Balancing Culture, Ethics, and Methods in Qualitative Health Research with Aboriginal Peoples

  • L. M. Meadows University of Calgary
  • L. E. Lagendyk University of Calgary
  • W. E. Thurston University of Calgary
  • A. C. Eisener University of Calgary


Including Aboriginal women in qualitative health research expands our understanding of factors that contribute to their health and well-being. As part of the larger WHEALTH study, we gathered qualitative health data on midlife Aboriginal women living both on and off reserves. Despite careful planning and a commitment to methodological congruence and purposiveness we encountered a number of challenges that raised ethical questions. We present how we addressed these issues as we attempted to produce ethical, culturally sensitive, and sound research in a timely fashion. This article provides important considerations for other researchers and funding bodies while illustrating the benefits of working with Aboriginal women as an under researched population.