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Document Type

Article

Abstract

Perhaps more clearly than other research approaches, community-based research or engaged scholarship involves both technical skills of research expertise and scientific rigor as well as interpersonal skills of relationship building, effective communication, and moral ways of being. In an academic age concerned with scientific precision, cognitive skills, quantification, and reliable measurements, the interpersonal skills required for research—and particularly community-based research and engaged scholarship—demand growing importance and resources in contemporary discourse and practice. Focused around the University of Saskatchewan’s Community Engagement Office located in the inner city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the authors draw on over 50 years of collective experience to offer critical reflections on the notion of interpersonal skills in community-engaged scholarship that manifest particularly in place-based contexts of Indigenous community partnerships. Overall, we argue that discourse and practice involving community-engaged scholarship must pay attention to the notion of interpersonal skills in various aspects and across multiple dimensions and disciplines. This approach is crucial to ensure that research is done effectively and ethically, that good quality data are produced from such research, that subtle, systematic forms of micro-aggression and oppression are minimized, and that community voices and knowledge have a meaningful and significant place in scholarship activities.

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