Reconciliation and Publication Standards at CANDJ

Cyndi Gilbert,1,2 ND, Johanne McCarthy,3,4,5 ND, MA, Nicole Redvers,6,7 ND, MPH, Jamie van Erkelens,8 MD, PhD, Sarah Connors,9 ND, and Marianne Trevorrow,1 ND, MA

Over the past year, CANDJ has accomplished many goals for a small, naturopathic professional association journal. We moved to an online Open Journal Systems (OJS) platform and are now indexed by Google Scholar, Crossref, and EBSCO. Setting our priorities for the coming year, the Editorial Team reflected on the journal’s standards and how they could better reflect our commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. As a naturopathic journal encouraging submissions on topics related to traditional and complementary medicine, planetary health, and health equity, we believed it was imperative to ensure that our publication standards clearly aligned with our commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC’s) Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and to challenge colonial structures of academic credibility and knowledge formation.1,2

A small handful of academic journals have enacted processes for highlighting the Indigenous cultural identity of authors and instituted ethical considerations and criteria for publishing content concerning Indigenous communities.37 Likewise, some educational institutions in Canada have adopted research standards in accordance with the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS 2) Chapter 9 and the First Nations Principles of OCAP® (ownership, control, access, and possession).812 However, few academic journals outside of the field of Indigenous Studies have incorporated these guidelines into their publishing standards.3,5–7,13 To our knowledge, CANDJ is the first naturopathic journal worldwide to adopt editorial policies that recognize the inherent rights of self-determination of Indigenous Peoples.

As CANDJ’s Editor-In-Chief and Associate Editor are both non-Indigenous, they began at the beginning, by reaching out to respected Indigenous colleagues, committed to a process based on the principle of “nothing about Indigenous Peoples, without Indigenous Peoples.” We included an open invitation and had many conversations, creating space for Indigenous naturopathic doctors and research ethics scholars to lead the process, premised on values of respect, transparency, and a commitment to developing guidelines in keeping with Indigenous worldviews, ontology, and epistemologies. Our process was also consistent with our understanding of reconciliation as the “ongoing process of establishing and maintaining respectful relationships…and following through with concrete actions that demonstrate real societal change,” as defined by the TRC.1

Our revisions are comprehensive and substantial, addressing standards for blinding, authorship, author affiliations, permissions, citing Indigenous Elders, style, ethics regarding Indigenous content, rights of Indigenous authors and communities, and publication access. Indigenous authors are encouraged to list their Indigenous cultural identity in our author affiliations in addition to, or in place of, institutional affiliation. All CANDJ submissions involving and/or concerning Indigenous Peoples, communities, identities, language, history, practices, Traditional Knowledge, Oral Traditions, cultural information, heritage, artefacts, and/or Protocols, as well as research conducted on Indigenous Peoples’ or Indigenous Nations’ lands, must include Indigenous authors and/or show evidence of appropriate collaboration/consultation and consent; be relevant to and elevate Indigenous communities and Peoples; and respect the ownership rights of Indigenous Knowledge. Style guidelines will generally follow best practices described in Elements of Indigenous style: a guide for writing by and about Indigenous Peoples.14

Some readers may ask why the journal has set requirements, review processes, permissions, and copyright guidelines that differ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous authors. Article 31 of the UNDRIP stresses that “Indigenous Peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect, and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and cultures.”2 Likewise, Article 23 specifies “the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.”2

We also invite our members to consider CANDJ’s policies and standards much like the Two Row Wampum Treaty, one of the oldest treaty relationships between the Haudenosaunee and the settlers on Turtle Island. The Two Row Wampum represents the canoe of the Indigenous Peoples and the ship of the settlers, traveling alongside each other, independently but in mutual support of each other in a relationship of peace, friendship, and respect. Our author guidelines also aspire to embody the principles of Two-Eyed Seeing (Etuaptmumk), which Mi’kmaq Elders Murdena and Albert Marshall describe as a wholistic view of the world that weaves settler and Indigenous perspectives back and forth, and together.15,16 While Indigenous Peoples have long had to “walk in two worlds,”15 we encourage our non-Indigenous researchers, authors, and readers to also develop Two-Eyed Seeing, benefitting from co-learning and an understanding that draws from the strengths of both settler and Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing.1517

We hope that CANDJ’s updated policies and standards represent the journal’s ongoing commitment to support healthy relationships with Indigenous Peoples. Striving to be leaders within naturopathic medicine, we aspire to model a mindfulness of our relationships on Turtle Island, maintain a pledge to care for everyone, and uphold the commitments as signatories of the Two Row Wampum Treaty.


1Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors, Toronto, ON, Canada

2Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Toronto, ON, Canada

3Onondaga Nation, Beaver Clan, from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory

4Department of Academic Programs, Six Nations Polytechnic Institute, Six Nations, Turtle Island

5Mohawk College Research Ethics Board, Mohawk College, Hamilton, ON, Canada

6Department of Indigenous Health, School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND, USA

7Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation, Yellowknife, NT, Canada

8MNBC Métis Nation British Columbia, Turtle Island

9Mohawk of Kahnawa:ke, Wolf Clan, from Kahnawa:ke Mohawk Territory


Not applicable.


