AIEDIRP Overview

About Atlantic Indigenous Economic Development Integrated Research Program

The Atlantic Indigenous Economic Development Integrated Research Program (AIEDIRP) is a unique research program formed in 2007 through partnerships between APC’s member communities, the Inuit of Labrador, 15 Atlantic universities, and three government funders.

AIEDIRP’s main purpose is to work with Indigenous communities to improve the knowledge base concerning Atlantic Indigenous economic development in order to improve the lives of Indigenous people in the region.

To enhance strategic planning and research initiatives, the AIEDIRP is guided by a Steering Committee and a Research Subcommittee, both providing direction and advice throughout all research processes. Both committees are comprised of Indigenous leaders, university representatives, and federal and provincial government funding partners.

On June 8, 2022, Atlantic university partners renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the AIEDIRP/APC. This document sets out a common framework around issues such as overhead costs, protection for graduate students, and ownership of research. By signing the MOU, the universities agree that the AIEDIRP will not be charged university overhead administrative fees for projects the universities collaborate on.


1.  Fund and Facilitate Research on Indigenous Economic Development

The AIEDIRP builds bridges between post-secondary institutions and Atlantic Indigenous communities and provides ongoing support to Indigenous communities and to Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers from inception through implementation of the research. All research conducted is community-based participatory action research, linking Indigenous communities’ needs with post-secondary resources in order to promote and enhance community economic development.
Main areas of research:

  • Sector-Focused;
  • Employment and Education;
  • Business and Entrepreneurship;
  • Indigenous Knowledge, Languages, and Cultures; and
  • Measuring Indigenous Economic Development Success.

2.  Build Research Capacity

Research capacity is built through the collaborative relationships the AIEDIRP cultivates between Indigenous communities and Indigenous and non- Indigenous researchers. Research capacity is also built through the hiring and training of Indigenous researchers, associates, and assistants, and for non-Indigenous researchers through the knowledge and experience gained by working with Indigenous communities.

3.  Share Knowledge on Indigenous Economic Development

Workshops and conferences are conducted to bring people together from academic and community settings to share knowledge and build relationships. These workshops and conferences focus on best practices, communities’ research needs, and knowledge dissemination.

The AIEDIRP’s university partners include:

  • Acadia University;
  • Cape Breton University;
  • Dalhousie University;
  • Mount Allison University;
  • Memorial University;
  • Mount St. Vincent University;
  • Saint Mary’s University;
  • St. Francis Xavier University;
  • St. Thomas University;
  • University of New Brunswick;
  • Université de Moncton;
  • University of Prince Edward Island;
  • Atlantic School of Theology;
  • University of King’s College; and
  • Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.


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