.