Parent/guardian consent form

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1. LANGUAGE CHOICE: This form is available in Cree and English. The researchers who talk you through this form speak both Cree and English. You may discuss this form and the project in the language of your choice.

2. REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE: If you feel unable to read and complete this document in English or in Cree, please name a person whom you trust, who can help you to complete the form:


3. If (2) is filled out, please complete the following question. If (2) is blank, proceed to (5). Be sure to read and understand the information in (5) before consenting to the conditions listed in (6).

I (the person named in 2) ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­______________________________________ understand that I have agreed to help complete this form. I understand that my opinions are not required here — my role is simply to help someone else fill out this form.


Here is some more information about our project.


  • This project will make a record of how children learn to speak Cree. There are five people in the team carrying out this research: at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Julie Brittain (Project Leader), Marguerite MacKenzie, Carrie Dyck and Yvan Rose, and in Chisasibi, Darlene Bearskin.

  • The study will involve approximately 12 children and it will last for 30 months (September 2004 to April 2007). We are working with the approval of the Cree School Board, and the Band Council of the Cree Nation of Chisasibi.


  • If you agree that your child (children) may take part in this research, we will ask to video record your child for about an hour once every two to three weeks.

  • Video recordings may be made at your home, or at the community school (James Bay Eeyou School), or at the Anjabowa Daycare (locations remain to be determined).

  • Recordings will last approximately 45 to 60 minutes. We wish to record your child interacting in normal everyday situations. Your child won’t be asked to do anything out of the ordinary. We wish to allow him/her to be in a situation where they are talking with Cree-speaking adults — friends, family, teachers or caregivers. The project will provide books and toys for the children to play with.

  • Most children do not mind being video-recorded. However, recording will stop if a child appears to be distressed by the presence of the recording equipment. We will take care to make the children feel comfortable. We encourage family members to be present at the video recordings so that they may interact with their children. We wish to record child language. Children are most comfortable talking with friends and family — people they know.


  • The project operates on limited funds. As a consequence, no payment is offered for families who take part in the project.


  • These recordings will be transcribed and entered into an electronic database (computer) which may be accessed ONLY by authorized members of the research team. The name(s) of your child (children) will NOT appear in transcriptions of the recordings. Each child taking part in the project will be given a number — to protect the privacy of the families and the children, the children’s names will not appear in any of our records.

  • The database may contain digitized portions of the video recordings, but no one outside of the research team will have access to these data. This information is kept confidential.

  • All of the spoken language samples that we obtain from your child (children) during the research will be kept confidential. We will store the recordings under lock and key in two locations: at the Cree School Board in Chisasibi, and at Memorial University of Newfoundland, in the Language Acquisition Laboratory (4th Floor, Science Building, Memorial University). At Memorial University, Julie Brittain, Marguerite MacKenzie, Yvan Rose and Carrie Dyck will have access to these archives. In Chisasibi, Project Assistant Darlene Bearskin will have authority to access the archives.

  • After our research project is completed, to preserve confidentiality we will store the video recordings as described above. Some of the examples of Cree child language that we record on this project will appear in linguistic literature (we include an example of such a publication, to show you how it may appear). We will also make the child language we record and transcribe available on the internet via the CHILDES (Child Language Data Exchange System) website. Details of this site may be viewed at Your child (children)’s name(s) and those of any family members included in the tapes will NOT be included.

  • Video recordings may be viewed by the researcher team. Apart from this, only the family of each child will have access to their child’s video recordings.


  • The project operates on limited funds. As a consequence, no payment is offered for families who take part in the project.


  • This research provides no immediate or direct benefits to you or to your child (children). The child (children) may benefit from spending an hour in a linguistically stimulating environment (during video-recording sessions). Families will be provided with copies of selected portions of the video recordings, as a keep-sake of their child’s important years of language learning.

  • We hope that the research will benefit your community by showing how children learn to speak Cree. This is information can be used by specialists to design programs that will help children overcome difficulties with reading and writing, for example. However, this will be a long-term benefit. We will also make results available to assist in the design of Cree language school materials. Our research will not yield immediate benefits for the community. We expect it will, however, be of benefit over the long-term.


  • Your child (children)’s participation in this research is voluntary. You are free to withdraw them from the project at any time. If you withdraw your child (children), you may also have the video recordings that have been made withdrawn from the project.

  • Young children can be clear about what they want and do not want. If your child is old enough to discuss this project, please ask him/her what his/her wishes are. If he/she does not wish to take part, we will respect his/her wishes.

If at any time you need more information about this project, please contact:

Julie Brittain

Department of Linguistics

Memorial University of Newfoundland

St John’s NL A1B 3X9
Or you may contact her via e-mail:

Or telephone: 709-737-8136.

The proposal for this research has been approved by the Interdisciplinary Committee on Ethics in Human Research (ICEHR) at Memorial University of Newfoundland. If you have any ethical concerns about the research (such as the way you have been treated or your rights as a participant), contact the Chairperson of the ICEHR at or by telephone at 709-737-8368.


A. We have read this consent form and agree to the following on behalf of our child (children):
(i) that our child (children) can be recorded on video for the purposes of this project;
(ii) that this electronic recording can be transcribed;
(iii) that the transcribed language samples can be entered into an electronic database (CHILDES);

(iv) that the video recordings be stored in an archive in Chisasibi and at Memorial University of Newfoundland, with access restricted to authorized persons, as discussed above;

(v) that relevant linguistic portions of the database transcription may appear in linguistic literature, and may be made available on the internet (via CHILDES), under the conditions we have discussed (with all names removed);
(vi) that portions of video recording may be viewed by the research team — other than this, only the child’s family will have access to the videos.
_________________________________ Date __________________

Signature of parent/guardian 1

_________________________________ Date __________________

(Signature of parent/guardian 2)

B. We confirm that we are the parents / legal guardians of the following child (children):
Child’s name _____________________________________________

(Child’s name)____________________________________________

C. We consent to the above-named child (children) taking part in this study, on the understanding that:

  • all the ethical guidelines we have discussed are strictly followed

  • our family is free to withdraw from this study at any time.

_________________________________ Date __________________

Signature of parent/guardian 1
_________________________________ Date __________________

(Signature of parent/guardian 2)

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