Research processes, over the last ten years, have changed to fully encompass Indigenous partners. For many years research undertaken by academic institutions served to benefit the academy and selected scholarly groups. Aboriginal peoples (Tuhiwai-Smith, 1999; UATF, 2007; Wilson 2008; Kovach, 2009; OFIFC, 2012) created a shift in thinking concerning the acquisition of knowledge, the process of research and how seeking knowledge, as it applies to academic research, can benefit both the academic scholar and the Aboriginal community. The UAKN is an example of how the research paradigm shift can be carried out in practice.
Research undertaken through the UAKN is premised on implementing meaningful change at the community level. The Guiding Ethical Principles encompasses an acknowledgement of community ethics concerning research. It is further recognized that this document is a small iteration of the many Indigenous ethical protocols currently in existence.