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In Canada, since the early 2000s, action and collaborative research have become increasingly popular in the social sciences. In this form of research, knowledge is produced not only by specialized researchers but also with actors in the field; it is often presented as a panacea for ethical research with local populations, especially when they are in a situation of marginalization. This research is in practice seen as a potential means of empowerment. Based on my experience as an anthropologist working in Quebec Aboriginal communities, I examine how, when applied to non-prescriptive disciplines such as mine, these types of research can present different images. Are they really more ethical than fundamental research? I highlight the questions raised by these models, which can change the way I practice my profession, paying particular attention to the commitment of the researcher, the validity and strength of methodologies and epistemologies, and the degrees of participation of informants, all within the framework of the ethical rules formulated by the Canadian granting councils and by Aboriginal people themselves.
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