Convinced that there was room for greater understanding in this area, Adams traveled across the country to have in-person conversations with a diverse range of people engaged with Aboriginal issues. His discussions included entrepreneurs, educators and activists; academics both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal; authors, chiefs, and policy experts from across the political spectrum.
Although the research project remained unformed, a loose network of people who were supportive of the concept began to take shape. This group included Caroline Krause, of the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia; Calvin Helin, a lawyer and author of Dances with Dependency; and Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. Over time, this group grew to include 20 people and was formalized as the UAPS Advisory Circle.
It was clear to the Environics Institute and the Advisory Circle that some kind of research with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people living in Canadian cities was timely and important. The next steps were to develop a sound methodology; reach out to prospective partners (such as universities and Friendship Centres); and to raise the money to make such an ambitious study possible.