HEALTH INFORMATION RESEARCH GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE (HIRGC)
About the HIRGC
The Health Information Research Governance Committee is an Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) mandated committee tasked with gatekeeping the Manitoba First Nations Research File (MFNRF) held at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP) and acting as a regional First Nations research ethics board.
Since 1998, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs AMC supported the mandate for the HIRGC as the First Nations research ethics board. In 2019, the Manitoba Chiefs-in-Assembly revised the mandate for HIRGC to authorize HIRGC to act as:
the gatekeeper of First Nations data at a regional level;
the advisory body to offer guidance to research carried out on a regional basis, including reviewing applications from First Nations or academic researchers or consultants; and,
the body to ensure that respectful research for and by First Nations is carried out according to these principles:
Free prior informed consent on a collective and individual basis;
First Nations OCAP® Principles so that First Nations have Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession of their own data and information;
First Nations ethical standards, whether Cree, Dakota, Dene, Anishininiwak (Oji-Cree) or Anishinaabe (Ojibway); and,
Benefits to First Nations.
Who are we?
The HIRGC is made up of First Nations members from northern and southern Manitoba First Nations, all with diverse perspectives and expertise.
Tribal Council Health Director, North – Vacant
Tribal Council Health Director, South – Vacant
First Nations Director of Health, Education, or Economic Development, North – Vacant
First Nations Director of Health, Education, or Economic Development, South – Vacant
First Nations Academic Advisor, North – Ramona Neckoway, Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation
First Nations Academic Advisor, South – Vacant
First Nations Advisor in Environment or Economic Issues, North – Vacant
First Nations Advisor in Environment or Economic Issues, South – Melissa Hotain, Sioux Valley Dakota Nation
Elder or Knowledge Keeper, North or South – Doris Young, Opaskwayak Cree Nation
Youth (ages 18-30), North or South - Vacant
If you are interested in filling one of the vacant HIRGC member roles, please download our voting member application and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are accepting applications until positions are filled.
The Application and Review Process:
Download the HIRGC Application and complete all sections that apply to your research. If you are unsure of any of the application questions, please refer to the HIRGC Application Guide. Submit your application and any applicable attachments to email@example.com.
Overview of the application review process:
Applying to HIRGC
Before you submit:
The HIRGC does not review applications if:
Research is pan-Indigenous as we are only mandated to review Manitoba First Nations specific research. We do not speak or provide approval on behalf of Metis or Inuit, as we respect their Nations sovereignty and autonomy as it applies to their research needs and priorities.
You currently do not have a relationship with the First Nation(s) you will be working with in your research, HIRGC will not approve this application and request you build a relationship first. It is important that a relationship be formed in another way such as with regional, tribal, or community organizations to help guide this research.
Your research does not have an advisory or guidance committee made up of community members and knowledge holders that are involved or related to your research topic, as it is imperative to do research in a good way to have a circle of stakeholders and knowledge keepers guiding your work.
You are applying to bypass nation-based consent to engage in research. We maintain that all First Nations in Manitoba has sovereignty and jurisdiction over research within their territories. If your research involves individual nations, tribal councils, provincial territorial organizations but requires access to the MFNRF you must provide proof of partnership and consent from those nations.
Your project is a program evaluation unless it requires access to the MFNRF. If it requires access to the MFNRF, you must clarify how the MFNRF is applicable and relevant to your evaluation.
Please ensure that your application is clear, concise, and includes all applicable attachments.
The first step is submitting a submission or re-submission of an application, then the application goes through an internal review.
If the application does not pass the internal review, the applicant will have a response provided based on the review. It will be on of two options, “Application requires clarification or additional information” at which point the application can revise the application according to the feedback and create a application for a re-submission. The other feedback option is “Application does not meet HRGC mandate”, which the research will need to be re-evaluated by the researchers or submitted elsewhere.
If the application passes the internal review, it then goes onto the HIRGC Full Review.
Proceeding the full review, the application will go through the HIRGC Review Decision. The application will be stamped with Approved, Conditional Approval, or Denied. If the application receives the “Denied” status, the applicant will have a response provided. It will be on of two options, “Application requires clarification or additional information” at which point the application can revise the application according to the feedback and create an application for a re-submission. The other feedback option is “Application does not meet HRGC mandate”, which the research will need to be re-evaluated by the researchers or submitted elsewhere. If the applicant receives a “Conditional Approval”, the applicant must amend the application to included the feedback given by the HIRGC committee and then submit the application for a conditional approval submission. The application will go back to the HIRGC Full Review stage once the application has been amended. Once the application has received the “Approved” status, research can commence.
During the research period, if there are any amendments to the applications, the applicant must create a submission of amendment and then the application will go back to HIRGC Full Review. During the research period, the ongoing requirements for application includes a submission of annual project reports and presentation and publication materials. Once the research is completed, the applicant is required to create a submission of a final project report.
Application Review Schedule
All submissions (i.e., new applications, revisions, amendments, conditions) are first reviewed by the Research Ethics Coordinator for clarity, consistence, and compliance with our four principles. This typically takes one week. It is advised that you submit your application as early as possible to account for this initial review in the chance your application is incomplete or does not meet our ethical standards so that you may make any changes to advance to full review.
The HIRGC meets 6 times per year, to ensure your application is reviewed in a timely manner, please see the meeting dates and subsequent application deadlines for 2023-24 below:
Expected Response Date
May 3, 2023
August 30, 2023
November 1, 2023
January 3, 2024
February 28, 2024
May 17-18, 2023
September 13-14, 2023
November 15-26, 2023
January 17-18, 2024
March 13-14, 2024
May 29, 2023
September 25, 2023
November 27, 2023
January 29, 2024
March 25, 2024
NOTE: If you apply and there is change in meeting date, you will be informed of the adjusted timeline.
Delays may occur if applications submitted require clarification or if there is an influx of applications in which we may not be able to review all submitted applications in an application period. Please plan ahead and ensure you have time for potential delays.
Who can apply for HIRGC approval?
Any persons conducting regional level health research about First Nations in Manitoba or looking to access the Manitoba First Nations Research File at MCHP.
Do I need to submit an application to the HIRGC?
If you plan on carrying out regional level research involving First Nations in Mantioba or the MFNRF at MCHP you will need to apply to the HIRGC. You should not be conducting any research activities involving First Nations in Manitoba on a regional level or the MFNRF until you have received approval from HIRGC.
How long will it take for my application to receive approval from HIRGC?
The length of time it takes to receive approval from the HIRGC varies depending on several factors – this includes the time of your submission, if your application is complete, and the quality of your application. If your application is complete and of high quality, it can take as little as one week from the date of review. However, most applications will take longer than that, please plan accordingly.
Does HIRGC ethics approval expire?
Once approved, HIRGC ethics approval is ongoing until the completion of your project. However, our approval is contingent on your ability to maintain the ethics standards stated in your application and the submission of annual research project reports.
For any questions about research involving First Nations in Manitoba or the HIRGC application and processes please contact the Research Ethics Coordinator, Taylor Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.