Beginning in 2002, Dr. Ball mounted a program of research exploring several aspects of Indigenous Early Childhood Development and developmentally oriented early childhood care programs. Reflecting the collaboration of many First Nations community partners in this research, the program of research is called 'Early Childhood Development Intercultural Partnerships.' The majority of the research to date focuses on questions raised by First Nations communities and agencies in Canada.
Respond to the pressing need in Canada (and in the majority world) to develop principles, protocols, measurement criteria and assessment procedures for understanding, tracking, and evaluating Indigenous children's development and developmental needs and the impacts of infant and early childhood programs on development.
Provide a multi-component, funded research 'centre' and team-learning environment for Indigenous students and community members to strengthen their research capacities and build research momentum in the area of child and youth development and services.
These studies combine quantitative and qualitative data and use a variety of research methods including cross-sectional and longitudinal designs as well as participatory action research. Some of the projects have a primary focus on establishing culturally relevant dimensions and criteria for assessing child development in order to help fill the gaps that now exist in our knowledge of how to measure Indigenous child development trajectories, how to identify significant developmental needs, and how to assess the effectiveness of developmental support programs and interventions. All of the projects involve First Nations community partners. Emerging principles and protocols for the conduct of research involving Indigenous peoples are used.