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SIP Commentary on the APA Ethics Code

The Society of Indian Psychologists Commentary on the American Psychological Association’s
Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct, published in 2014, was created in response to

the APA Ethics Code as it existed in 2010.


The overall purpose of the Commentary is perhaps best
summed up in the Values Statement that opens the text of the Commentary itself:

In spite of the vast variation of Indigenous peoples in the Americas, there are some
values that we share. This statement is a brief summary of values integral to Indigenous
communities of the Americas. Each tribe has additional values or variations of the
following values that must be taken into account when working with its members.

This Commentary is based upon those shared values. They are often different than
those apparently assumed, but not stated, in the APA Ethics Code. It is the position of
this Commentary that the correct ethical behavior depends upon the framework of the
culture of the community in which the psychologist is operating. Ethics are indeed
influenced by the prevailing sociocultural context in which they are applied. Difficulties
and challenges arise when ethics are assumed to be so universal that no provisions are
made for different cultural contexts. The stories in this Commentary will illustrate the
challenges with the APA Ethics Code.

A second publication in 2017, the Instructor's Manual for the SIP Commentary on the APA
Ethics Code, was created to assist those who teach the ethics of psychology in using the
Commentary to address multicultural ethics.

Many work hours by multiple SIP members went into the development of these documents.
Upon completion of the Commentary, the sitting SIP President, Carolyn Thomas, compared it to
a medicine bundle. As something intended to be held sacred akin to medicine, it is important
that access to the Commentary be curated accordingly.

Requests for a pdf copy of the Commentary and/or Instructor’s Manual will be made through the
President or an appointed custodian. Any SIP member in good standing may be given a copy.
Requests from non-members will be reviewed and if the request appears to be made in good
faith, and in keeping with the proper use of the Commentary, a copy will be provided.


Requests can be made to:
Please include the following;
● Your name
● SIP membership status
● Institutional affiliation

● Reason for your request

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