Regional Research Centres:
Initially, four Regional Research Centres will be established: a British Columbia Centre; a Prairie Centre; an Ontario and Quebec Centre; and an Atlantic Centre. As the network matures, additional Centres may be added. In addition, the UAKN has made connection with other research endeavours and networks, for example the ODENA project in Quebec. Each Research Centre will be at a host institution and connect regional universities and researchers drawn from a cross-section of academic disciplines. Centres will comprise of networks or researchers, representatives of urban Aboriginal communities, policy-makers from different orders of government, and practitioners.
Each Regional centre will be governed by Executive Committees and managed by Centre Directors. Combined, they will be responsible for planning projects, broadening stakeholder engagement and ensuring knowledge exchange. Enormous emphasis will be placed on knowledge transfer and the participation of young scholars, particularly Aboriginal scholars.
In addition, a National Research Priorities Fund will ensure that issues of national concern will be addressed.
The community-based National Secretariat is housed in the NAFC national office. The Secretariat is responsible for project management and administration and to provide leadership in managing the network’s strategic directions, to assist Regional Centres and other network governing bodies in executing their responsibilities to perform national knowledge mobilization and transfer, and to ensure that communication and best practices inform all network endeavors. Developing a comprehensive knowledge transfer and communities infrastructure and ensuring that research is relevant to urban Aboriginal policy communities are also key functions of the Secretariat.
UAKN governance brings together communities, academics, governments and others in pursuit of knowledge creation, mobilization and transfer. The governance structures will undertake stakeholder engagement, planning, research, knowledge transfer and fundraising.
- The Aboriginal Circle is comprised of First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons drawn from throughout Canada who are leaders in the respective fields and respected in their communities; it will be the voice of urban Aboriginal communities in UAKN national governance.
- The Funders’ Table is comprised of organizations that provide sufficient funding commitments to the project, will provide an opportunity for investors to participate in network governance, priority-setting and ongoing activities.
- The Researchers’ Table is comprised of the Director of each Regional Centre and the leader of each research theme. This table will provide a role in national governance for those responsible for most of the knowledge creation and much of the mobilization activities to be undertaken.
Representatives of each of these groups, as well as two co-chairs (NAFC and AANDC), will combine to form the Network Council, which will be the national governing body for the UAKN. The Council will determine strategic direction and priorities, articulate broad research themes that will guide UAKN research and knowledge mobilization activities, advise on knowledge mobilization and stakeholder engagement, assess the network’s accomplishments, and contribute to fundraising.
The National Secretariat’s role in management and administrative functions will extend to supporting national governance. The Secretariat will be responsible for facilitating timely planning, efficient organization, and effective chairmanship of network council meetings. It is expected that network council meetings will rotate among Research Centre locations and the National Capital Region, and as such the Secretariat will assist with travel and meeting arrangements.