The evaluation field's understanding of Indigenous ontologies and epistemologies must improve in ways that do not serve to privilege Western ways of knowing or governmental priorities for accountability. The literature has not identified ways to bridge these in practical ways, or to move the field to balance community and government needs. This article describes some prevailing epistemological and methodological issues related to evaluation and then identifies practical challenges bridging Western and Indigenous approaches, using the example of the Indigenous Youth Futures Partnership project (IYFP), a seven-year SSHRC-sponsored grant. It is suggested that there are approaches that work well in these contexts but that agency is vitally important to establish reciprocity.

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Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation
School of Public Policy and Administration

Shepherd, R, & Graham, K. (2020). Identifying key epistemological challenges evaluating in indigenous contexts: Achieving Bimaadiziwin through youth futures. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 34(3), 442–463. doi:10.3138/cjpe.68866