We have read and understood the CAND Journal’s policy on conflicts of interest and declare following conflicts: after submission of the revised guidelines and this editorial, JM, NR, JvE, and SC were offered a CAND membership for one year, or the equivalent donation to the charity of their choice, as a gift in recognition of their participation.


This research did not receive any funding.


1. Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Honouring the truth, reconciling for the future: Summary of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. 2015. Accessed February 1, 2021. https://nctr.ca/assets/reports/Final%20Reports/Executive_Summary_English_Web.pdf

2. United Nations General Assembly. United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (A/RES/61/295). Published online September 13, 2007. Accessed November 30, 2021. https://undocs.org/A/RES/61/295

3. Lock M, McMillan F, Bennett B, et al. Position statement: Research and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in rural health journals. Aust J Rural Health. 2022;30(1):6–7. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajr.12834
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4. MacLeod L. More than personal communication: Templates for citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers. KULA Knowl Creat Dissem Preserv Stud. 2021;5(1). https://doi.org/10.18357/kula.135

5. Smylie J, Marsden N, Star L, et al. Requirement for meaningful engagement of First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and Indigenous Peoples in publications about them. Can J Public Health. 2020;111(6):826–830. https://doi.org/10.17269/s41997-020-00450-y
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6. Marsden N, Star L, Smylie J. Nothing about us without us in writing: Aligning the editorial policies of the Canadian Journal of Public Health with the inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples. Can J Public Health. 2020;111(6):822–825. https://doi.org/10.17269/s41997-020-00452-w
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7. Potvin L. No research about “them” without “them”: CJPH policy with regard to publication of health research on First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Indigenous Peoples. Can J Public Health. 2020;111(6):818–821. https://doi.org/10.17269/s41997-020-00449-5
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8. Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Tri-council policy statement: Ethical conduct for research involving humans. Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research; 2018. Accessed June 22, 2022. http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2019/irsc-cihr/RR4-2-2019-eng.pdf

9. First Nations Information Governance Centre. The First Nations Principles of OCAP®. The First Nations Information Governance Centre. Accessed June 22, 2022. https://fnigc.ca/ocap-training/

10. First Nations Information Governance Centre. Barriers and levers for the implementation of OCAPTM. Int Indig Policy J. 2014;5(2). https://doi.org/10.18584/iipj.2014.5.2.3

11. Robson K, Thomson ME, Cardinal-Widmark V, Desjarlais L. Walking together applying OCAP® to college research in central Alberta. Red Deer Polytechnic; 2018:57. https://guides.rdpolytech.ca/ld.php?content_id=34306908

12. Mashford-Pringle A, Pavagadhi K. Using OCAP and IQ as frameworks to address a history of trauma in Indigenous health research. AMA J Ethics. 2020;22(10):868–873. https://doi.org/10.1001/amajethics.2020.868

13. Canadian Journal of Public Health adopts requirement for meaningful engagement of First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and Indigenous Peoples. Canadian Public Health Association. Published December 8, 2020. Accessed June 22, 2022. https://www.cpha.ca/canadian-journal-public-health-adopts-requirement-meaningful-engagement-first-nations-inuit-metis

14. Younging G. Elements of Indigenous style: A guide for writing by and about Indigenous Peoples. Brush Education; 2018.

15. Marshall M, Marshall A, Bartlett C. Two-eyed seeing in medicine. In: Greenwood M, Leeuw SD, Lindsay NM, Reading C, eds. Determinants of Indigenous Peoples’ health. Canadian Scholars’ Press; 2015.

16. Iwama M, Marshall M, Marshall A, Bartlett C. Two-eyed seeing and the language of healing in community-based research. Can J Native Educ. 2009;32(2). https://doi.org/10.14288/cjne.v32i2.196493

17. Bull J. 9. A two-eyed seeing approach to research ethics review: An Indigenous perspective. In: van den Hoonaard WC, Hamilton A, eds. The ethics rupture. University of Toronto Press; 2016:167–186. https://doi.org/10.3138/9781442616653-012

Correspondence to: Cyndi Gilbert, CAND, 20 Holly St., Suite 200, Toronto ON M4S 3B1, Canada. E-mail: cgilbert@cand.ca

To cite: Gilbert C, McCarthy J, Redvers N, van Erkelens J, Connors S, Trevorrow M. Reconciliation and publication standards at CANDJ. CAND Journal. 2022;29(3):3-4. https:/doi.org/10.54434/candj.124

Received: 4 August 2022; Accepted: 4 August 2022; Published: 22 September 2022

2022 Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors. For permissions, please contact candj@cand.ca.

CAND Journal | Volume 29, No. 3, September 2022

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